Moon Living Abroad in Japan
By Ruthy Kanagy
Third Edition, March 2013
Price: $19.99 USD
Born in Tokyo and raised in Hokkaido, Ruthy Kanagy is an expert on Japanese culture. In Moon Living Abroad in Japan, Kanagy lends her insight on how to navigate the language and culture of Japan, outlining all the information needed in a smart, organized, and straightforward manner. Whether it’s an apartment in Tokyo or a mountain retreat in Nagano, there’s a place that matches your budget, needs, and dreams—and Kanagy uses her firsthand knowledge of Japan to ensure that you have all the tools you need to obtain visas, arrange your finances, find employment, and choose schools for your kids.
Packed with essential information and must-have details on setting up daily life, plus extensive color and black and white photos, illustrations, and maps, Moon Living Abroad in Japan will help you find your bearings as you settle into your new home and life abroad.
What’s inside Moon Living Abroad in Japan
Here’s what author Ruthy Kanagy loves about Japan:
- Nadeshiko Japan, the women’s national soccer team, winning the 2011 World Cup and galvanizing the country.
- That ramen noodle shops have distinctive flavors in each region.
- The Astro Boy melody from the ’60s at Takada-no-baba station in Tokyo, which signals the closing train doors.
- Trains arriving on time—and during rush hour, conductors helping to push people on.
- Food carts on long-distance trains, which offer coffee, boxed lunches, and frozen mikan (mandarin oranges) in summer.
- That political campaigns last only two weeks—by law.
- Omoiyari—people who put the welfare of others before their own comfort.
- The hearty “Irasshaimase” and “Arigatoo gozaimasu” by the entire staff to welcome customers in banks, stores, restaurants, and hotels.
- Quiet gardens and parks, where grandparents walk with their grandchildren.
- Sinking into an outdoor onsen (hot springs) and gazing up at snow-covered mountains.
- Sipping matcha (powdered green tea) and nibbling on a sweet in a Japanese garden.
- That konbini (convenience stores) are truly convenient, with 10 kinds of salads, 20 kinds of onigiri (rice balls), and 30 kinds of entrées.
- Vending machines everywhere with hot and cold drinks, corn soup, sake, and beer.
- Half-off sushi, sashimi, and deli items, 30 minutes before closing at supermarkets.
- Temple bells ringing in the New Year with 108 gongs, along with sweet amazake to drink.
Excerpted from the Third Edition of Moon Living Abroad in Japan.
Ruthy Kanagy was born in Tokyo and grew up on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. After finishing high school in Japan and higher education in the United States, Ruthy taught English and Japanese language and culture for 22 years at universities in the United States and Japan. She also translated a Japanese children’s book, The Park Bench.
When she started cycling in earnest in 2000, she discovered the joy of traveling under her own power, without reliance on fossil fuels. A highlight was touring Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan—exploring her roots and visiting the places her family had lived when she was young. The mountains, caldera lakes, hot springs, rugged seacoast, and wildflowers were just as she remembered.
In 2006, Ruthy organized Japan Cycle Tours to introduce cyclists to Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kyoto, and other areas. She is convinced that encountering new cultures on a bicycle makes you more approachable and brings you closer to local people. Currently, Ruthy is a bicycle travel consultant at Green Gear Cycling/Bike Friday, builders of custom, high-performance bicycles that pack into a suitcase for air travel. Her job is to help people design the bikes they need for adventures around the world. She is also studying French and Korean in hopes of further exploring the globe by pedal power.
Other than annual trips to Japan, Ruthy calls Eugene, Oregon home; her daughters and grandson live in New York City.