| Intro | Speech contest | Pizza delivery | Osechi foods | Gallery show | Marble house | Kamakura | Bonenkai | Bonenkai 2 | Emperor | Sapporo | Walking | Hanami | Visitors | Skiing | 7 Lucky gods | Visitor's survival guide | Kasuga |

There are days when I hardly imagine I'm living in Japan. I wake up, make coffee, check my e-mail. Shake Tod out of bed, get dressed, go to work. I generally hang out with a motley bunch of expatriates and Japanese who speak English and I rarely speak Japanese.

Other days, when the routine is broken, I feel like I'm living in a wonderland of new experiences and things to learn. Things we'd take for granted at home are different and fun to explore--like train stations and convenience stores. The local shrine is tiny and beautiful. The "station street" filled with parked bicycles and people hurrying to catch the next train makes me catch my breath.

I arrived in Japan in 1998 and these years have been amazing and wonderful. This series of vignettes about how I've spent my time here is taken in part from e-mail to friends and family. Other segments are newly created for the web. My daily weblog catalogs my impressions and activities in their awful day-to-day detail.

Copyright 2003. Kristen McQuillin,