March Wrap Up

March, by Nathan

March was was a little less crazy than February. Maybe because I was not worrying about my fiance traveling back and forth between Hong Kong. Fun fact, supposedly "Hong Kong" is the only word you can say with out moving your lips or tongue. Try it yourself!

Haha, bet you feel silly. 

My team has hit our stride and we are making a late push for the playoffs. We went 9-1 this month, and we are currently on a 9 game win streak  Hopefully, we keep playing well and stay hot throughout the month of April.

Valentines day or "White day" as they call it in Japan was my favorite time from the past month. I had a blast getting Jacy all of her favorite treats and going to dinner with her. We also celebrated St. Patrick's day with all of the other tourists in Japan. 

April could be our last full month here, and it is going to be a busy month for sure. We play 3 home games, 2 of which Jacy's Dad will be here for, and then my parents will arrive just in time for our last game of the season against Okinawa!

March, by Jacy

First of all, we were promised warmer weather in March. It is now officially April and I am still officially cold. There have been a few pretty days, but for the most part still in the 50-60's range, and still wearing pants and coats when we go out, while all of our friends back home in Texas are laying out by the pool. Maybe April will be the lucky month! Nathan's team is currently on a 9 game win streak, so going to the games is a lot of fun. They just came home from back to back road trips, with only one road trip left. Its so strange to think that our time here is winding down, and by the time we do next months wrap up, we could be really close to heading home. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we are really missing Texas lately. I think its because we are in the "home stretch."

This month we found some new areas in the city we hadn't been to yet. I am now completely comfortable navigating the city and figuring out my way anywhere. It is obvious lately that spring time is tourist season in Japan. I see more and more travelers every day. This makes me so excited! We have already met new people from Germany and Britain. My time helping out at the school came to an end, but I found a new project to occupy some time. A fashion magazine that operates here in Osaka that is going to let me help out with some upcoming projects! I am so excited for the next few weeks because my Dad comes to visit on Friday, and a week after he leaves Nathan's parents are coming. April is going to be a very busy month for us!

Favorite place we visited:

N: Our road trip to Sendei. That is where the huge Tsunami and Earthquake happened 2 years ago. Seeing the damage that was done and seeing how far inland (about 6 miles) the damage had stretched was unbelievable. The area is still being built back and there was a huge pile of boats that had been brought up onto the land. It was eye opening experience.

J: Chayamachi at Umeda is my new favorite spot in Osaka. I love all adorable shops and cafes, and I cant believe we didn't discover this area sooner. Loft is my new favorite store. (Not the US Loft by Ann Taylor) I could literally spend hours in there!

Favorite food we tried:

N: I have a tie this month for favorite food. The dessert we had at a waffle cafe, waffles and ice cream. I have never had waffels for dessert before and it was OISHI!! (Delicious for you non japanese speakers) We also fried our own chicken tenders at home from scratch. Since they don't have Chili's or Chikfila here, that was something I was missing.

J: The Hawaiin restaurant our friend introduced us too at Namba Parks. I had a turkey sandwich and french fries! Those aren't easy to come by in Japan. This is probably way less exciting to the people back home reading this, but that was my first turkey sandwich in 3 months. Funny how we both picked American food for our favorites this month.

Biggest surprise:

N: That the weather is still cold! I thought for sure that the month of March would bring warmer weather but no. Hopefully April can bring some sunshine

J: How many tourists are here now. I can count on one hand how many tourists I saw in Dec/Jan/Feb, but now I walk into a restaurant or the train station and hear people speaking English! In a weird way that is really comforting.

Biggest challenge:

N: One challenge I have is when ordering food the language barrier gets in the way and makes it difficult to get exactly what you want. When ordering a burger, it is extremely difficult to tell the person taking your order that you dont want pickles, or that you want your burger plain. You pretty much have to take everything exactly how it comes, but I miss being able to have it the way I want it.

J: For me it is still the weather. I miss the sun so much! All of my poor neglected dresses in my closet will never get to see Japan.

New words learned:

N: "Onaka ippai" which means "I'm full." Even though I don't get full very often. And kawaii which means "cute." Jacy K is very kawaii.

J: I can now read "shampoo" and "conditioner" in Japanese characters. Pretty thrifty skill I taught myself while shopping this month. I can also write my name in Japanese characters.

Missing most about back home:

N: The weather! Geez I hate skyping and seeing my friends and family walking around in shorts and t-shirts in 80+ degree weather. Geez bring the heat Japan.

J: My nephews. I feel like they are going to look completely different by the time we get back home. Last week was opening day for the 4 of them who play baseball, and I wish I could have been there!

Favorite memory from this month:

N: My team had a huge come from behind win against a tough team. We tied the game in the closing seconds of regulation and then ended up winning in overtime! It was a great team win and we had ALOT of fun celebrating afterwards.

J: Learning how to make okonomiyaki was pretty cool! I really wanted to be abel to make something Japanese so when I got home everyone could try it,

Looking forward to next month:

N: April is going to be a blast. The weather will be warmer and both of our parents are coming to visit. Jacy's dad arrives in 3 short days and then my parents will come about 3 weeks after that. We are excited to show them Japan and take them to all of our favorite spots. Hopefully they like sushi!

J: So much to look forward to in April! Im excited for our visitors to get here and to show them around Japan. Plus that menas we get to go back and visit all of our favorite places again when we take them there. I am excited to visit Kyoto, and hopefully take in a Japanese baseball game. Nathan's final games should be exciting too, especially with a chance of making the playoffs!

Ramen and gyoza, a perfect meal 

At our favorite restaurant on White Day. 

Making some Korean BBQ

Basketball wore our Nathan and Pepper 

Making okonomiyaki

Hanging out at Hep5



Loft at Chayamachi, my favorite!

Tourist season and spring break = insane crowds!


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