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Journals from Kanto Gakuin University, Japan

2013-09-11 Pleasant Arrival

Recap of my first few days in Japan!

The flight from Los Angeles to Narita was long, but seldom uncomfortable— the flight staff were very attentive, and I particularly enjoyed using personal wash clothes to cleanse our hands before meals and throughout the flight. It’s surprisingly refreshing…
Before reaching baggage claim, I and my flight companions Dawn and Sydney found our way to the immigration line. (Although admittedly, that wasn’t hard— the line was very long…)
After immigration, after baggage claim (some 45-60 minutes later), we finally met our buddies! They had been at the airport for a while already, but they were as energetic and welcoming as ever!

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I was very tired, and despite being very late at night, the humidity was draining. I managed to stay awake with everyone on the ride to the school, but only just— we arrived at our dorm well past midnight, and I soon fell asleep, jet-lagged, in my dorm room. (Yes, on a futon!)

There wasn’t much planned for the next day— registration for temporary residency, a short outing for shopping and lunch, and an early dinner at the dorm— not that I had any objections; what few activities I did, it was still a full day for me. Struggling to get accustomed to everything, I got tired rather quickly. Nothing too bad, though— some homesickness, difficulty communicating with buddies in Japanese, and the worst was re-learning how to use chopsticks. All in all it was a good, if tiring, day.

Wednesday was the first of several days of orientation: academic orientation, a tour of the KGU-Hakkei campus, and lunch at the university’s cafeteria. Lunch in and of itself was notable for me, as I made considerable progress in using chopsticks. Hooray! Afterwards we went to karaoke, and despite my apprehension (singing is definitely not a strong suit of mine) I sang, ate ice cream, and had a splendid time! I understand now why it’s such a popular, go-to activity for friends…
In other news, I’m more comfortable around my buddies now. Homesickness, be gone!

Oh, and I also learned how to spell my name in kanji!

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