Bobby On The Loose!


I Made It!
January 9, 2009, 11:30 am
Filed under: Study Abroad in Tokyo

So following a very painful 18 hour flight originating in Philadelphia, I arrived in Tokyo yesterday to begin my journey as a study abroad student at Temple’s Japan campus!  However, my travels did not end at the airport.  After claiming my baggage, going through customs, and converting my USD to Yen, I next sat on a bus for two hours which took me from the airport to a hotel located in downtown Tokyo.  We were greeted by friendly TUJ (Temple University Japan) staff, who then sent us in a cab to our final destination, Ontakesan Dorm.  At last, I was able to drop my bags and unpack into what will be my residence for the next four months.  I was given a tour of the building, took a shower, and then passed out in my bed by 9:00!  

Ontakesan Dorm

Ontakesan Dorm

I was so exhausted after the nearly full day of travel.  However, the fourteen hour time change left me jet lagged and woke me up by 4:30 am.  I started the morning by chatting with many of my friends from home on the internet, letting them know I arrived safely and so far having a positive outlook on what is to come.  Then, me and a friend I met on my flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco walked around the neighborhood to a convenience store where I bought my breakfast…a Japanese chocolate pastry and Japanese orange juice.  Both were delicious, and I topped it off with a good pot of American Starbucks coffee, brewed in the coffee maker I brought along for the trip!  

We had orientation all day which started at 8:00 am to go over the rules of the dorm…fun stuff, I know.  But then we had our first venture into downtown Tokyo to see Temple’s two academic buildings.  The first part of the adventure, though, was purchasing the ticket for the train, which was made difficult because I can’t exactly read Japanese very well!  But I managed, and with the help of a current TUJ student as our tour guide, we arrived at Azabu Hall, Temple’s main academic building.  Most of my classes, however, will be in Mita Hall, home to TUJ’s business program, located just a short five minute walk from Azabu.  We toured the neighborhood, and went to a restaurant for lunch.  Again, my lack of Japanese language skills forced me to point on the menu to what I wanted to order.  Luckily, the menu included pictures so I was able to get an idea of what I would eat.  

After lunch, we returned to Azabu where we were overwhelmed with information and instructions of things we have to do as students in Japan,  like alien registration cards, and train passes, and cell phones, and blah blah blah.  I wish there was more exciting information to share about that, but it was quite boring.  But finally, by 4:45, we were on our way back home.  We got on the train, were moving right along, until we were stopped at the station right before the one we were to get off at.  The train sat idle for nearly a half hour, apparently because somewhere along the train route, there was an earthquake.  We were told it was a common thing, given that Japan is the most seismic country in the world with five tectonic plates beneath it.  Soon enough, they had us moving again, and when we got off the train, my friend Josh and I ventured out for authentic Japanese cuisine.  There were many restaurants we peaked into, and finally settled on one and went in.  Of course, no one spoke English, so again, I just pointed to what looked good.  I think it was pork and noodles in some type of broth, but I cannot be sure of that.  I am typically a somewhat picky eater, but I figure I came here for a totally new experience, so now is not the time or place to be picky.  In all, it tasted pretty good.

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