When I lived in Japan during my post-doc a few (okay, 13) years ago, there were really only three things I missed.
2. NPR news
Of course I've been thinking about how it will be different this time.
1. Darrin will be there, too :0)
2. We will be able to get NPR news streamed over the internet--right in our own house! We will also be able to listen to xpn at home too. No, wxpn is no "FM Kokoro" with its daily Japanese lesson, but I would have hated to live without it. And though it may be weird to listen to All Things Considered at breakfast time, it will also be fun to say, "That news is so yesterday...."
3. Pretzels: Who knows? If they've introduced Starbucks to Kyoto since I was there, maybe they've also started selling pretzels....let's hope.
Note about Starbucks: On the one hand, I'm not thrilled that Starbucks, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are colonizing the world. But if you are an American who has ever purchased coffee at a traditional Japanese cafe, then you will know why Starbucks could be one of the best things to happen to foreigners in Japan. The coffee tastes like home (you know--like it was brewed with ground coffee beans, not ground asphalt), you can get more than 6 oz of it in a serving, and it doesn't cost 600 Yen....