My 2nd Home

mistyleafStarred Page By mistyleaf, 14th Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Even in a dream, I never thought that I would find a place I could consider as my second home.

To Japan

On my first time to come to Japan, I felt that I was a complete stranger. Almost all people do not speak English. I was in the state of culture shock. Everything was very much different from where I used to live. I worried on how I could manage to get used to the new environment. I had to learn the language, the writings and etc.
The language used at home was only Japanese. I did writing exercises 2 hours a day and after that, my husband gave me short quizzes to check what I’ve learned on that day. While adjusting myself to the new environment, I studied also how to cook Japanese food, how to wear kimono, tea ceremony and flower arrangement. My first year in Japan was such a busy year.

The Japanese Writing System

The Japanese writing system consists of 3 forms namely Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana.
Kanji is a simplified character writing derived from the Chinese writing. Hiragana is used when there is no appropriate Kanji to a certain word or letter, while Katakana is used to write foreign words.

To elaborate, based on the description of the Wikipedia “Kanji are used to write parts of the language such as nouns, adjective stems, and verb stems, while hiragana are used to write inflected verb and adjective endings (okurigana), particles, and miscellaneous words which have no kanji or whose kanji is considered obscure or too difficult to read or remember. Katakana are used for representing onomatopoeia, non-Japanese loanwords (except those borrowed from Chinese), the names of plants and animals (with exceptions), and for emphasis on certain words.”

Hiragana and Katakana

The Hiragana writing is at the top of this image and Katakana is at the bottom.
Hiragana was the first I learned to write on my stay in Japan.
Hiragana is written in a graceful stroke and it looks like a feminine writing while Katakana gives me the impression that it is a masculine writing.

Japanese Food

The most popular dishes in Japanese cuisine are sushi, tempura, and sashimi. The miso soup, rice, pickled vegetables are always present in Japanese traditional food.
The picture at the top is a meal set that consists of sushi, shrimp sashimi, tempura, crab gratin and pickled vegetables.


Kimono is a traditional outfit of the Japanese. At present Kimonos are worn on special occasions or when attending traditional ceremonies like tea ceremony, flower arrangement ceremony, weddings and in some festivals.
The marital status of women wearing the traditional Kimono is shown by the length of the sleeves of the kimono and the form of the collar.
Single women wear the furisode while married women wear the tomesode.

Nagoya City is the place where I live

Nagoya City is the capital of Aichi Prefecture. It is the largest city in the Central Region and one of the most populated. Its population is 2.27 million.
The city logo is called maruhachi. The city tree is camphor tree and the city flower is lily.
The points of interest in Nagoya

Nagoya City Logo

The logo of Nagoya was enacted in October1907. At the middle of the circle is a number 8 in kanji writing. This circled eight mark was adopted as the tally mark used by the Owari Tokugawa Family.

The city tree

The camphor tree was selected to be the city tree of Nagoya in August 1972 with reference to the results of the popular vote by the citizens.
The reasons on why it's selected are; it is an evergreen tree that grows fast, it is familiar to the climate, there are many trees of this kind in famous places around the city, it is suitable for urban landscape of Nagoya, and it would also prove beneficial for the greening of Nagoya in the future.

The city flower

In April 1950 in honor of the “greenery week”, lily was selected as the city flower among the many entries of different kinds of flowers through the public survey and joint sponsorship with a newspaper company.

Some of the beautiful attractions of Nagoya

The Central Towers is the biggest station building in the world. The Central Towers consists of twin 59-story buildings. In these towers are department stores, restaurants and a hotel. There are also subway shops where you can enjoy shopping.

Spiral Towers

The Spiral Towers is a unique building located near the Nagoya Station. It is a piece of modern architecture. In this building are 3 vocational schools, restaurants and office spaces. It was opened in 2008.

Nagoya TV Tower

The Nagoya TV Tower was the first TV broadcasting in Japan that was built in 1954. It is 180 meters high with 2 observation decks. The panoramic view of Mt. Ontake, Mt. Hakusan and all of Nagoya can be seen from the decks.

