In the three years that Reiko and I have lived together in Japan, we've moved a total of 4 times. This is an insane number to be sure, but it's also something that will likely not change until we buy our home some time in the next five to seven years. Unfortunately, when work or family demands that we move, we have little choice but to listen.
That said, there are certainly some advantages to moving around the country; namely the scenery. Outside the first home that Reiko and I lived in after marriage we were greeted with the wonderful view of アーウィン山. Now, you're probably wondering why a mountain in Japan has a foreigner's name, and not just any name … but mine. The reason is simple: the mountain didn't have a name according to any map or sign, so I gave it one. アーウィン山 stands a stately 112m high and is covered in trees, all of which are less than 70 years old. 80 years ago the mountain was completely bare, so I'm told.
In January of this year, there was a bit of a medical emergency in the family, so Reiko and I moved back in with her parents in order to help them with day-to-day activities, as well as to save for our future home purchase. On nice mornings, the Mrs. and I would often go for a walk around the block and take in some fresh air before I had to run off to work. While on these walks we would see a mountain that is known to everyone around 各務原市 for it's half-naked appearance. What's interesting is that a little behind the exposed sections of mountain is a small golf course. If it wasn't for a bit of peeking around on Google Maps, I never would have even known the course existed.
As many people know, at the end of June I threw caution to the wind and completely ignored the various reasons I said I would never live in Tokyo to accept a position at a young software company and make the move to 柏市 in 千葉県. The view from the windows here is quite different from what I had grown accustomed to in 岐阜県. There are no mountains here. The land is mostly flat, aside from a few hills here and there to add some variety while riding a bike to and from the train station every day. But there's a lot of green; something that both the Mrs. and I believe is quite important. On top of that, there are literally dozens of young families all around us, making this a very young part of 柏市 … not that I'm complaining. With all the young children running around outside, I'm sure that the Mrs. and I will have less to worry about when we, one day, have a child and they want to go outside to play with friends.
All in all, I like this new place in 千葉県. The traffic is crazy. The trains are always packed. The sidewalks are non-existant. The grocery stores don't have as great a selection of fresh produce. But, despite all of these differences, this new place already feels like home. I hope that Reiko and I enjoy living here for the next few years as the next chapter of our lives begins: Jason Earns Some Coin.