First, Important news: I've accepted the job in Osaka and I will be moving there after my contract is over in Sano. I'll be teaching at one junior high school in comparison to the 4 Elementary schools and 1 JH right now.
I'm having a difficult time deciding where to live though. I have a few options. I could live in the center of Osaka but have a 30-40 minute commute by train everyday. I could try to live inbetween my school and central osaka, and have a 17 minute commute both ways. Or I could live by my school and have a bike commute to my school and a 30-40 minute commute to central Osaka.
A friend of mine that grew up in Osaka recommended living just outside central Osaka and taking a 30 minute commute to school. Another friend said that she does that commute and she doesn't mind it. Since my contract is only from Sept - March I might just try to live really near central Osaka and deal with the commute. My company reimburses travel so thats not a problem, also I'd be going to the outskirts of the city vs coming into the center so it wouldn't be so crowded on trains. I'm having a really hard time deciding.... what should I do?
Next: I can't believe almost one year has passed since I came back to Japan for the second time. I'm sure my family and friends back home can believe it though. It's going to be hard to be away from them for a while again.
It seems the older I get the faster every year goes by. 2008 kind of sucked, but this year has been better to me. I think this year has gone fast because I've been keeping very busy. During the week I work all day, then once I get home I stay busy until I go to bed so the days go fast.
I also can't believe my final month in Sano has come. It seems in my life, every time I move somewhere new at first I don't like it or it isn't that great. Over time every new place I move to I get used to and like it. The problem is once I get used to it and like it I move again. This seems to be a reoccuring theme in my life.
I remember complaining alot about Sano when I first got here. Now after a year has passed I've gotten really used to it. I've actually come to like it. I've made many friends here and had alot of good times.
The other thing I've realized is that in Japan, you can never go back to the place you've been and have it be the same as it was. What I mean is even if I go back to Tokyo the friends I had there when I studied here won't be there so the place won't be the same. I think that Sano will be similar to this because alot of people are going home. I plan on coming back to Sano eventually and I do hope to see the friends I've made here that are going home again someday.
The other good thing about living here is the range of friends you make. They come from so many contries that 5 or so years from now I can go anywhere in the world and have a friend hah.
Other News: I went to Nakoso Beach in Fukushima prefecture over the last weekend. There were a total of around 30 people that went. We left early Saturday morning, got there, checked in and had a BBQ on the beach all day. We had the whole beach to ourselves. It was cloudly all day, but that was ok because the temperature was great. The water was freezing but I still swam alot. I went all the way out to some rocks that were a ways out there. At night we had fireworks and relaxed. Sunday morning we went for a walk on the beach and then cleaned up. We headed back to Sano around 1 or 2. There are so many pictures on facebook its ridiculous... Here are just a few.