The care and feeding of boyfriends (in rural Japan)
August 8, 2011 7:36 PM Subscribe
My boyfriend is coming to visit me in Japan. Yay! Help me help him not die of isolation, culture shock and boredom.
posted by sunset in snow country to human relations (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So, I've been living in Japan for a year and on a recent trip back to the States I managed to hook up with an old friend who I've had feelings for for a long time. Yay! Now we're in a long-distance relationship, and he's planning to visit me in the fall for 4-6 weeks. We'll spend one week in Tokyo when he first arrives (probably the last week of October), and then it's back to my place, where I'll be returning to work. I live in a very rural area and I'll be taking the car to go to work, so he'll be on his own during the day.
He's not terribly concerned about this; he works only a part-time job now, and he says that his days at home consist of job hunting, cooking/eating, exercise, and maybe some TV or video games, so he doesn't see how this will be any different. I'm a little more worried, however--6 weeks is longer than some exchange programs, and I think he'll miss his friends and family, will feel isolated out in the countryside, will maybe even start to resent me for being busy with work all day while he sits around bored. I moved to Los Angeles to be with my last boyfriend (who had a budding career while I was unsuccessfully job hunting) and basically went batshit crazy, and of course I went through the adjustment process when I moved to Japan myself, so I know that of which I speak. I love him a lot and I don't want this to put undue strain on our relationship. Plus I want him to enjoy his time in Japan!
Anyway, I have two questions: Is this a completely stupid idea and should I be changing the parameters of the trip? If not, what can I do to help keep him from feeling isolated?
I'm thinking along the lines of things I can have available for him in the apartment, ways I can help, activities to suggest as well as how to suggest them (I know having something to work on is great for stuff like this but I can't, nor do I want to, say "hey honey, since you're just sitting around all day you should maybe like get a hobby or something").
Some more details: My apartment is pretty spacious, and I don't have roommates. He'll have his laptop, Nintendo DS, camera, and my bike. The following things, in order of distance, are bikable from my place: some convenience stores, a pharmacy, various small shrines and temples, an onsen, a park, a supermarket (6km), train stations (6.5km). From the train stations he can get to some nearby towns for day trips. I also have a pretty good network of expat friends--most of them work the same hours as I do, so they can't keep him company during the day, but at least he'll get to talk to and hang out with people who aren't me.
Your suggestions are appreciated :) Help me make this a fun experience for him!