Two Weeks In

It’s been a fortnight since I got to Japan, and not much has changed. I still haven’t been out in the city, except for three visit, which I will cover here. I have seen a little more of the University itself, but not much.

First time I left the Uni campus was for a nomihodai. The best translation I can manage is food-and-drink-buffet at a low rate. It was awesome, but let’s just say I’m not yet used to having left Germany.

I visited the onsen, the communal baths, last weekend. It was quite the experience. Everyone is in the nude, but no one cares. Which is a welcome change from anywhere else. I’m a lot more comfortable with my body compared to any time before in my life, so I had no problems. And I have no worries about hygiene, either, since one is supposed to wash before entering the communal baths. Baths of all temperatures from about 50°C to 10°C or so, indoors and outdoors, even a sauna. I definitely want to go again!

The onsen

I can’t really say I did much else. I did visit the supermarket, and found some awesome things I definitely want to buy and try: both food and electronics (I’m really not a clothes guy. Unless it’s suits. Flashy suits). And there is such a variety of food! So many different things! I mean, most German supermarkets can easily match the quantity, but they fall short when it comes to variety. I saw tender coconuts and durians, obento (boxed lunches) and onigiri (rice balls) the list goes on…

Daiichi Aeon

Until next fortnight!

First Impressions – Japan

My very first impression of Japan was hurry. Not of people in general, but myself in particular. The flight landed on time at Narita, but I had to go through immigration and customs before I could take my connecting flight, so my first real view of Japan was of the tarmac of the Narita airport, while waiting to board the plane to Sapporo. Thankfully, the plane arrived early. Disembarking was a breeze, but I did stop to take my first good look at Hokkaido – unfortunately, it was of tarmac again.

First look at Hokkaido - Tarmac :P

Once out the airport, I was me by my student supporter, R. He showed me the ropes. We took the express from the airport to Sapporo, when I got my first real look at the cities and countryside of Japan. By the time we got there, I was famished! And so we ate miso ramen, the first real Japanese food I have ever eaten. It was delicious. And there was a LOT of it. I did my best to eat it all, but I had to leave a little. It was simply too much.

mmmm....

Ahh, the land of Japan, What can I say? Well, it is a lot like depicted in anime and manga. The houses are built the same way, the kindergarten students and school students dress the same way; the ambience is different from Germany or India. But it’s a lovely place, this city. Not that I’ve been to the city yet. I have 1.9 square kilometres of University campus to explore during the week, before I step out into the city this weekend.

P.S.: I will update this post with photos as soon as I can