#8 – summarising – 10 things I will miss

The gym! This has been a critical part of my lifestyle and balance for over 20 years so, wherever I moved, the first thing I look for, even before accepting a job or taking a housing, is checking on the options for gym.

Tokyo is no different and possibly even more critical. So, soon as I landed, my 1st week end objective was to visit the gym I had identified on the internet. I started exercising at the club located downstairs my temporary apartment but could get the paperwork completed fast at the other one and started.

Since then, despite of the workload and the travel, they have seen me 2 to 5 times a week. This is a class only club and I would take 2 to 3 classes in a row at week ends.

Back home, my friends and I had created a group addicted to sh’bam and les mills tone so I naturally carried on here. I could also get back on track with Body Balance which was a nice surprise

Taeko San was a great teacher, smiling, fun to work out with. Her and a few other members taught me how to create paper cranes in origami. I was so sad to find out she had left when I came back from an extensive period of travel this fall to only find out that she was pregnant, so very happy for her and great to see her accidentally last October!

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Shbam was my preferred class in Brussels and here I enjoyed it with Taeko San first, then Coco San and then Yukiko San, she got injured which is very sad and I wish her full recovery shortly.

Hagimoto San is a fantastic body balance instructor and although he does not know, I learnt so much Japanese thanks to him. Thanks to him, I now know the verb forms (masu, masen, masho, aru, te etc…), sonomama, kamaimasen, sutte, haitte,  isho desu, dekireba. Repeating weekly the same thing can be boring for him but for me, great lesson!

Sara was very good with CX worx, I missed her when she left,

Izumi San left a few months after I joined but we kept the contact! And she taught me “mecha ii desu” and many slang words, remember Izumi San?

I did not get much opportunity to join Nina San’s classes as always fully booked but I know members love him and he always would wave hello to me.

Yuji San gave me a lot of energy, always fun, always joking, always on! What a character. Remember “amari, anne marie?” 😉. It was great to bump into him at our Shbam live day last October and congratulate the new father he has become

I then added body jam and improved my synchronization thanks to Hiro, Marina, Kazu, and Yaco. It is fun, good music, one hour of sweating and focusing on your moves

Finally, Sophie convinced me to try The Trip, spinning with a 3D screen, amazing! And thank you Mio San and Shun San for your smiles and energy, you are great.

In Japan, whatever Japanese do, they do full on so at the gym, people would come every day, attend multiple classes every time and come over uber mega equipped with matching attires, gym bag, mini bag, oxygen bottled water and all the rest. You guys also influenced me on this and I upgraded my outfits and shoes after observing you in action! You also study and care for whichever class, very remarkable

On top of this, I created my mini network there, Yoka, Yuka, Taeko and her husband, Maki and her husband, Sophie, Monica, Anna Lena, Julie and many more whose names I don’t know, sorry.

This is the place where I felt integrated, appreciated, respected and where I learnt a lot of Japanese

I felt very sad to cancel my membership. I will be back on drop in mode soon as Inget a chance to come to Tokyo. You contributed heavily to my wellbeing and happiness in Tokyo and I cannot thank you enough for that. I will miss you

Arigato gozaimashita.



Summarising #15

As I am drawing a line to my wonderful Japan Life and the blog that went with it, I will try to summarise and share with you ideas of things to do, visit, try, taste whether you come to visit or live here.
Fact #1 – I am pleased that I was able to visit 22 of the 47 prefectures so far, went from Wakkanai to Ishigaki
22/47 prefectures

1. Hokkaido

3. Iwate
4. Miyagi
5. Akita
6. Yamagata
7. Fukushima
8. Ibaraki
10. Gunma
11. Saitama
12. Chiba
13. Tokyo
15. Niigata
16. Toyama
18. Fukui
19. Yamanashi
20. Nagano
21. Gifu
22. Shizuoka
23. Aichi
24. Mie
25. Shiga
26. Kyoto
27. Osaka
28. Hyogo
29. Nara
30. Wakayama
31. Tottori
32. Shimane
33. Okayama
35. Yamaguchi
36. Tokushima
37. Kagawa
38. Ehime
39. Kochi
40. Fukuoka
41. Saga
44. Oita
45. Miyazaki
46. Kagoshima
47. Okinawa
I aimed to visit them all but I will come again and add to my list

Summarising #14

Fact #2 – In Tokyo, I aimed to explore all wards but could so far do 13 out of the 22, again I will come again and continue

Summarising #13 – my top 10 favorite places to visit

I visited the city 4 times in 3 years, spent time at the memorial museum on 3 occasions and went to Miyajima for one full day every time
Hiroshima has a special place in my heart, it is fun and friendly, people smile, speak loud, sing and are very inclusive
My 1st visit was when the Hiroshima Carp won the base ball league (again) in September 2017 and I ended up as one more in the citywide party absorbed by the locals
My 2nd visit included a ramen dinner where my neighbors took me around for the whole evening
And my 3rd visit was that time when I met an elderly couple at the table next to me, they engaged in a chat even so they would not speak English, he was 83 and she 85 at the time, she was an official Hiroshima victim, they told me their story and when we parted, they taught me the beautiful expression Ichigo ichi e
I usually enjoy Hiroshimayaki at Goemonand walk around Miyajima finishing with freshly baked and hot momiji manju, a true delight

Summarising #12

In these 3 years (less 1 month), I logged 22 visitors in year 1, 18 in year 2 and 15 in year 3, these are people who came and stayed at my place and decided to come because I was there (Zeynep, Henriette for example)
That shows the attraction Japan exercises currently and I could see the tourism growing at the same pace
However, let’s not fool ourselves, tourism is 67% driven by Greater China and Korea, unfortunately, in 2019, we faced a political crisis in Korea, a US trade war against China, demonstrations in Hong Kong.
The Japan statistics will certainly flag those but for 2019 and 2020 the numbers will remain positive thanks to Rugby World Cup and Olympics.
But what does the future bring?
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