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Kasumi, thanks for sharing the story. I hope it’s of some comfort to know that many others experience something similar when moving back and forth between countries when young. I can’t say hand on heart I can fully understand you — that would be a lie — but as a foreigner who has been in Japan 10 years, I have an intersting take on this all. When I first arrived here 10 years back, everything was so new and beautiful. For this year I was on the outside looking in and it felt wonderful. As the years have passed I have slowly had to assimilate (or try to). Japan has become more of a home and less a stopover. With that comes the baggage that is “responsibility” of many kinds. Whether it be school, work or family, you are tied and committed to being here (or there). You are no longer a tourist, you become a citizen and with that, so much of the fun seems to seep away. So, from being on the outside, you are now standing firmly on the inside looking out and it becomes very hard to see the beauty of where you are. This is maybe until somebody comes to stay from another country and it reminds you of those feelings of being a “visitor” once again. So, as much as I love Japan for all the amazing experiences and comforts it has given me over the year, I admit to complaining and feel at times I have fallen out of love with the place.

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