✨We are moving!! ✨
This meaningful update has been in the works for a while, and a process full of hopeful anticipation and prayer.
We are so excited to finally share the news!!
When I tell people that it snows in Japan, they are often surprised! They seem to imagine that Japan is a warm, tropical island locale full of bamboo and monkeys.
In reality, Japan is geographically diverse, and has four distinct seasons and a multitude of climates. The scenery varies widely, from pristine beaches and fields of lavender to crowded cityscapes and deep forest – bamboo and monkeys included!
For example, the area where we live in Hyogo has been said to resemble Germany or Switzerland. The mountains are covered with towering evergreens that are blanketed with snow for much of the winter season.
Yet, unlike 90% of Swiss residential areas, homes in Japan do not normally have central heating, and the walls can be thin and lack insulation. This is perfect for allowing wooden beams to breathe naturally, and has many benefits including decreasing damage during earthquakes, as well as increasing air flow and reducing mold during Japan’s humid summers. However, it can make for some very, very chilly winters indoors!
To learn more about just how cold it gets during the winters in Japan and the traditional (and not so traditional) ways to keep warm in a rural home without central heating, read on!
Overseas travel looks NOTHING like it did a few years ago. My husband and I are both seasoned travelers, having been to a combined total of more than 10 countries.
However due to the continually changing travel guidelines, under the pandemic that has stretched on for over 2 years, overseas travel has become a completely new experience.
There are still long queues, longer flights, and an array of pre-flight preparations to consider. Add to this extra regulations, unbelievable layovers, and the wildly unexpected, and you have today’s travel experience.
While single or married this might present its challenges, but add to the mix an infant, and everything has the potential to become just a little more overwhelming!
While traveling overseas with a baby does require more careful planning, it is manageable if you are willing to be flexible (and can deal with the possibility of temporary sleep deprivation – which most parents of infants are experts at already!).
Our most recent travels overseas took over 20.5 hours of flights and layovers from Japan to the U.S., and over 34.5 hours on return (that is not counting driving to and from the airports both ways!).
Based on our overseas travel experience, here are our tips for traveling with an infant overseas.
Our son Jamie is EBF, which means exclusively breastfed.
Although you might not see a lot of people breastfeed publicly in Japan, many public spaces are supportive of breastfeeding. The building where we grocery shop includes a breastfeeding area on the third floor, which can be easily accessed via elevator.
I have taken advantage of a few of these public “baby stations”, and they are very convenient!!
One thing that I have become passionate about during the last few years is interior design and decor.
I had the opportunity to work on several renovation / interior design projects for our business locations (which I will hopefully get to posting about at some point!), and now that those are completed, I’ve turned my creative energy toward redecorating and redesigning our home.
In this post, I will be sharing about one of the smaller projects I tackled, which was the tiny upstairs bathroom! This was a neat project because so many bathrooms in Japan are really just a closet-like space with a toilet. Making such a compact space look fresh was a lot of fun!
But first, a little background about our home..
The word is out.. we are expecting a boy!
The 1st trimester of this pregnancy seemed to drag on and on forever, but now at over halfway through the 2nd trimester, time is flying past so quickly. As a result, I want to make sure not to forget what I’ve learned along the way, and document it to share!
For example, I recently compiled a list of my pregnancy must-haves so far.
So, whether you are preparing for a future pregnancy, are experiencing your first pregnancy overseas in Japan, or just a mom veteran looking for ideas, I hope that you find this list helpful!
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Masashi and I have lived in the countryside for nearly two years.
Living in a small town in the countryside vs. a big city can be very different, no matter what part of the world you are from. However, there are certainly some things that set the rural mountain villages of Japan apart from the big cities like Tokyo!