What I really miss about Japan

japan student drawing

(click to enlarge)

I often have trouble articulating why I miss Japan so much. But I do. I miss it like hell.

I certainly don't miss the crowded trains, long working hours, searing summer heat, endless bureaucracy,  expensive travel, obnoxious salarymen and cramped houses.

So what do I miss, then?

Even now I can't put it into words. But it has to do with the people – the warmth, positivity, community ethos and unconditional generosity that many Japanese are capable of, and which make you feel good about life.

I spent some time teaching in a junior high school in Tokyo. When I left, some students made this for me in our last lesson. Even if you can't read Japanese, I'm sure you can image how it made me feel.

When I see this, it sums up everything I love about Japan. And why I miss it so much.



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