Omiyage (souvenir) is a big part of this culture. It never ceases to surprise me when a student returns from a holiday, either domestic or abroad, and pulls out something for me from wherever they had been. Just in the past few weeks I have been given some mints from Hawaii (maybe she’s trying to tell me something), banana crackers from Malaysia, and some chocolate from my favorite city, New York. Why are these people so thoughtful? To me, I am just a teacher, but to them I am someone important I guess. This is just one of the small things that make living in Japan a nice experience.