The plane ride was very long. Overall it was a 17 hour trip. By the time we arrived at Kansai International, all 11 of us were ready to drop. We went from St. Louis to Dallas, Dallas to Tokyo, and then Tokyo/Narita International Airport to Kansai International Airport. The first two flights were on American Airlines, and then we switched to Japan Airlines for the domestic flight.
We took a taxi from Kansai International to the dorms, however the total was nearly 200000 yen. I wanted to cry. That is a lot of money for the first day here. When we arrived at the dorms, they quickly got us settled into our rooms (the dorm manager was kind enough to help carry luggage). Unfortunately, immediately after everyone got settled in, we had to have a meeting for paperwork. I will tell you, no matter how much Japanese we knew (some of us are very fluent), being exhausted makes it very difficult to process what anyone is saying.
|Dorm Main Hall|
|Desk in front hall|
|Umbrella area in front of door in main hall|
|Shoe box in front of door in main area (lobby)|
There are plenty of others here in the dorm that are from the US, some from France and others from other places. There are a lot of Japanese students here as well. ^^
The room is very cozy, and we have our own air conditioning (thank goodness!!!). Japanese air conditioning in main areas really sucks. It is really hot and humid, and the air in the building may only be one or two degrees cooler than outside. @.@ When walking into our own rooms, it is like walking into an ice box. lol
Something that I didn't expect, was the culture shock when it came to the dorms. The rules are quite strict.
*Not allowed outside after 11pm. The dorms become locked. If we are locked out more than once, then our parents are notified and we have to write a log in a book.
*No guys allowed in the building.
*No eating in the dorm rooms, but for a fee, you can smoke. (I don't quite understand this part...)
And so many others, but those are the ones that are most important. I do understand the difference in culture, thus the "parents being notified" part, but since we are from overseas, this may be a little difficult as well as pricy.
|"Sign in and out" board|
|My name tag|
I am still trying to figure out and budget my finances. I have a few months' rent set aside, but I don't have too much more to spare. I am kind of worried about the later months. I do look forward to obtaining a few jobs, doing the Volks service, and tutoring.
I am still trying to figure out what clubs I want to join. I am leaning towards Kendo and Archery club. ^.^
Since I came back, I am very happy. It is very comforting to see places I have been before, eat foods I love, get the exercise that is harder to get back in the States, and even enjoy a culture that I really love and appreciate. This trip, though stressful, is entirely rewarding, and I would never have done it differently, nor will I ever regret it.
I have orientation in a few. Then off to the Hyakuin (what the kids at Kansai U call the 100 yen stores) and then heading out to Umeda and Nihonbashi. I want to check out Volks, at least briefly before the weekend. Maybe shabu shabu tomorrow or something as an arrival treat. Plus, I also want to eat at the Sukiya. I miss eating at the Sukiya. The gyudon is amazing here. I had gyudon at the Japanese festival, but I really wanted to gag. It was not very appetizing. >.< I love real Japanese food.