On Moving to Tokyo and Living Life Offline

I made it. I’m officially a resident of the greater Tokyo area. In the thick of summer, temperatures don’t seem to sink below 80F and skyrocket to 100+F throughout the day with high humidity. Such intense heat makes moving into, unpacking, and decorating a new home quite an arduous task. Copious amounts of water and iced tea are being consumed, and I’m averaging about 2 showers a day. Other than that, I couldn’t be happier to be here. Up until moving day, I had been second guessing my decision to relocate, but now that I’m here, I know this was the right decision. Tokyo remains my favorite city on Earth. It’s crowded, but it is never boring.

The view from my balcony. I have a balcony. Is this real life?

My New Home…
My new apartment actually feels like a home, spacious enough for guests and slowly being decorated to make it my own. What’s more, I live in the quietest of residential neighborhoods. The walls are so thick that if I knock on them, my neighbors can’t hear me, and except for the singing cicadas, I remain undisturbed by any outside noise. I am happy here. Location wise, I am only two stations away from Chinatown and one station away from Yokohama Station, a central meeting area full of department stores, restaurants, and train lines that head directly into Tokyo’s city center. While I live about a 15 minute walk from the nearest train stations, supermarkets, and convenience stores, I am grateful for the exercise and to be surrounded by local businesses. One of my goals while living in Tokyo is to feel comfortable moving at my own pace in a city that moves at 100 miles an hour. Part of the solution is living in a quiet apartment space where I can go to recharge and rebalance, and I’ve found/am creating a home that provides exactly that.

New hair for a new chapter in life. Lighter colored hair and a side bang. Woot!

For Now…
July and August were nonstop madness. Between working full time, traveling back and forth between Nagasaki and Tokyo, and packing, I was forced to reevaluate how I want to prioritize my time. I haven’t had a moment to stop and reflect on the past year or express my gratitude to the people who have helped me build a life here. So I’m looking forward to a quiet September where I can do that, revel in the experiences of the past year and imagine/begin creating the kind of life I want here in Tokyo.

For now, my focus is directed towards setting up a new home, showing friends around the city, and studying Japanese. My phone is full of notes about places I want to go, festivals I want to attend, and all sorts of new experiences I want to try. Did you know Tokyo has a trampoline park where you can actually go to exercise? Yeah, I didn’t either. It’s on my list. I’ll be trying loads of new restaurants, going to meetups, hiking, traveling, taking all sorts of different classes, mastering Tokyo’s maze of train lines, improving my photography, cooking, and getting better acquainted with my new neighborhood. All things that will mean less time on the computer.

Recently, I owned up to the fact that mindlessly browsing the internet for hours on end is a huge waste of time. What’s more, I become unhappy and stressed fairly quickly, and I’ve come to learn that every moment I spend online is an opportunity missed to connect with my surroundings. What it comes down to is that I now live in one of the greatest cities on Earth so this is the time to start living more offline.

Mizuguchi Shokudou

Iributa pork set with rice and miso soup from a restaurant called Mizuguchi Shokudou in Asakusa.

I will continue to write on Sushiyama Travels, but I won’t be sticking to a posting schedule, trying to write for an audience, sending out a newsletter, or sharing the crap out of it on social media. This blog is reverting back to my own digital travel journal where I write what I want to remember about the experiences I’ve had. Nowadays, since the internet is saturated with information about how/when/where to travel, I struggle to generate new ideas for travel advice and my blog has suffered because of it. So from here on out, I’ll only be writing for pleasure as this way will be the best use of my time and this space.

If you previously subscribed to my newsletter (thank you, by the way), you know that I’m putting the finishing touches on my second photo collection, Will Work for Japan. The idea behind WWFJ is to entice you to visit through a collection of 100+ from all around Japan and arm you with the resources to make the most of your time here. It will be for sale starting September 30. In addition to finishing WWFJ, I’ll be adding a ton of my favorite spots in Japan over on Odigo‘s website. If you’re coming to Japan soon, keep an eye on my Odigo profile page for tips from Tokyo and cities all over the country.

At the time of this posting, I am on vacation in South Korea. It probably wasn’t the wisest idea to plan this trip during moving month, but I’m grateful for the brief pause from Japan to begin reflecting on the past year, letting my mind rest, and indulging in Korean food and culture.

Anyway, cheers to a new chapter. Hope to see you soon in Tokyo.

Leave a Reply