"Let life enchant you again." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Travel
August 16, 2013

On Settling In And Sorting Out Trash In Japan

A new chapter of life opens in Japan and sorting out the trash seems like a metaphor for the way building a life promises to be different to everywhere else I’ve lived.

Yesterday morning at dawn I flew into Tokyo’s Narita airport to begin a new adventure in Japan.

Right now I’m knee deep in unpacking my kitchen. Although we have less cooking space here in Tokyo, the storage design is so smart I’m confident everything will fit & cooking will be a lot of fun (again).

Yesterday was a wonderful first day. Despite feeling tired, I had a blast working out my new home’s high tech toilets, motion sensing & programmable lighting and getting my fingerprint recorded for the front door locks.

Our Internet is connected and fast! How fast? Well, we are signed up to the new 2Gbps service, though of course none of our computers can actually suck down web pages that fast. Still, downloading updates at over 400 Mbps is nice!

And, my press accreditation came through for the Tokyo International Film Festival in October, which I’ll be covering for The Society For Film.

One thing that has me worried a little is sorting the trash. In Singapore we had very basic sorting – regular trash, collected most days & recycling, collected every 3-4 weeks and occasionally just thrown in with the regular trash anyway.

Here in Tokyo we have to separate out the plastics, from P.E.T. bottles, glass bottles and jars, cans, paper combustible and non-combustible trash. That’s seven different categories with different collection times and practices.

The coming weekend will involve some more unpacking while also exploring the local parks and shops. I’ve already found a wonderful Indian grocer, the catering sized packs of cumin seeds wiping away the comments I’d read online about it being hard to find non-Japanese flavours in Tokyo.

But, there is so much more to explore. There are at least three nice parks within walking distance (maybe more) and a much needed visit to Tokyu Hands for some tools (local voltage is 100V) is on the cards.

But, for now, things are going well. Remarkably well in fact. And, this city – wow, it’s amazing!


Paul 11 years ago

Congrats on the move and starting to get settled. I am sure the weather and environs will be much more appealing than HK, though perhaps a bit too sanitary 😉

Looking forward to the future artistic inspirations that this city provides you. 🙂


Yamabuki Zhou 11 years ago

Tokyo is amazing. I love how pedestrians and people on bicycles share the sidewalks. Tokyo is so huge that you can always find new and fun and unusual places to walk. Weather on the other hand can be extreme at times. I seriously worry the Japanese problem of radiation in food, especially fish and vegetables. Japanese language is rather difficult, but the people are usually very accommodating and helpful. In stores the customer is always right.

I think you will very much enjoy Tokyo. I look forward to reading about your ongoing adventures.

Toni 11 years ago

It sounds like you’ll settle in just fine, and I’m glad it’s working out OK.

Some time I’d love to visit Japan, and would like to have a couple of days hunting out old guitars – the music shops are legendary.

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