I feel like we’ve been here for three months, and it’s only been three weeks. How?! Time moves slow when you’ve moved to a new city, or (in this case) a new country. Living and vacationing are two completely different things that I’ve so quickly come to learn. Vacationing: new hair, new pedicure, new clothes, nice resort (preferably ocean view), pool service, restaurant downstairs, tour guide, friends, family, the whole 9 innings. Life’s just peachy! Living: ISO new hair salon, nail salon, same 10 shirts and 3 pairs of shorts, no resort, no pool or beach, no tour guide, restaurants without English, no friends (yet), no family, nada. We are on our own! Now, those who know me know I rarely get my nails done, go on fancy vacations, or tend to be high maintenance WHATSOEVER, but I will say these things do come to mind when you’re actually living somewhere you have never been and you have no idea where anything is or what is popular! Yelp!, Uber Eats, and the Japan Travel App have become our best friend.
Don’t let me steer you the wrong way here, I like it in Japan, it’s just very different than what either of us are used to. When everyone has been asking “how’s it going?”, or “what all have you seen?”, all I can truly say is we are adjusting! We are adjusting to the weather (96 degrees with 90% humidity), the rules, the transportation, the culture, etc. It’s a different way of life here as I talked about in my last post. Positively, life’s peach is growing on us. There is much to do and much more to see! I’m truly excited to keep exploring!
We’ve visited two different cities in the last couple of weeks; Harajuku and Ginza. Both were a sight to see and close to where we live; either walking distance or a train ride away from Shibuya.
If you want to go anywhere that is not within walking distance, you will have to take the train (or cab, but it can be expensive). I finally got to ride the train for the first time to Ginza! It was way easier than I thought it would be, and it gets you to where you want to go really quick! I got the PASMO card at the station for ¥500, and it costs ¥100 per ride (~$1.00). You load it up with however much Yen you want, and off you go! Just make sure to pay attention to which stop you started and where you want to get off. There are different train “lines” that go to different cities so make sure you know exactly where you’re going. Also, the seating is different than the states. You can’t just sit or stand anywhere, they have “Priority” seating for pregnant women, those with children, elders and handicap. If seats are taken, you will be standing and hopefully you don’t have a long way to go!
I know ya’ll are singing Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku Girls” song in your head! Yes it’s a real place and Harajuku Girls are real thing in Japan. I really like this city and highly recommend, we’ve been multiple times for lunch and shopping. They are known for their fashion scene, high-end stores (YSL, Louis Vuitton, Gucci), vintage clothing, trendy cafes and small bars. It’s definitely a great place to people watch, and seems to be a more socially-acceptable city to have tattoos, wear what you want, and have different color hair (I’m basing this off of assumption from what I have seen).
Our favorite spot to eat in Harajuku is Island Vintage Coffee. If you’re a coffee lover, this place is for you (if you can get a seat, very busy!). We can’t get enough of their spicy poke bowls and acai fruit bowls. If I’m being honest, it’s better than what we had in IB, and that is tough to beat! We also tried Catch the Cajun Seafood for dinner one night, some of the most fresh seafood I have ever tried. It’s pricey, but well worth it! They have amazing mojitos there, too, just sayin’.
Jason’s teammate, wife and their son took us to dinner at Bareburger in Ginza (new friends!). We took the train there and when you get off, you can walk under ground at the station until you reach your location. There are shops, restaurants, and all kinds of stores underground I never would have known to be there! It was super cool to see and something I am very unfamiliar with. When we reached where we wanted to go, we took the elevator up to the restaurant and you’re in! Note: they like to keep it TIGHT in those elevators, I counted 17 of us stuffed in there. It was a little much, but just be prepared. Tip: Don’t cough or sneeze, it is considered disrespectful.
Ginza is known for their high-end shopping stores, entertainment, fine dining, night clubs, restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking for some night-life then this will be a good place to go. We didn’t spend a lot of time here, but definitely will be back!
ON THE PERSONAL SIDE OF THINGS
This blog is not only to document our life and baseball adventures, but to also talk about the realness of it all. A couple of things I miss the most:
- I will never, EVER take for granted having to drive anywhere again. Having to walk to the gym, to the store, to eat, or anywhere for that matter, I’ve never sweat so much in my life! The humidity is crazy here. I just tell myself “you’re gonna have great legs and a great peach when all this is over”.
- If you know me, then you know I am always staying busy! I don’t necessarily miss working, but I miss having something I HAVE to do (and a steady income, of course). I can’t work here in Japan without a work visa, so I will just enjoy it while it lasts. I know, rough life!
- The beach
- There are beaches here, but they are not close to us in Tokyo. It was so nice living on the beach in San Diego, something I had always dreamed of. The sound of the waves at night, being able to just walk down and get some vitamin sea whenever we wanted; it was all surreal, but we had it! Even though it only last a few months, I will wait for the day we can make that happen again!
- Friends and family
- I miss my friends and family back home. I hate having serious FOMO. I miss seeing my best friend’s babies grow up, meeting my mom for a quick dinner, meeting people for coffee or drinks, knowing everything is right there when you need it. It’s hard knowing FaceTime, texting and social media is our only means of communication, and I’m 16 hours ahead of them. When my morning is just starting, everyone’s days are almost over. I feel like I am playing catch-up! Luckily, I have the best of friends and family that still make me feel like home, even when I’m a million miles away.
- Advice: Something I have had to personally overcome is caring about what others think. When we got this offer, I was so worried about what my friends and family would think of me moving, disappointing those who care about me. If you’re in this baseball life, then you know the feeling! But what I have come to figure out, they have their own lives and I have mine. True colors will be shown when you do something to benefit yourself that doesn’t benefit others. I chose this life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am proud to be here, proud that I take opportunity by the horns, and am not afraid to try something new. So what I am trying to say here babes, take that trip, get on that plane, go do that thing you’ve always wanted to do, do something that scares you, and get out of your comfort zone!
I was finally able to get a gym membership here! If you read my last post, you know it wasn’t an easy process. Even though the registration form was in Japanese, I was able to figure it out and get a month’s pass at Gold’s Gym. If you live here, are moving here, or plan to visit Tokyo, a couple of things to note when using the gym:
- Cover up your tattoos. No matter the size or location, DO NOT have them showing. (I got scolded the one day I didn’t hide mine, not fun).
- Bring an extra pair of “indoor shoes” to change into before entering the locker room or gym area.
- Bring a sweat towel, or you will mop it up yourself if you drip on the floor (they have signs everywhere that say so).
- Do not make phone calls anywhere in the gym or locker room. Texting or changing a song seems to be fine, but I try not to take chances.
Jason has been grinding hard and working his peach off every day! Whoever said something was impossible, this man will prove you wrong. He is the definition of passion, motivation, success-driven, and hard working. I am one proud GF!! He is adjusting to their baseball here, as it is very different than the states or Mexico. For those who don’t know, the ball is actually smaller here than in the states. He has already made many fans, and enjoying his new baseball career with the Tokyo Swallows! I haven’t been able to attend any games yet (they are far away, for now), but I will be posting as soon as I am able to! Go #61!
Feel free to share, like, comment, or ask any questions! I will be updating with new cities and adventures soon! Thanks for reading babes! Keep it peachy. XO #lifespeachy