Just a couple months ago, I got back from a year-and-a-half stay in Japan. It was an amazing experience, one that I could never sum up in a simple blog post. But I did want share a couple souvenirs I brought home and the stories they hold.
#1 – Pokemon
I grew up on Pokemon, which is why I obsessed over any Pikachu I saw in Japan. I got this little Pikachu action figure from a vending machine at conveyor-belt sushi restaurant. (In case you’re wondering, sushi is delicious! …as long as it’s tuna, salmon, or shrimp. Much more than that and it starts getting a bit scary.)
The postcard came from a friend. She knows my obsession with Pokemon, so she snagged the postcard for me at the Pokemon Center store in Fukuoka. You’ll find a really sweet note written on the back.
#2 – Figurines
I have a box full of memory-filled trinkets, but these four are my favorites. I already mentioned Mr. Pikachu. The white tiger comes from a thrift store in Iwakuni. The lucky cat is from Kumamoto. The plush Rudolph came from my favorite Japanese store–Tokyu Hands. I gave a friend a matching plush Santa Claus. I got the book–Rudolph seat–as a gift. I guess I complained too much about wanting good books to read, so a friend decided to help start my miniature library.
#3 – Postcards
I spent 3 months across the bay from that volcano–Mt Sakurajima. No scary eruptions while I was there, but plenty of gorgeous sunrises.
On the right are sakura, or cherry blossoms. Japan loves sakura, and with good reason. They have entire parks dedicated to sakura trees. Once, I had a picnic with a group of students from our Eikaiwa (English conversation) class at a cherry blossom park. The falling cherry blossoms looked like pink snowflakes.
#4 – Pictures of Christ
I took the larger picture with me from America, and got the smaller picture (“White As Snow” by Greg Olsen) as a gift.
Since I went to Japan as a missionary, it was ultimately a spiritual experience. Japan is not a Christian nation, which made teaching about Christianity a bit interesting. But because of the Japanese unique perspective, I learned even more about God’s pure, all-encompassing love.
Any questions about Japan? Let me know in the comments below! Find more Japan souvenir pictures on my Instagram.
Hi, I’m Esther Davis, author of family-friendly speculative fiction. I publish regular short stories for free-reading as well as other random blog posts–everything from writing tips to Japan. Subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter , Facebook, or Instagram. Also, keep an eye out for my upcoming book, A Dog, 3 Cats, and a Dragon.