Saturday, 15 January 2011

New Life in Niseko - Are we in Japan?

Well, we moved to Niseko on 2nd of December last year. A month and a half have past since then, and we are settling in well to our new life in the country. I think Masaki did well with adjusting his life. And hand over of stay at home parent went very smoothly, too. Woody the dog is certainly having a better life here. All in all, we made a good move.

Niseko is a strange place. It is in Japan but it is not like Japan. I don't need to use Japanese most of the time unless I talk to my two Japanese colleagues. Many of our neighbours are non-Japanese. Even if they are, they are mostly from out side of Hokkaido. So, I feel we fit in to this community very well. We are far from unique for sure.

As for my work, for the first time in my life, I am commuting by car. More over, I am driving in the snow. Scraping the snow off my car every morning, every lunch time, every evening - basically almost every time before I drive. I have started to get used to it.

Although Niseko has more snow than Sapporo, I found day to day life here is easier than Sapporo because we drive everywhere we go. Down side is, because of it, we are more exposed to car accidents. Oh yes, I had my first car accident the other day. Well, it was not really a crash. I rubbed another car while reversing. The paint of my back bumper and the front bumper of the other car is scratched off a little. Now I am in a dilemma whether I should use my insurance to pay for the damage.

My company kindly provides a lift pass which can be shared among staff. This is a great benefit for me since I don't really want to pay for an expensive lift pass to go to the mountains due to the fact I am not a keen snowboarder.

Apart from those changes, we are still living in a little Britain at home, watching BBC on iplayer.

Internet is great! Can't live without it.