After a 14 hour plane ride, I finally arrived in Tokyo about four days ago! Even though I was buzzing with excitement about just being in Japan, the first thing I noticed when I got off the plane was probably the humidity. I guess I figured that Japan would be having fall weather in September – I was wrong! It is typhoon season here, and it doesn’t start getting colder until around November. So, there I was, with a sweater on in 85F/30+C weather. Looks like I might have to go shopping in some Tokyo department stores for more warm-weather clothing! You might be able to tell that I am not the slightest bit sad about this.
My study abroad program, IES Tokyo – Society and Culture, has done a wonderful job so far helping out clueless foreigners like me! We are given e-pals – students from Kanda Universities of International Studies – to show us around and get us acclimated to the area. From the airport, we first traveled to Makuhari, which is a small and upcoming city near our university campus. One of the first things we did in our free time was find a fun photobooth to document our day with. We found some purikura, or Japanese sticker photobooths, and had a fun time. On the right you can see some of the aftermath! These booths are super fun because not only do they make your eyes somewhat alien-sized, but you can add tons of doodles and effects to them to make them original and entertaining.
Another fun thing I’ve done a decent amount of so far is eat. Japanese food is so good! Spicy-food lovers, beware – there’s not really any spicy food in Japan. However, you should be able to make do with a lot of other great options, like curry rice or ramen! Recently I went to a Japanese fast-food restaurant, which surprised me quite a lot because the food was not only cheap and fast, but tasty and healthy as well! So much better than a lot of fast food in the US, in my opinion.
Anyway, this weekend I have just begun to settle in with my new home-stay family, which is awesome! They are the sweetest couple, and their kids are very cute. I’ll update you more on my confusing experience with trains, buses, and all other modes of transportation as well as more food and family adventures soon! Below I am adding some pictures with short descriptions to let you see into my life in Japan a little more!
Tokyo has many skyscrapers! This picture on the left is the building where the IES Abroad Center is located. Many of my classes are located here!
On the right is a picture of my current University’s library. It is so modern!
The next picture you will see is of a rooftop garden I pass through on my way to school everyday! It is really beautiful!
That’s it for now! I will be posting more soon!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Marisa Lewis, and I am an East Asian International Relations Major/East Asian Studies Minor at the University of Virginia. I’m originally from Alexandria, Virginia (though I’ve got a lot of family in Thailand as well) and am super excited to be traveling to Japan! I’ve only ever been to the Japanese airport before – their toilets are awesome, by the way – and have always wanted to experience Japanese culture ever since I first started watching Pokémon as a kid. Don’t lie. You watched it, too! In my spare time I love to read, write short stories, bake, listen to music, and have adventures. I am looking forward to making new friends, stocking up on Japanese sweets, and experiencing all that Japan has to offer! But more importantly, stocking up on Japanese sweets. Where my mochi at?</span></p>