I heard the most accurate statement yesterday from our relocation assistant: “Japan has a lot of buttons.”

To illustrate this point, let me take you on a brief tour of our apartment’s features:

Let’s start with the bathroom (not to be confused with the toilet room or the sink room, but the room that contains the bath tub). Looks harmless enough, right? There’s a tub, a faucet, a window, and… a television!

The bathroom, complete with a television of course

How many times have you been in the bathtub wishing that you could be watching a movie? Thankfully, I’ll never have to know that kind of suffering anymore.
Next to the tv is a panel that controls the bathtub. From that panel (or using the remote control), I can select my desired water temperature and fill level and voila, the tub will fill. By remote control. But what if I am in the tub and I’m really enjoying the movie and it starts to get cold? Well, there is a solution for that as well. I merely push the “reheat” button, which warms the tub and of course the water as well.

But let’s not let the tub get all of the attention. The astute observer will notice that the glass door leading into the bathroom is sealed. This is because the entire room has its own high-tech function, complete with its own control panel. Let’s take a look.

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Around Town

Merry Christmas! We were surprised to see snow falling downtown Nagoya this morning, though it eventually stopped and turned into a sunny (but cold) day. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought it was some sort of automated system to create the illusion of a white Christmas! Christmas here is pretty interesting. My understanding is that Christmas Eve is the big event, sort of a Valentine’s-like romantic holiday for couples. We experienced this last night when we tried to get something to eat near the hotel and were pitifully smiled at when we admitted that we had no reservations. Christmas itself is a marketing blitz (perhaps not too different from the US anymore?), with smiling Santas and reindeer and “Happy Xmas” signs all over the place. It’s also remarkably common to see people (adults) walking around in Santa or Rudolph suits.

Anyway… we have spent the past two days being tourists in our new town, which has been a lot of fun and definitely very eye-opening. I thought I’d share some of the pictures along with a brief description of our days.
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The Adventure Begins

We’re here! We arrived in Nagoya last night after a long journey from Seattle. The flights were great; we had outstanding service, nice seats, and great food. They were of course sleepless for me, proving that even with lay-flat seats and a “night time” lighting scheme I am in fact incapable of sleeping on airplanes. Fortunately we arrived at bedtime in Nagoya, which sort of gave us an opportunity to get on the local schedule (although our internal clocks were not going to go down without a fight, claiming a victory at 3am when we were both wide awake without any warning).
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