Japan Diary: March 16th (2010)

Tuesday March 16th (2010) – “Like a date”

Today both Hiro and I were up relatively early. We were both sitting in the living room, like always and I hoped he would come up with some kind of idea of how to spend the day. I wanted to go somewhere and what surprised me the most was that I wanted to go somewhere with him.

“What should we do?” I asked in a whiny voice.

Hiro looked at me and I could tell he was trying to think.

“What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know” I said and pretended to think, but in reality I was just waiting for him to come up with an idea.

Hiro got up and went to get his computer from his room, and then he started to search for famous places in Miyazaki.

“We could go to Umagasa.”

“Sure!” I had no idea of where that was, but I was longing to get out of the house.

We got in the car and began our “journey”. After some time Hiro tickled my knee again.

“Why?” I laughed and brushed his hand away.

“Why? Why?” Hiro repeated and made a small laugh.

Our first stop was at an observation building of some kind. From there you were presented with a beautiful view of the mountains, the coast and the blue ocean.

I took a lot of pictures and suddenly Hiro put his arm around me, but only for a very brief moment before he took a step back. What was he doing? While we were walking back to the car, Hiro stretched his hand out towards me, gestured me to take it, but I pushed it away. I feared he was joking around with me and didn’t want to look like a fool. If he was playing games with me, I wanted to be the winner.

We made another stop to enjoy the views of the sea and cliffs create the image of a cross, before reaching our main destination, Umagasa.

In order to see the cliff formation in the shape of a “horse back” (hence the name) you had to walk along narrow paths. Hiro gestured that I should take his arm, first I only laughed, but when he didn’t take it back and decided to play along and we ended up walking arm in arm.

“It’s like a date, right?” Hiro said and I made a short, awkward laugh.

Wen we reached the cliff formations, we let go of each other in order for me to take pictures. After that, we continued our walk, though separated. We reached the cliffs, which faced the open ocean, and we went to enjoy the view.

Like always there was silence between us, but for some reason I knew just what to ask.

“Why don’t you have a girlfriend?”

Hiro gave me a small laugh and seemed to think for a second. He said that with his current job it was a bit difficult. Him being away on a ship for 5 weeks at the time was not ideal. We decided to go back to the car, but this time around Hiro didn’t offer any hands or arms.  On the way home Hiro tickled my knee again. It was becoming a habit.

That evening we ate dinner like usual and then waited for Hiro’s parents to go to bed. When we were finally left alone in the big dining room, we looked at each other and I wondered if my face was turning red. He asked if we should go rent some movies, I had no interest in watching anything, but said yes. Guess I just wanted the opportunity to leave the house. We rented two American movies, with titles I can’t remember. Guess that showed my level of enthusiasm. I think I spent more time watching Hiro’s face, than the movies. When did I become such a silly girl? I wanted to kick myself under the table. After the movies, we talked for a bit and then Hiro suddenly touched my hair.

“It’s different than Japanese hair. So soft.” He said.

After having convinced my mouth to close and my face to stop looking stupid – especially getting rid of that kinda scared paralyzed look, I touched his hair as well. Not sure why I did it, since I had tried touching Japanese hair before, when I a year earlier had gotten very “friendly” with a guy in Tokyo. Who was I even fooling with that expression – “friends” don’t really do what we did.

After a little more “awkward time” we said our goodnights and went to bed.


Japan Diary: March 15th (2010)

Read the story from the beginning HERE (From the bottom of the page.)

Monday March 15th (2010) – “The day mutants invaded the house”

Today, I was awoken by the pouring rain outside, which hit against my window.  I got up and got ready. Today Keiko had promised to come by with friends from her “mother group” (other women with babies) Around 1 o’clock, Keiko’s car pulled up outside the house, followed by two other cars. I stood in the hallway ready to greet the three women with accompanying babies. The rain was still heavy and everyone rushed to get inside.

We all got seated in the tatami room and Keiko rushed from that room and the kitchen with the, cake and other things. I sat down on a pillow in front of the knee-high table and tried to look as social as possible. Keiko asked me where Hiro was and I remembered that I hadn’t seen him since yesterday. I guessed he was still in his room. Lazy guy.

The two women seemed to enjoy talking with the “foreign girl who spoke Japanese”. Especially since it’s not that Miyazaki is overcrowded with it comes to foreign tourists. They also took turns of handing me their 7 months old babies and taking pictures. Now they were the tourists? The two women left around 5 o’clock and Keiko went to the kitchen to prepare dinner and she asked me to look after Hikaru.

Hiro was still nowhere to be seen. Why did I care anyway? I asked myself and fought the urge to keep looking at the door of his room. Keiko went home and I ate dinner with my host father and mother. Shortly after dinner was finished my host mother went to bed and since the thought of watching TV with the father, in silence, didn’t excite me I went to my room.

Around 9 o’clock in the evening, I heard voices coming from the living room. I silently went out in the hall and went towards the living room. Hiro and his father were watching television with their backs turned against me. They had not heard me enter and I decided to stand there quietly – why? Well, I like to scare people like that. Evil me. I pretended to watch the TV, but in reality I was watching Hiro. I was standing like that, until Hiro finally noticed me. I went and sat next to him and asked him where he had been.

