first weekend in the land of the rising sun

I had breakfast with fellow trainees inside what seems to be an accommodation within the campus. We had this ridiculous encounter with a gaijin man staying in the same accommodation (ridiculous because it is an all-women college). He rarely acknowledged our presence even when we greeted him “Ohayo!” from the dining table. The breakfast was a typical, noodles and bread for our little Asian community.

The next part of the morning was dedicated for the orientation. Draw lots for apartment, labeled luggage to be delivered into our very own “home-sweet-home”. We walked our way to the Science hall of the college, went inside what they said to be our main classroom for the whole year. We got introduced to the faculty members of the Human Science department, staff members of the ESD program and to our future partner community for the internship. It was quite a brief orientation, very exact if I might say. It provided us with enough information on how our grad school life will look like in the several months to come.

(Left to right: Kat, Ainul, Alma, Niuniu, Dung and Carla)

Then came the lunch, when they said we will be having sandwich, I was thinking, “ok, that will be a light lunch”. But when I saw how the sandwich was prepared, it was a full meal!

There was the appetizer, the main course and even dessert! I was quite full, having eaten a light breakfast with my colleagues.

After lunch, we had to fill out important documents for us to be considered as full-pledge residents. There was the Alien registration card form, National Health Insurance form, permission to work form and the certification form. (Details will come next week, as we will process everything on Monday and Tuesday). Having no real background in Kanji or whatever written language Japanese has, I had a hard time filling those sheets out. But the staff was efficient enough to assist us all the way. Whew!

After all that nitty gritty stuff, Aki (our chaperone!) directed us towards the apartment. What they said to be a 15-minute walk took us 30-40 minutes! This is the time I hoped to have a bicycle. I promised myself to get one within the month. Hopefully our new found friend will find us a good second hand bike. Yay! Our program support group gave an orientation on basic house rules, the how-tos of each apartment and other things we need to remember living the Japanese style.

I love how apartment looks so quaint but just about right. Mine is in a green building. Good thing it is located near the main road which means less walk for me. Yey! Another plus is that my room is in the first floor. Another yey! I readily unpacked all my luggage and realized that I didn’t bring so much actually. I just have enough clothes and toiletries. I tried to make it homey as much as possible but with limited materials I can only do as much.

By 6pm the group met in front of my building to do some grocery shopping. The green pillar is my building, the bike is definitely not mine :p

This is me and Carla trying the vending machine near the apartment. Thirst quenching really. We decided to try everything but not in one sitting, I guess one year is enough to try all those quirky drinks.

All in all it was a very tiring Saturday, my first weekend in Japan. There were a lot of moving around, unpacking and cleaning but it was one hell of an experience. I invested some money too (I won’t say how much) but it would be enough to go on a trip in the province. But it was all worth it.

Today, we searched for a 100 yen store. We did find one but it was quite small, and I don’t think they have everything we needed. I was hoping for treasures but I found stones :p But on the way to the train station. This is what we found. Treasure indeed! (Fan-girl mode)

Hiro Mizushima ❤

Arashi ❤ ❤

That’s how my weekend went (almost). Hope your weekend was as great too!


4 thoughts on “first weekend in the land of the rising sun

    1. i’m yet to explore. so far it’s been the school, supermarket and local government office for me :p

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