My wife and I bought our first house here in Japan in December 07, just one month after our first son was born.
To be honest the house was in pretty poor condition generally, with little money after the initial purchase I wondered if I had bitten off a little more than I could chew! I quickly realized that while the main timber frame structure was sound, all of the interior would need to be replaced, walls, ceilings, floors, you name it. Luckily I had considerable experience I'd acquired over the years
in many aspects of DIY. and so, undaunted I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in!
I would like to share some of the photographs I took during this ongoing project. Please feel free to ask any questions or to comment.
Plastering ceilings and walls is something that defeats many DIYers, I learned this all important skill at night school many years ago, actually it's more of a knack than a skill. I knew if you can't put it back, you can't take it down!
For everything you gain, you lose something ... remember that old saying? In your case Jon, your old way of life for the new life you now have. I am sure it is a happy trade-off for you even though you miss old friends and family members. All the more reason to expand that house to host company!