“I had a head ache.”

“Just that?”


“Damn, you’re weak.”

After some time his father went to bed and we were left alone. Like always, silence followed.

“You were gone all day.” I said and tried to sound casually.

“Were you lonely?”

I considered which answer to give. Up till now I had been pretty cold and sarcastic, maybe I should start to be more honest about my feelings, since I don’t think this guy took subtle hints very well.

“A bit.” I answered.

“Really?! Then you should just have told me to come out.”

Was it that easy?  We sat there for some time, even though we both spoke Japanese it was like we couldn’t find the right words to say to each other. Suddenly Hiro tickled my knee, I felt that touch all the way through my body. After some time I decided to go take a shower, but out in the bath room I noticed, what I would consider a fairly big spider crawling on the wall. I knew I would not be able to take a shower, due to my huge fear of spiders so I went to the living room. I saw that the light was still on in Hiro’s room, so he was awake. I worked up courage and knocked on his door. He answered with a yes, but I waited for him to open the door himself, which he did shortly after. I told him my problem and he followed me to the bathroom.

“That one?” he asked and grinned.

“Yes, that one”

“That’s small. You should see the ones we normally have, they’re like…”

“No need!” I said and cut him off, while he was gesturing a size with his hands.

Two hands to show the size of one spider made me uncomfortable. While Hiro was removing the spider I left the bathroom and waiting in the hall. I suddenly looked up towards the ceiling, there I saw something I prayed to be a shadow, but I realized it wasn’t. It was a spider, bigger than I had ever seen, including television and bigger than my hand. I was sure my face had turned pale in the darkness of the hallway and I had trouble breathing. That wasn’t a spider, that was a mutant. Hiro came out and told me he had gotten rid of the spider, but all I could do was point towards my new discovery.

“See! That’s the ones I was talking about!” he said and laughed.

“Just get rid of it!”

“Yes, yes.” He said and shook his head.

He went to the living room and returned with a broom. I back down the hallway, while I watched him brush the spider down to the floor and direct it towards the door. It was like he was walking a dog. I turned around and looked at the door, which was next to the door of my room. There was another mutant sitting and starring back at me and that’s when I panicked.

Hiro returned with a smiling face and told me he had taken care of the problem.

“There’s a new one” and whimpered, Hiro looked at the door and sighed. He chased the spider into the room of the door it was sitting on.

“It’s okay” he then said and went over to me.

“It’s not okay.” I whimpered.

“It’s okay” he repeated and patted my head.

He went to check the rest of the hall and I followed.

“It’s okay” he said once again while fighting back a laugh.

“It’s not okay!” I snapped back and gave him a push.

“If you see anymore, just call me” Hiro said and went towards his room.

I went to the shower and hurried to my room, which I also gave a thorough check.

I regretted that I had decided to prolong my stay in Miyazaki, when I ordered my bus ticket for Fukuoka a few days earlier. First my plan had been to go to Fukuoka the following Saturday, but I changed it to Monday instead, giving me two more days. Around 4 in the morning I finally fell asleep.

Japan Diary: March 14th (2010)


April 2011 flash back.

”So do we hand in the papers?” my soon to be husband asked and gave my, probably pale face a worried look.

As I stod there in the Japanese city hall, ready to hand in marriage papers so many memories rushed through my head. How did I even end up here and was I making the right choice? If I hadn’t gone on the 9 week travel to Japan last year, I wouldn’t have been in this situation. I wouldn’t have been standing in this spot, that life would have been worlds apart from my actual life. I suddenly didn’t feel afraid about handing in the papers – I wanted to see my life as an adventure, a travel, even if it meant making mistakes.


Sunday March 14th (2010) – “A trip to the mountains”

Today Hiro and his father decided to take me to mountain area close to their home. I had to borrow shoes from Keiko, since they for some reason didn’t see my black, pointy boots as fit for some mountain hiking – I think they were right. So I was lucky that Keiko’s sneakers were a perfect fit, apparently we had the same height and the same shoe size.

It was around a 30-minute car trip where I enjoyed the beautiful views of the countryside passing by. We parked the car and got out. The first challenge was to climb some very steep stairs leading up to the hiking road.

I was walking behind the father and in front of Hiro. I didn’t want to slow people down and appear like a weak city girl – which I probably were. So I did my best to hide any traces of exhaustion. I often looked back at Hiro in hopes of catching him showing weakness, like a tired face, heavy breathing or slowed walking, which I could use for future teasing, but nothing. Stupid, countryside boy.  The path got more and more uneven and I often had to jump from rock to rock, while enjoying a great view of a very steep mountainside, with no fences and a promise of death if I thought about falling in. I started hearing the sounds of splashing water coming closer. Some time later we passed a small waterfall and after some more walking we reached the end of the hiking trail. A big waterfall appeared before us and I took in the nice view. Hiro decided to play show off and jumped out on the big rocks in the middle of the busy river, he reached the other side and went closer to the waterfall to take pictures. After that we headed home.

Like always, that night Hiro and I tried to have a conversation, but I’m still sure I could have more successful conversations with one of my pets. Maybe he just didn’t enjoy talking with me, but if he didn’t like our awkward conversations he could just stay in his room. Maybe he was just being nice to me.