Hi there! I’m Teni Wada, a Japan lifestyle and travel writer based in Japan’s capital, Tokyo. My writing career started last summer, in the months after the birth of my little Kaiju. Since then, my works have been featured on major English language sites that produce valuable resources for foreigners in Japan.
On this blog, I write about motherhood in Japan and my experiences working in Japan, but there are few posts about me, what I do, my passions, and goals. Following up on Monday’s interview with the influencer platform LookVine, today’s post features 20 facts about me.
20 FACTS ABOUT ME
1. To start, I’m a Carolina girl born and raised. I always say that life in South prepared me for life in Japan, a topic that I will explore one day in a post.
2. The first time I flew on an airplane was when I was 19 years old, on my first trip to Tokyo (that was also my first time out of the Southeast and out of the United States- what was I even thinking?)
3. I live in Tokyo, Japan, my home for the past 11 years, with my Japanese husband, my Shiba Kokuto, and little Kaiju.
4. While I preach, “adopt not shop,” I met my Kokuto at a pet shop in Ueno. I had no intention of buying a dog from a Japanese pet shop. But when I held him and asked if he’d come back to Shinjuku with me, #hesaidyes.
5. I love classical music. In fact, I played the violin from elementary school up into high school. Even now, I like to read sheet music while listening to classical music.
5. In middle school, I stanned HARD for N SYNC, but had “Drowning” by the Backstreet Boys as my wedding song. (What can I say, Japan is very much responsible for keeping the Backstreet Boys Pride Alive!)
6. Speaking of weddings, I had two — a traditional Shinto wedding in my husband’s hometown and and a Hawaiian wedding on Waikiki Beach.
7. I’m one of those people you see at the airport baggage claim with an obnoxiously decorated suitcase. Yes, I’ve been to all those places, and no, I’m not showing off. It just makes finding my suitcase easier!
8. If I had to start my life in Japan all over again, I’d do it in Fukuoka city, Nara, or Kanazawa.
9. And if I had to go back to the US I’d love to live in Hawaii. The landscape, food, the culture, the people…it’s all so amazing. Plus, I’d be able to maintain my Japanese language skills thanks to Hawaii being a top travel destination for Japanese people.
10. Related to Hawaii — I am (was?) a licensed scuba diver, until a literal near-death experience scared me from ever diving again. I’d love to go explore the undersea world once more, but I don’t have the confidence to pursue that hobby anymore, unfortunately.
11. I have a weakness for comic book movies, especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But considering that I once was a huge fan of Japanese manga and anime, that’s not too hard to believe.
12. For the record, Iron Man is the best Avenger, Wakanda Forever, and Chris Hemsworth is the best Chris. Whenever I see him onscreen as Thor, all I think about is this dinosaur cake:
13. That dinosaur cake has got me feeling hungry! My favorite foods (in no particular order) are: pizza, sushi, curry, and katsudon.
14. I have a thing for limited edition snacks and drinks. Seriously. Check out my Twitter feed — it’s full of yummy stuff that makes Japan so dang awesome.
15. And my favorite drink is Aperol Spritz. I first had it in Vienna and immediately fell in love with it. It’s hard to come across in Japan, but it’s all for the better as the monster is still nursing…
16. Now onto my dislikes. I hate mushrooms (can’t stand the sight); I can’t drink coffee (but love the smell); Lastly, I don’t like milk chocolate — it’s got to be dark/bitter, or with fruits/nuts.
17. My favorite season is winter. It’s when the night sky is the most beautiful and Mt. Fuji can be seen from all over Tokyo.
Plus, it’s the best season for looking fashionable with little effort. Put on a nice coat and boots and sunnies, and no one would ever suspect that you’re wearing pajamas underneath. (When I worked the early shift on cold winter mornings in my Shibuya 109 days, that’s how I managed my commute.)
18. Winter might be my favorite season, but I LOVE autumn in Japan. There’s nothing like the combination of cool weather, warm drinks, and savory foods. Did I mention Halloween?
19. Every year since 2012 I’ve given myself a yearly goal to learn a new skill. So far, I’ve learned how to scuba dive, I took archery lessons, and even got my driver’s license the Japanese way. Last year I started this blog/self-hosted website and dived into social media.
20. Taking a risk to pursue a career in writing has so far proved to be a rewarding challenge. I still have things to tick off my list of professional and personal goals for 2018. But with 5 more months left ‘til 2019, anything is possible!
Whew this post took much longer than I expected! Why is it so hard to write about myself? I hope you got to know me a little bit better through this post. Do feel free to leave a question in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!!