December 30

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How To Survive New Year’s In Japan

Seriously. The fear is real. New Year’s is one of those times in Japan when it’s a real liability to be thousands of miles away from people who might loan you embarrassing essentials or feed you in a pinch, because everything – and I do mean everything – shuts down from December 31 to January 3. Some shut down even longer!

And not just oh-no-how-are-we-going-to-survive-the-extended-family-visit-without museums and movies. We’re talking no supermarkets. No restaurants. No drugstores.

And (according to the panic-inducing notice I saw just yesterday in the elevator) no housekeeping or front desk services for the entire week at the place where I stay. Which means if the two rolls of mingey, single-ply in my bathroom run out, NO TOILET PAPER AND NOWHERE TO BUY IT.

Good thing I loafily took the elevator instead of the stairs yesterday, or I wouldn’t have known to stock up until it was TOO LATE. (Do you think this could be a sign from the gods that exercise is bad for you? Asking for a friend.)

Happy Year of the Boar, everyone! Have fun, be safe, and I’ll catch you on the other side….

When well-supplied with the necessities, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more