Yokohama is the exact opposite of Kagami: it’s a vibrant, modern, bustling mini-metropolis full of young, vibrant, bustling individuals. Yokohama boasts great architecture; Kagami, the soon-to-be- abandoned town I reside in boasts an uncanny amount of rust. Yokohama has an extensive China town. Kagami? Rust. Yokohama is home to Motomachi, a chic foreign quarter replete with designer shops, international food stores, and cobblestone walkways. Kagami? You guessed it: rust. And rice fields. Plenty of those in Kagami.




To be fair, Kagami does have its charms. It’s home to both Urban and Shee’s, two of the finest (albeit limited) grocery stores this side of Yatsushiro, and a 7-Eleven. And that’s about it. Well, there’s my apartment, and Rik’s apartment, oh, and the sushi shop; and then there’s the Ito’s (my host family) place, but really that’s it. If you toss in the plethora of pachinko parlors, hair salons, and elementary schools, then I guess it’s a pretty happening place. Not. But enough about Kagami, back to Yokohama!


What was I doing in Yokohama, you ask? Attending the conference for returning JETs with Dan, fellow JET and self-proclaimed ambassador of maple syrup, that’s what. It’s sort of a pep rally for JETs wondering whether or not they’ve wasted the last two-to-five (yikes!) years of their life “teaching” English in the abyss known as the inaka. It’s also a good excuse to fuck off from work and romp around Tokyo. Highlight of the trip: stuffing myself at an all you can eat Indian buffet in the Millenium Tower for only 1000 yen (about $8.50). God I love Indian food!
And that, in a nutshell, is Yokohama—or at least my version of it. Until next time…