Living in Japan posed some unique challenges during our favorite holidays. But we know that’s also what brings the best out in us. Below are some of the ways your fellow alums celebrated their traditional holidays in Japan.
Lyle Sylvander (Yokohama-shi, 2001-02)
I had Thanksgiving at the ambassador’s residence with about 100 other JETS from the Tokyo area. Ambassador Howard Baker, former Senator from Tennessee and Chief of Staff under Reagan, and his wife Nancy Kasslebaum who was a former Senator from Kansas, greeted us as we entered the door. It was a real Thanksgiving feast with a choice of Turkey, Roast Beef, Ham – all layed out in display style. After dinner, we got to mingle with the ambasador and his wife as well as talk with numerous marines who were also invited. The ambassador and his wife were both very down to Earth. We could also see the room where the famous picture of MacArthur and Hirohito was taken.
Saga Ken 1998-2000
My most memorable holiday had to be Thanksgiving. A group of us from AJET decided to put together a Thanksgiving Dinner just for us- the gaijin. We ordered food about a month in advance from that foreign food shop in Kobe…or was it Osaka?? Surely you know what I’m talking about. It was an ordeal to find a place in my city that would hold us all for some reason that had a working kitchen and tatami room available. Eventually, a JET in another town found one through her Board of Ed. We had it all planned out, how much was needed for the lot of us and it looked like had enough food. Although it was two days after