Several days have passed and looks like my updating of this blog has been lacking a bit. Luckily, today is a semi slow day and the only requirement for me is to register for classes. So, let me begin with day number two of being in Nagoya, Japan.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
After my returning to the airport, I awaited for a Chukyo student to pick me up. Imagine being a foreigner and awaiting nervously at a random gate because you have no clue if the meet up location is the correct spot. Well, unfortunately this was my situation. I had gotten up at around 5 o’clock in the morning just to be extra cautious. Instead of taking a bus to the airport, I walked back with two suitcases and a carry on luggage. Despite the beautiful scenery, my nervousness still had me on my toes. After about two hours I walked towards the center and my nerves immediately disappeared. There standing in front of me were two girls holding a sign which read, “Chukyo University” and you could guess what happened next. We walked towards each other and introduced ourselves to one another; however, I realized another issue, the language barrier. From the moment one girl talked to me I knew I was in for a world full of studying. Fortunately she has been studying English and made things easier for translation. Anyway, here are the two amazing girls who helped me get to the apartment and introduced me to some delicious ebi (shrimp) fry!
Upon my arrival to the apartment, I met another foreign exchange student and we both decided to explore the surrounding area. We were both gone for a few hours, yet only explored a taste of the city. In America, typically a five year old walking around a city means he or she is more than likely lost. However, in Japan this sight is more common, especially in larger cities or urban neighborhoods.
Wednesday, September 9, 2014
First night I woke up in my new apartment, and I will have to say that the room still felt odd. Nevertheless, on this day I was supposed to be down in the lobby by eight in the morning for instructions on how to organize the trash. Now, when I say organize I mean literally organize the trash. The Japanese people are highly efficient when it comes to preserving their country and keeping it clean. Everyone is given about size different colored bags and each one should be used for certain trash. For example, one bag is used for plastic, one for burnable items, one for aluminum, and another for things such as aerosol and spray cans. The trash collectors do their best to correctly dispose each item; however, the citizens must also do their part by pre-organizing their trash.
After our session, we walked with Fukuta Naho, who is the inbound student exchange coordinator, to learn how to use the subway system. For those traveling to Japan I highly recommend learning how to travel via subway. When buying a ticket, which costs roughly around 2 US dollars, you must keep your ticket with you until the next gate, or you can buy a card and reload it when needed. Either way, pay attention to where you are going unless you want to end up on the train for two hours.
Our subway ride took about five to ten minutes before reaching Chukyo University. Boy, I was in for a beautiful surprise when we reached the university. Changing from the urban neighborhood scene to the busy city life was a sight worth waiting for. Students, businessmen, and bikes everywhere were things to look out for. One minute you are amazed and the next you are almost getting run over by incoming bike traffic or people just rushing to work. All the foreign exchange students were gathered into the International Exchange Office and our orientation began with brief introductions of everyone in the room. You had people from California, Georgia, Finland, Italy, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Not much from outside the states, but still a decent size group of students.
Orientation took about two hours and that is when the real adventure began. Seeing as we all had a common interest in walking around the city, I went with eight other students to visit a couple of shrines around the area. The first area was a shrine and graveyard site, but so not to show disrespect we waited until another time before we did a traditional prayer.
We stumbled upon a temple known as, Kosho-ji Buddhist Temple. Now, I have been to shrines and temples in Vietnam, but the architecture and beauty among this area was impeccable. Again, just like the other place we will soon return to this temple to our respect in a more proper way.
Nevertheless, Wednesday was filled with adventures, fun, and excitement. After meeting a couple of the students from Chukyo and the exchange students, I feel much more at ease. To become better acquainted, nine exchange students including myself, went to eat dinner. Honestly, this was the best event of the night and I look forward to making new memories here in Nagoya, Japan. Until next time! またね!