Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます！
Surviving in Japan had another huge year of growth, including getting over 1 million pageviews since I started it a couple years ago (over half of those this year), which surprised me considering I was juggling not only that, but my other writing work, a baby, moving, some emotional stuff, and just trying to keep our clothes clean and the crumbs and dust bunnies under control. It's been a difficult year, which I'll go into in another post, but today I'd just like to share the top posts of 2012.
1. Japan Goggles translates kanji from images
This one remains constantly steady as the most popular month after month, and sure, it's good to know, but not one I would consider to be one of the top ones.
2. Moving to Japan? Read this first
Another stayer in the top.
3. Cherry Blossom Blooming Forecast 2012
For obvious reasons.
4. A Guide to Birth Control Pills in Japan
5. How to Do a Furikomi (Bank Transfer)
Another one constantly at the top.
6. The Ultimate Guide to Reading Food Labels
One I think everyone should read when they first arrive in Japan, even if you know a good amount of Japanese.
7. How to Transfer Money To and From Japan
Guest blogger Peter helped out with this one, and it's very useful if you need to send money around.
8. How to Prevent and Kill Cockroaches
Because they're disgusting. And fast. And for some reason so ridiculously hard to kill.
9. How to Find Good Deodorant in Japan
It's not impossible like some seem to think, although it seems like since I wrote this more and more people have been coming around to Japanese personal care products.
10. Make Life Easy - 8 Tools for Surviving in Japan
Something I wrote a couple years ago and would probably change a bit now, but still some good stuff.
And some of my favorite posts from last year:
1. The Low Point of Culture Shock
I was honest with you with what I've been dealing with, and you wrapped me in kindness with your responses. Thank you.
2. HOW TO: Heat Your Home (and Stay Warm) in Japan This Winter
Lots of info about heaters and heating devices here. Worth reading if you want to stay warm!
3. Ultimate Guide to Baby Products in Japan - Part 1
Stuff I learned searching for and buying the essentials. Also includes a list of stores, online and off.
4. HOW TO: End Your Battle With Mold in the Bathroom
It's Japan, and the mold gets bad here. Here's how to cope with the stuff growing in your bathroom.
5. 24 Handy Resources for Traveling in Japan
A collection of posts, but certainly all worth reading if you plan to travel in/to Japan.
6. Where to Find Tall and Plus Size Clothing in Japan
A list of stores around the country that might have some options for you if you find regular Japanese sizes a bit too small/tight/short/etc.
7. Spices and Herbs in Japan
Some people say it's hard to find spices and herbs in Japan, but I mostly disagree, though there are a few that are a little harder to find.
8. HOW TO: Upload and Print a Document at 7-11 and Circle K in Japan
I remember a few people telling me that this post was pointless, but considering I still regularly receive comments thanking me for writing it, I'm glad I always do what I think someone might want or need.
9. A Guide to Convenience Store Copy, Print, and Fax Services in Japan
All of it's there for you in one post.
10. HOW TO: Print in Japan Without Owning a Printer
Goes along with the former two.
Well, that's about it for 2012! What were your favorite SiJ posts from last year?