Bucket List–My Final Post

Hello, everyone!

I am writing this post from my couch, safe and sound, back in my home state of Michigan.

Looking back on my time in Japan, I’ve had a lot of things on my to-do list that I haven’t been able to do due to distance, construction, or time/money restraints, and I did get a little bit bummed out about it, but then I thought to myself, you know what? I’ve already done a lot! Some of the things I didn’t even think I’d ever accomplish, but was able to check off my bucket list!! Let me share with you some examples:

I went to Sanrio Puroland (an amusement park for Sanrio characters)

I designed a tattoo

I joked around with a radio station staff in Harajuku

I experienced two earthquakes

I got to ride a Shinkansen 3 times

I missed the last train home (and made it back safe on foot!)

I tried natto (and loved it!)

I tried umeboshi (and hated it)

I went to several shrines

I got my nails done

I went to a Japanese rave/club

I saw several wedding processions, both traditional and Western styles

I learned a lot about Japanese samurai and castles

I saw sakura (cherry blossoms) and ate tons of sakura flavored food

I am now featured on Google Maps’ street view next to my local train station

I walked right by a boyband signing autographs

I went to several summer fireworks displays (including a private showing on a mountainside lake)

I found a thrift store close to my apartment

I made my own dinner almost every day

I walked along two different beaches

I wore a kimono (and now have my own yukata!)

I ate almost every type of traditional Japanese food (except the meat dishes)

I went all over Tokyo, as well as Yokohama, Gunma, Nagoya, and Hakone

I went to Tokyo Disney Sea

I saw a 500-year old bonsai tree

I met a monkey and got to hang out with cats, hedgehogs, dogs, and all kinds of birds

I saw several politicians campaigning in the streets of Tokyo before the election for the new mayor

I got to drive to the top of two different mountains

I got to see a live concert event for free from my seat in a nearby restaurant

I discovered the cheapest places to get groceries, do karaoke, and go out to dinner

I made my own fudge (on the first try without any recipe!) along with other American sweets for my host family

I got to play with kids at a day care and an elementary school

I ate at a prison-themed restaurant

I went to two museums

I went inside an old castle

I attended a hip-hop dance class

I gave directions to other foreigners

I saw Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree

I went shopping down Character Street inside of Tokyo Station

I ate French flan, Liberian milk candy, Vegemite, and English toffee crisps

I saw two movies in the Japanese movie theaters

I ate traditional Nagoyan miso udon (spicy soy paste flavored noodles)

I learned calligraphy and traditional tea ceremony rituals

I read my favorite children’s book in Japanese

I went to several Studio Ghibli stores

I went inside a Buddha statue

I went to a bamboo forest

I saw three monks

…and probably many other things that aren’t coming to mind as I write this.

Thanks for following me this far during my travels to Japan!! I learned a lot on my trip, and I hope my readers could learn something, too! I’m thankful for my time abroad and for the opportunity to share it with so many other people.


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