Best of Surviving in Japan 2011

2011 is winding down and we're preparing for 2012, the year of the dragon. A few things stand out in my mind from the year, most notably the horrific March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, and consequent nuclear disaster. Much like 9/11, those images don't really fade.

That, and on a lighter note, the birth of our daughter in August this year will also be something I won't forget. Well, I hope I can forget the birth experience itself, but our little smiley girl has been a blessing.

As we reflect and also look forward, I'd like to share with you a few things about Surviving in Japan from this past year.

Top 10 Most Popular Posts 

1. Moving to Japan? Read this First
A rundown of what to bring, what not to bring, and what you could bring.

2. Packing for Japan Q&A
An extensive Q&A to answer all of your packing for Japan questions.

3. HOW TO: Do a furikomi (bank transfer)
Not all ATMs have an English function for this.

4. Japan Goggles translates kanji from images
An iPhone app to help you decipher what those characters mean.

5. A guide to tampons in Japan
Yes, there are tampons in Japan, and no, they aren't strangely different. This is everything you need to know about tampons here in Japan.

6. A Survival Guide to Mosquito Repellent in Japan
The mosquitoes are a huge pain here, so here's everything you need to know about keeping them at bay.

7. Make Life Easy - 8 Tools for Surviving Japan
A few tech ideas to make life a bit easier in Japan.

8. 5 Ways to Not Stand Out in Japan
Tired of the stares? What can you do to blend in?

9. HOW TO: Find (Good) Deodorant in Japan
It IS possible to get good deodorant in Japan.

10. HOW TO: Find anti-itch, insect bite medicine in Japan
When the mosquitoes bite, you may want to read this post.

10 Most Social Posts
These are the posts this year that were most socially engaging via shares and comments.

4. 40+5 More Ways to Survive the Rainy Season
The rainy season: humid, muggy, sticky, sweaty and, a bit wet. Check out the post for ways to deal.

5. Japanese Deodorant: What's in it, What best, and What you think
Taking a deeper look at Japanese deodorant.

6. HOW TO: Prevent and Kill Cockroaches
How to keep these ugly, giant pests away, and what to do if they show up.

7. HOW TO: Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning (cool air fan)
A possible aircon alternative.

8. HOW TO: Look up Japanese medicine
Wondering about a prescription you got? Curious about certain types of medicine? Here's how to look them up.

9. 6 Ways to Find English-language Books in Japan
Miss reading in English? Here are a few places to find those sometimes elusive English-language books.

10. Pregnant in Japan: How to find a doctor, hospital or midwife
Finding a doctor or midwife shouldn't be stressful or impossible; I would know...

5 Interesting Keyword Searches

These are what I thought were interesting/unexpected search terms readers used via Google to arrive at Surviving in Japan (and yes, all were used more than 10 times).

1. is aojiru as healthy as fresh kale?

2. uniqlo ethics

3. how long was the earthquake in japan

4. hanabi reserve spot with tarp

5. what's on in japan

Thanks to everyone for reading, sharing and commenting on the posts I research and write. I appreciate your support and truly enjoy hearing your stories and comments. More helpful posts to come in 2012!

What is your favorite SiJ post, or what post do you think has been the most helpful?

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