life in japan

only in japan

With no wife there with us, my son and I still managed to leave Sweden and get back to Japan safe and sound. He was sleeping a lot, so I was having a lot of time admiring the ceiling of the airplane. All those little LED lights in the bluely lit up roof that made …

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otaku – part 2

The other day my son and I visited the bookstore at the nearby shoppingmall and a book on display, with a note saying recommended by staff, caught my attention. It was a book about a railroad level crossing, and without even looking inside I decided we would by it. Every time we take the bicycle …

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hot days

In between the days of rain there have been sunny beautiful too warm summer days this past week. One place to escape the heat is the local shopping mall that is quite empty during the mornings and offer plenty of space for our son to run. He has already figured the place out, knows his …

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the singing rice fields

Already a year has past since I in front of an open window enjoyed the rice frogs sining in the rice fields for the first time. And this year I have so come to love these fields – they feel like home. From the window I have been following them going from brown patches of dirt …

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otaku – part 1

Having had a few tough weeks with our son graduating from one cold to the next, there has been a lot of unusual lifestyle patterns forming at home. Our son waking up coughing in the middle of the night has been a frequent occurrence; when the coughing has stopped he does not want to go …

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a toilet story – part 2

In Japan, the toilet is often found in a little room where nothing but the actual toilet can be found; I guess the space saving reason explains a big part of why often there is no separate basin to wash hands. The other reason I can think of is to save water – while normally …

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set up for awkward

Our little family tries to surf in the rough sea of languages every day, the waves sometimes so violent that I fall of the surfing board and wash up on the shore all bruised. Especially so after a morning with my son at the playground. My wife and I speak Japanese and English, I speak …

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the color of light

When I came to Japan the first few times I knew almost no Japanese and tried to pick up a few words by listening to other people talking. Standing in front of a traffic light I heard children saying 赤 赤 赤 青 (aka aka aka ao) – so I learned that red was aka and …

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hanami

Hanami, 花見, literally meaning flower viewing but mostly used for cherry blossom viewing, is I think one of the most popular and favorite past times in Japan; this season everything has the cherry theme, from coffee to sweets to clothes, and everywhere there is a cherry tree, people are stopping and taking photos of the …

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there is always a story

Sometimes when I start to think about what to write in the next blog post, I feel empty, like there is nothing to say, nothing that makes sense to make a post about; this feeling was stronger than ever this week. Thinking about Ukraine, feeling completely under the weather for a few days after having …

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a toilet story – part 1

When I came to Japan for the first time 15 years ago, I was mesmerized by the Japanese toilets, not so much by their design as by their functions. In Sweden I was growing up having a toilet with a pull up handle to flush; when I grew older we got a state of the …

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the art of punctuality

Before meeting my wife, I always thought of Japan as a country where punctuality was deeply embedded in society, the image of trains always leaving and arriving on time being the prime example. Coming from Sweden where a train arriving on time is a bit of an oddity, together with my affinity for punctuality, Japan …

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