Fresh Out of College and Back to Japan

It has not even been a full calendar year since the end of my year long study abroad in Japan last year, yet I now myself packing my bags to move to Japan once again.

I will be teaching English to junior highschool students in Yamagata Prefecture as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) through the JET Program for the next year(s).

My year in Tokyo felt like 2–3 years packed into one and completely redefined both who I am and the future I will work for.

Let’s see where these years take me.

The Departure

The year in between my return and my departure back to Tokyo was an absolute blur.

After readjusting to my life back at UCSB, I saw my last year of college flash by and before I knew it I was looking out at this.

UCSB Class of 2015!
Chancellor Yang handing out the diplomas
The fact that I have graduated college still has not fully hit me.

The month and a half of summer I had after was even shorter. But it was the much needed break I needed between the stress of finals and moving out.

My family and I even managed to fit in a short vacation to Hawaii.
Nothing quite says vacation than Hawaii for me

As much as I wanted to return to Japan, I have to admit that leaving the beautiful California coast was bittersweet. Family and friends too.

Huntington Beach, California

With no time to look back however, I hastily packed my life up into two suitcases and two backpacks.

One suit case for my bike, and another for… everything else.

Then after a very very long 15 hour commute, I found myself back once again in the place I consider my second home, Tokyo.

The skyscraper district of Shinjuku

I never was ready to give up the life that had formed around me here in Tokyo last year and wanted to return to this city ever since I landed in LAX one year ago.

The welcome reception for JET participants from all around the world.

These past two days and a half have been a whirlwind of training sessions with over 1,300 other JETs from all around the world.

A quick dinner with some of my friends from ICU.
Friends from middle school and UCSB in Shibuya

Yet, through grabbing a last second dinner with my friends from International Christian University 2 hours after I landed, to waking up at 4am to ride the train lines around Tokyo, and meeting up with friends from America in Shibuya, I was able to return to my past life abroad and the truly endless excitement of this city of over 38 million.

I love Tokyo more than anywhere in the world and find it hard to accept that I will be living so far from here in the farming community of Tsuruoka.

But I guess its time to start a fresh page once again.

Yamagata Prefecture, the place that I will be calling home now.

I am now about to fly out to the Shonai region of Japan in Yamagata Prefecture.