Nagoya Castle

As quoted from the
The Nagoya Castle was built in 1612 by the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu. It is a classic Japanese castle that is considered to be one of the greatest castles in Japan.
In 1945, during the WWII, American bombs destroyed many parts of Nagoya Castle including the main donjon, however, many of the paintings inside, some gates, some towers were survived and are designated as Important Cultural Properties. The main donjon (tower) of Nagoya Castle was reconstructed in 1959 and other parts are still on the way.
The pair of golden fish-like statues on top of the donjon is called 'Kinshachi' and is the symbol of Nagoya Castle. When Tokugawa Ieyasu built the castle in 1610, 215 kg of gold was used for the statues, while 88 kg for the current ones. Kinshachi has been stolen four times since they were installed and fortunately all of the thieves have been arrested.

My vicinity

My house is located along the route 41. At the southwest is the Higashi Kataha Entrance of the Nagoya Expressway. At the northwest is the Nagoya District Prosecutor's Office. At the west is the Nagoya City Hall and at the east are art museums.
I'm lucky to have my house in this convenient vicinity.

Takaoka Station

The Takaoka station is the nearest train station from my place. It is one of the stations of the Sakuradori Line. Sakuradori Line was opened in September 10, 1989.
Barrier was built to lessen accidents of falling down the railway.

Nagoya City Archive

The Nagoya City Archive is located at the west, from my place.
This beautiful brick and granite building was built in 1922 as a district court. It was used until 1979 when the court was moved to another place. It was designated as an important cultural property and was reopened as a city archive.
The Nagoya Detention is just at the north of the City Archive.

My wish

I lived almost half of my life in this place. This is where I made my unfulfilled dreams possible. It was difficult at first but I worked harder to be able to contribute to the community. I learned to adopt the culture and tradition of this place. Everyday is a challenge and through these challenges I become a better person. I will be continuing to make new dreams to fulfill until my last breath.


Pagoda and Mt. Fuji-
Kanji Characters-
Hiragana and Katakana-
Nagoya City Hall-
camphor tree-
Spiral towers-
Nagoya TV Tower-
Nagoya Castle-
Nagoya City Archive-

Thank you....mistyleaf


Aichi, Camphor Tree, Castle, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Culture, Japanese Society, Kimono, Lily, Maruhachi, Nagoya, Nagoya Tower, Sakuradori Line

Meet the author

author avatar mistyleaf
I'm self-employed as a translator/interpreter. ' I also write at <a
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author avatar mistyleaf
21st Jul 2012 (#)

Thank you for moderating and for the star, Steve.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Jul 2012 (#)

Thanks for a wonderful write-up on your 2nd home. Can you believe it, I was feeling your absence keenly y'day and used to check often for your new posts. I too am away from my birth country for nearly thirty years but I embrace adopted countries wherever I stay. I have no issues with culture, race, religion, beliefs etc as they all profess peace and coexistence.

You put so much effort and passion in all your posts and the pictures are magnificent, to say the least! You will find peace wherever you are as I can see you are ever aware of blessings of life that is showered on each of us. Great stuff indeed, Mistyleaf - siva

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author avatar mistyleaf
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

Hi Siva~~It's been a long time since I've seen everybody. I miss all of you too. I'm very happy to see you again. Thank you for your encouraging comment. May God bless you too.

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author avatar Don Rothra
21st Jul 2012 (#)

Nice work. I've never had an urge to relocate from my country.

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author avatar mistyleaf
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

Thank you Don.

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author avatar Buzz
21st Jul 2012 (#)

Glad to see you writing again, sis. I still remember my sojourn there one spring time.

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author avatar mistyleaf
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

Yes Brother. How is life treating you now? Thank you.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
21st Jul 2012 (#)

such a beautiful article....thank you Misty leaf:O)

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author avatar mistyleaf
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

Thank you Delicia.

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author avatar Denise O
21st Jul 2012 (#)

I lived in Japan as a young child, I do remember some things but, I wish I had been a bity older to enjoy more of the country. What a lovely journey you have taken us on. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar mistyleaf
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

Thank you again Denise for your sweet comment. Just tell me when you visit Japan so that I can be your guide. *smile*

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Jul 2012 (#)

Will do, thank you.:)

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author avatar mistyleaf
23rd Jul 2012 (#)

You are welcome Denise.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
9th Aug 2012 (#)

Excellent post with beautiful photographs.
I had the good fortune of visiting Japan thrice or more. I found it exceedingly clean, people very polite and proud of their country. They are dressed in western clothes more western than westerners. Even their taxis are immaculately clean. The only thing I could not stand is eating raw fish. Otherwise Japan is an excellent country to live.t

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