Nippon no pan ja nai!

First weeks, first impressions

Hello to all! Below you will see a small smattering of photos and videos from our first weeks here in Japan. It took so long to upload these that we decided to keep Flickr sets instead of uploading tons of photos and videos right here to the blog. I think Eric will be starting one of his own, and mine is already bursting with fun photos and things I think you'll like. Please click on each photo if you'd like more information or to see where it was taken. Here's my photo set, which I'll upload regularly and link to in each upcoming post. Enjoy!! I look forward to your comments.

109 JETs depart from O'Hare Airport on July 27th, 2013! The Chicago group of JETS is the second biggest in the world (not sure which city sends the biggest group). The total number of new JETs this year was around 1,100.

109 JETs depart from O'Hare Airport on July 27th, 2013! The Chicago group of JETS is the second biggest in the world (not sure which city sends the biggest group). The total number of new JETs this year was around 1,100.

All my baggage. None of them were overweight, no extra charges!! Awwww yeah!!!!

All my baggage. None of them were overweight, no extra charges!! Awwww yeah!!!!

Outside our hotel room in Tokyo. If you ever go there, I highly recommend the Keio Plaza Hotel. It was lovely to be treated to a stay and some meals there.  :)  This building is the Tokyo Metro Center. I wish I could have seen more of the architecture there; we will go back for sure. 

Outside our hotel room in Tokyo. If you ever go there, I highly recommend the Keio Plaza Hotel. It was lovely to be treated to a stay and some meals there.  :)  This building is the Tokyo Metro Center. I wish I could have seen more of the architecture there; we will go back for sure. 

Hittin' the Tokyo streets in Shuinjuku

Hittin' the Tokyo streets in Shuinjuku

This is the adorable mascot of a group of apartments in the Haebaru/Yonabaru area, one of which Eric and I live in. He's a shiisa, a mythical creature that looks like a dog but is actually a lion. You see him a lot in Chinese art, and versions of him are on just about every building here in Okinawa!

This is the adorable mascot of a group of apartments in the Haebaru/Yonabaru area, one of which Eric and I live in. He's a shiisa, a mythical creature that looks like a dog but is actually a lion. You see him a lot in Chinese art, and versions of him are on just about every building here in Okinawa!

More shiisa. Only the Japanese could make road cones/barriers adorable and a joy to behold.

More shiisa. Only the Japanese could make road cones/barriers adorable and a joy to behold.

A sunset view from our balcony

A sunset view from our balcony

I read an article about these little mini-libraries in Japan and other countries, and I was so surprised and thrilled to come across one in Yonabaru!!! It's just a little  cart-like thing that holds shelves, and the sliding doors aren't locked, so you can take and give books as you please. I'm lovin' it!!

I read an article about these little mini-libraries in Japan and other countries, and I was so surprised and thrilled to come across one in Yonabaru!!! It's just a little  cart-like thing that holds shelves, and the sliding doors aren't locked, so you can take and give books as you please. I'm lovin' it!!