8 Things You’ll Absolutely Miss After Leaving Japan

Maybe you spent a month in Japan, maybe you’ve spent a year or more, or maybe you were here for a decade. But the one thing you’ll likely all have in common is missing those unique parts of Japanese culture. From friends and food to Japan’s funny obsession with putting animals in strollers, here are some of the top aspects of Japan you’ll miss after leaving Japan.

1. Life-long friends

No. 1: friendships made. When I am asked what I miss most about Japan, I instantly think of my dear Japanese friends, and I feel sadness and nostalgia for no longer being able to enjoy their presence. I will never forget my 92-year-old neighbor who, two summers in a row, saved me the best watermelon from his vegetable patch. Nor will I forget Yuka’s parents who bought me two sets of fancy chopsticks, “One for you and one for your future husband.” (I wasn’t dating anyone then). Of course, I still keep in contact with Yasu, my upstairs neighbor who took an entire year to work up the courage to introduce herself, and who ironically ended up being my closest friend ever (the adventures of Yasu and Anisa are unnumbered)! I could go on and on, but of the infinite things I miss most about Japan after leaving, my memorable relationships are unmatched.

2. Food — Oh, the food!

Of course, you knew this one was coming. The sushi. The perfect yet convenient bento boxes. The nabe in winter! The list goes on… Food is such a big and important part of Japan that I’m going to have to split my yearning for it into two different sections. First, the food itself. You know this; I know …continue reading