Over the last five or so years I’ve often been asked why I live in Japan when Australia is such a beautiful country with many clean beaches & mountain retreats close at hand. In addition it has a climate that encourages outdoor activities including a large variety of sport such as golf, tennis, cricket, soccer, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football, basketball,athletics, swimming, rowing, boating, surfing,wind surfing etc & a little unknown aspect of Australia’s climate is that it snows in some mountain areas & there are ski resorts.
Australia with a multi-cultural population of around 25 million people is a country that experiences seasonal bushfires, drought, floods yet unlike Japan has to date been free from strong earthquakes although it ocassionally has some very weak ones caused by the Indo-Australian tectonic plate moving northeastly and some subsidence around the Great Australian Bight.
Please forgive me, for I have strayed from the reason for this posting,why I live in Japan.
I guess there are a number of grounds, The first being my previous experience as a Tokyo resident when I worked with American Express, in those days I played hard, worked long hours & lived the life of a high roller (well it was in the bubble years) but there was something more intangible that made me feel so comfortable – the feeling of freedom – which may sound a bit strange given a population then of around 120 million (Australia had about 12 million) but it was the friendliness of the Japanese that touched my heart.
Today I have that same feeling but it’s even more so as my students are such a joy to be with and it’s magical seeing them improve their English some amazingly fast & others who find it hard going but never give up & naturally low & behold they slowly but surely make me feel proud of their tenacity & their success.
In addition Japan has an incredibly interesting culture which I learn so much about by visiting temples as they almost always have some association with Japanese history. There is so much to do here with family or friends or even alone & it’s so wonderful entertaining visitors from other countries who are astounded by the cleanliness of Japan, its transportation system & the harmony that ebbs & flows throughout the very big Tokyo metropolis.
Another question I’m asked often is what part of Tokyo do you like best my answer is simple it’s Koenji where I am known, am treated with respect & am allowed to get on with my own life.
Smith’s School of English Koenji