Friday, 6 March 2020

I'm back!!

Hi!  Long time no see, and what a journey the last 2 years have been.  If you had been a regular reader / follower of my blog you haven't heard from me in a year and a half and you would have noticed that I had slowed right down with my posts in the 6 - 12 months before that.  If you know me, you probably know most of what has happened to me over the last couple of years.  For those of you who don't know me, you may be asking "What happened?  Where have you been?".  Well, please allow me to fill you in.

My last year in Japan, especially, was not so enjoyable.  I developed some health issues and subsequently spent some time in hospital.  The issues I had in Japan made me realise that if something serious did happen to me, I had no social welfare assistance in Japan.  Of course I had health insurance but if I had to spend any length of time off work, I would have zero income.  This was on factor.

The second factor was that I realised that, in all, I had spent nearly a quarter of my life living away from my family, my brothers, sisters and my mother.  I had a nephew that I had never met and a great niece that I hope to meet soon.

So, I made the heartbreaking decision to return home, to my birth home and I make that distinction because Japan had become my home.  I say heartbreaking because the night that I made the decision to finish my life in Japan, I was in tears.  I left many dear friends in Japan and I left a big part of my heart in Japan.  Those of you who read these pages regularly will know the passion that I had for Japan and sharing the lesser known parts of Japan, Japanese history and Japanese culture and for sharing this with people.  So, yes, I have left a lot of me back in Japan.  I hope people continue to come here and read about the magical country that I home.

The first couple of months back home, I felt totally lost, completely disoriented and confused.  I am incredibly lucky that I had family to move back to (my older sister who gave me a roof and some time for me to start clearing my head before she, thankfully, picked me up, gave me a kick up the bum and told me to get on with my life again).  I spent Christmas with most of my family (which helped).  

Just today I decided that I am going to continue with this blog, just with a change in focus from Japan to the rest of my life's adventures.  That is why I am here now.  I am going to keep going with this blog, as it gives me something productive to do.  Also I thought to myself, when I eventually do leave this world, what will I have left behind?  Nothing concrete.  But by keeping this going, I leave this behind, my life less normal (don't worry, I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon!!).  I will go back to Japan, I am putting plans in place for my next visit as you read this.  As I said, I left a big part of myself back there and left some people who are incredibly close to me there and I say to them, I will see you soon.

So, what now?  I want to share a part of a poem about where I come from.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror,
The wide brown land for me!
(Written by Dorothea Mackellar.  Full version can be found here.)

This is Australia and welcome to my next chapter......


  1. Hello Jason. Welcome back to the land downunder. No doubt you will miss the ramen haunts,torii gates, sakura etc.Fortunately, there a few more good Japanese restaurants here now, so I expect you will be able to tuck into some good Nihon tucker here. Although you have not been well, I guess it is a good time to be out of the land of the rising sun right now;although Oz is also being effected to a lesser degree in respect to the virus sweeping the world. Hopefully now that you are back on home turf,your health will pick up and get yourself back in good shape to visit Japan after the virus has run it's course. The Bombers have again gone down in a screaming heap with injuries, so we may see them struggle again.Fantasia was a dud last year and is so injury prone..a puff of wind can blow him over.Daniher's last 2 years have been disasterous and I doubt if we will see him play AFL again.Captain Dyson could have ongoing foot problems and he will be missed if he fails to measure up. All the best ..ogenki de to dewa mata..Noel.

    1. Hi Noel, good to hear from you again. Being based in Melbourne now, there are a few more Japanese restaurants to try here and I am looking forward to trying them and a lot of other restaurants. As for the Bombers, I have no expectations seeing that I have been gone so long, but I hope to get along to some games this season.

    2. Hello Jason.
      Yoyogi Restaurant in Swanston St. left handside going up the the hill, was a favourite spot of mine going back a few years now and if it is still operating,then I reckon it is worth a try.It was not expensive back then and it had a good range of Japanese food.AS I recall it is just a couple steets away from Collins St.There was a Nihonjin behind the counter with died blonde hair..he looked like he could have been the boos..perhaps he is still there. I have always liked Melbourne and there will be plenty of good restaurants of all kinds there to suit your taste. I have a feeling you will be familiar with the name Yoyogi as I believe it is a popular park in the heart of Tokyo. I can imagine you will feel like a tourist for a while and with your camera be able to promote Melbourne to your Nihon no tomodachi.

  2. Hi Jason, I've been following you off and on and was hoping you'd gate in touch after your return. You can keep up your interest with Japan here in Adelaide with lots of like minded people. Get in touch. Regards, Mike Dunphy

  3. Hi Jason,

    Welcome back and let me celebrate your new adventures starting from the post! I'm also happy to get an update notification of this blog as one of the readers in Tokyo. Your viewpoints are always filled with warmth, and consideration of Japan. I look forward seeing your next posts!


    1. Hi Moto, thank you for continuing to read and thank you for leaving another message. I am always happy when people continue to read. Please don't hesitate to leave me a message on any post.