Saturday, April 6, 2013

F: Oh, the places you'll go!

F is for Fuse (Osaka), Japan

Fuse, Osaka, Japan
It's Day 4 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, in which I'm focusing on overseas destinations I've visited. 

Fuse (pronounced in Japanese like Foo-say) is the name of the area of Osaka where Mike (my husband, or boyfriend at the time) lived, and I spent a lot of time there! I really lived in a part of Osaka called Hirano with my friend Jean, but Fuse was my second home for a couple of years. It was very near to Kinki University, where Mike taught during the three years we taught in Japan (in fact, he rode his bike to work--suit and tie and all--when the weather was decent). He went to Japan on the British English Teachers (BET) scheme, which then turned into the Japanese English Teachers (JET) program, a partnership with the Japanese Ministry of Education. 
Mike in his kitchen

In comparison to me, he lived a swish life! He had a really nice, furnished apartment provided...with an oven, washing machine, and VCR. When he needed a typewriter to finish his M.Phil. at Oxford, the university bought him one. He got the VCR when the Olympics came on and he requested it. His employment and accommodation experience was so different than mine! 

My friend Jean and I lived in an apartment over a sushi restaurant, and we unfortunately had a little cockroach problem. We also had an old,
Cutting sushi for a picnic, with my friend Jean
manual washing machine (common in Japan at the time) and an old-fashioned bathtub, in which you filled up the tub and then turned on the gas to heat it. Also, Jean and I shared a two-bedroom flat (even though I wasn't there that much), while Mike had a two-bedroom flat all to himself. In comparison, Mike was living high on the hog!
One of the many parties in Fuse
(Mike's school friend, Rob, was visiting)
Our Japanese teacher Ikuko is in the red/gold shirt,
 and one of Mike's groomsmen, Seiji, is on the far right

When I first met him, Mike also had nothing on his walls. I persuaded him to put things on the walls (note the photo to the left). What I remember about Fuse was the Kentucky Fried Chicken, where we often stopped in the evening for dinner after late-night classes (no wonder I gained weight while living in Japan--eating fried chicken late, and the excessive alcohol!)...the great shopping street on which he lived...the wonderful French restaurant on the first floor of his apartment building...and the amazing sushi restaurant right there in Fuse. I think it was one of the best sushi I had in Japan, and I especially liked their clams in a sake broth. Good times were had in Fuse, Osaka! 

Tomorrow is my day off from the A to Z Challenge, but I'll be back on Monday with some fun G locations.


  1. I would have bummed hard in your flat! lol

  2. Yes, I felt like the poor cousin. :)

  3. What great memories - it sounds like a great experience living in Japan. Loved the photos too!

  4. Japan is one of my Bucket List items :-)
    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

    1. I hope you get a chance to go there soon, Jamie!

  5. I'd love to go to Japan, but one of the things that holds me back is the language. A couple of friends of mine went there and felt really isolated by their lack of language and they found it hard to make friends. Perhaps it's better when you go with your family or a group of friends.

    1. If you are just traveling, it's a challenge without Japanese but you can usually find kind people who will help you out. Living there can be isolating if you are not near any other foreigners. I encourage you to check it out someday--it's a fascinating place!