Japan is a land of evergreen trees.

As you fly over the long, narrow island, you realise just how much of the country is covered in mountainous forest. Pine, cedar and maple prevail, with light pink cherry blossoms dusting the green in spring. Pine especially has taken on a special meaning to me, as it is now apart of my last name.

Japan is also a land of coffee. A nation which drank green tea for centuries, it is now the norm to be offered a cup of black, unsweetened coffee with your breakfast or after dinner. Canned coffee is bought from vending machines. Starbucks is mobbed for their seasonal frappuccinos. Trendy, independent coffee shops selling single-origin brews are just beginning to spring up in the big cities. I love coffee, I love coffee shops, and I am thankful that this caffeinated beverage has captured the heart of Japan.

I moved to Tokyo in February 2015, a recent university graduate with a degree in Japanese. Since then, I have moved cities, tried different jobs, and married the love of my life in a Japanese wedding. I am committed to going wherever God tells me to go, but I can say with relative certainty that Japan will most likely be home for the rest of my life.

Japan is a land of contradictions, paradoxes, some frustrations yet more beauty. It is a never-ending journey of learning, adjusting, sharing, and inspiring. There is a Japanese proverb I have learned: 住めば都 - sumeba miyako. Home is where you make it. I hope you enjoy the journey with me as I make my home in the land of the rising sun.

(For a more detailed account of my journey to Japan, see A Love Story, and for some of the other things I love about Japan, read Home.)


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