Nov 17, 2015

Getting Lost in Japan

Getting Lost in Japan photo
About seven months I found myself in a new town. Three years previous to my move I had been living in the same small town in Japan. It was great! I no longer needed GPS or feared I would get lost. I knew the back roads, and short cuts to get around town. I had my own little part of Japan all mapped out. Then...I moved. I no longer was familiar with my surroundings. I had to find new restaurants, shopping malls, and grocery stores. 

Around the time of my move I got a message from someone. This person was also moving to the same town as me. He asked me where he could find good restaurants, grocery stores, and everything in between. Being new to the town myself I really didn't have any answers for him. Other than get lost!

That's my advice to you! Big or small, the size of your town doesn't matter. When moving to a new town you've got to explore. I didn't even have a car my first year in Japan, which meant all my travels would have to be done on foot. Nor did I have a smart phone at the time, which meant no GPS. So, I armed myself with a paper map and a general idea of where I lived I started walking. I found grocery stores, restaurants and everything in between.

To be honest most local mom and pop places you find in your town aren't going to have a website and probably won't show up on any google search. Also, nine times out of ten the local places are going to be better than the chain shops. It's well worth your time to check them out. It will do you a lot of good to find which grocery stores have the best produce or which shops offer unique things to your town.

So go! Get lost! Well, don't actually get lost. That would be terrible. But go, go and explore your town!  It's full of adventure just waiting to be discovered.

When this happened I made a video about it...check it out!

Photo courtesy of Kazz Takahashi Photography


Andrew Higgins has been living in Japan full-time since 2012. He is a junior high school ALT, softball coach, lover of okonomiyaki (Osaka style), and all things Girls und Panzer. He makes YouTube videos about living in Japan. You can follow his adventures at facebook.com/HigginsInJapan