Starting 2017 with a Goodbye: Things I’ll Miss about Japan

Temple on the Kunisaki Peninsula, Kyushu — Photo by Athena Lam

2017 starts with ‘Goodbye’. Followed by ‘Hello.’

The first thing I did after landing back in Tokyo was pack in preparation for moving. All of January will be a drawn-out moving out process, first from my flat and then from Japan. My mind is churning with work (strategies and implementation), blog (need to get building my blog), and phased packing.

As I took the 10- minute walk to the nearest konbini this morning on a coffee run, it finally clicked that I was back in Tokyo. That it would no longer be the home I slipped back into when I left Haneda Airport. The thought struck me on the pedestrian overpass that had the grand view of an asphalt highway flanked by ashen block buildings. This is perhaps the most unflattering, uninspiring, unromantic view of Tokyo that makes up most of its urban sprawl — yes, I will miss this, too.

I know I am forgetting the things about this country even as I’m discovering new places in my final month in Tokyo. As a reminder to my future self, I started making a list of 100 things I would miss. Needless to say, the beast grew beyond that, so I will have to separate it into sections.

Niigata Yahiko Shrine Japan
Finding your kami-sama to speak to at Yahiko Shrine — Photo by Athena Lam

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Athena Lam

A content marketing strategist and consultant. Passionate about storytelling for great teams and products. Co-founder of Business 3.0 (, Personal blog at

4 thoughts on “Starting 2017 with a Goodbye: Things I’ll Miss about Japan

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