50 things that we like about living in Fukui

Posted by in Mary's blog, Mike's blog

In almost 6 months of living abroad, we have decided that we like living in Fukui. Earlier today our dear friend Corrie asked us what why we like living here. I started to tell her but I was quickly cut off by a screaming bunny.

This is the end of our conversation, or, 50 things that we like about living in Fukui:

1. Fukui is close to 3 major cities and cultural centres. Osaka and Kyoto are 2 hours away by train. Kanazawa is closer…but smaller and apparently underrated.
2. Most of the food is both tasty and healthy.
3. Our apartment is modern, spacious and cozy.
4. Merchants yell “WELCOME” (in Japanese) over and over again when we walk into stores or restaurants.
5. Child care costs are less than 1/3 of Ontario prices.
6. No litter, mess, or unsightly things in public places.
7. We can order cold and/or frozen things online and they get shipped to us at the proper temperature.
8. Trains go all over the place.
9. Free health care for the bunny (more free than in Canada).
10. We haven’t had to bring the bunny’s changing mat with us when we go out because more public bathrooms have changing tables than not.
11. The vending machines have hot chocolate.
12. There’s a warm kotatsu to come home to at the end of the day.
13. Shopping malls have free play areas with toys and soft things for kids to enjoy.
14. We have made several good friends, and we like to spend time with them.
15. We can get both real Fanta and crazy Japanese flavours that change on a seemingly monthly basis. Right now it’s “melon”.
16. Everywhere we look we see efficient uses of small space.
17. Community play centres are fun and plentiful.
18. Delivery drivers come at specific times, and if we miss them they leave their cell phone numbers.
19. Violence, thievery and crime are virtually non-existent.
20. Japanese text everywhere makes reading difficult words into the same kind of accomplishment it was when we were kids.
21. Hot springs (onsen).
22. Bus drivers sometimes give us huge discounts on the regular fare when they are running late.
23. Nobody seems to be rude to anyone….ever.
24. Internet speeds are faster than we know what to do with.
25. The bunny learns discipline, Japanese, and fun at hoikuen.
26. Everybody takes their shoes off indoors so there are never any gross salty dirty water puddles inside waiting rooms.
27. We get to visit real, bona fide castles.
28. Knives are used to prepare food in the kitchen, not to mercilessly hack away at things during mealtime. Also, no knives on the table makes it safer for the bunny.
29. Umbrella holders beside urinals for those times when having two hands makes a big difference.
30. The Japanese government doesn’t want to spy on me.
31. The city is dense enough for us to be able to walk most places.
32. Large mountains to the west, larger mountains to the east.
33. The city has most of the material things that we need and want. Internet shopping makes up for the few things that we absolutely must have that we can’t find.
34. Curry.
35. Our jobs are fun and rewarding.
36. Mail is delivered on Saturdays, and parcels are delivered…always? We got on on a sunday night once.
37. Our church family is fantastic.
38. When people (friends, coworkers) go to far away places, they often bring sweets back for sharing.
39. There are lots fun nature things to see that we haven’t seen yet.
40. We get to exchange treats/presents with our landlord whenever we pay rent.
41. The streets are quiet at night.
42. We get to be local celebrities because we are foreign and our kid is the cutest.
43. Home appliances make fun noises and light up. Sometimes they even say things (that we can’t understand).
44. No less then 5 options for different forms of public transit in the city.
45. Silly engrish signs never get old.
46. Community events and festivals are well thought-out and worth attending.
47. Japanese culture is fun to experience when we get the chance.
48. Toilets come with a variety of useful features.
49. Everyone takes their job seriously and acts professional. Most places have a high standard for customer service.
50. There’s a whole country filled with adventures that we’ve yet to discover!