Last night Kazu and Yumi (my brother- and sister-in-law) treated me to a late night dinner at an Izakaya or traditional Japanese sake bar. It was a form of initiation into the Tokyoite lifestyle –– all you can drink for two hours and numerous small plate orders of tasty bar food. The mixture of close family, great conversation, appealing food, ample beer and sake, and the Izakaya atmosphere was a wonderful way to end my first week as a resident of Japan.
As the evening was concluding, our waitress appeared with a surprise dessert in the form of a very special “Welcome to Japan” message from Kazu and Yumi.
I was overwhelmed with emotion and so grateful to my family and friends in Japan who have warmly embraced my decision to live here.
I have visited Japan nearly 20 times since 2001 for business and personal reasons, but last night I realized that I was being accepted as a Tokyoite. It was a touching and heart-warming sensation.