May. 21st, 2012

Japan

May. 21st, 2012 08:03 pm
sarahblack: (Princess and the Frog)
Hello Japan, indeed!

I arrived in Japan yesterday at around noon after an uneventful flight from Nanjing. Snaevar and his family were kind enough to pick me up at the airport, and after I had stashed my bag at their place they took me out for some delicious sushi!

It was so nice to see Snaevar. I have missed his company since he moved to Japan. Meeting his girlfriend Riya again was also really good. I hadn't seen her since 2008! But I was most excited to meet their 16 month old daughter, Elin. She is such a sweetheart! Beautiful brown eyes and happy disposition. Especially if you mention strawberries - her favourite. ♥

I got to spend some time with them in their home after our late sushi lunch. I was learning to use the tablet computer that Snaevar is generously going to lend to me during my stay in Japan. I have a feeling it's going to save my life! Especially since he is also lending me this pocket wifi device to go along with it. After a while of fiddling around with the tablet and watching Sesame Street episodes with Elin, Riya started bringing us all this amazing food! Salad, grilled chicken, and delicious little pieces of lamb (I think) which tasted just like the lamb that you get off the barbecue in the Icelandic summertime.

Later in the evening I went over to my couchsurfing host, an American girl called Tamitha. (She teaches Japanese.) I'm going to stay at her place until Friday. She is super nice and her apartment is clean and comfortable.

My first impression of Japan was the airport and then the quiet suburb where Snaevar lives. Everything seemed clean and organised and the buildings all looked brand new! The people were quiet, friendly and very polite.

Today I had my second impression. I walked from Tamitha's place to the train station near Snaevar's house where he was waiting for me. Together we went on a train adventure to downtown Tokyo! Mainly we saw Akihabara (Electric town) and Shinjuku station and its surrounding area.

So many people! Everything was very colourful and vibrant. Electric town was a lot of fun. It is basically geek paradise - I mean, the first thing I saw when I exited Akihabara train station was a giant SEGA logo! There were girls dressed up as anime characters handing out adverts, little shops devoted to once geeky niche or another, and we visited a sort of technology themed mall on six floors with an entire floor devoted to just games and toys! (I was able to pick up a gadget that enables you to charge your electric devices on the go. First you have the charge the charger, but then you can take it with you and use it to charge your device if it runs out of juice when you're on a bus or a train somewhere.)

It was a lot to take in, but my first impression of the Japanese people still stands. Even as a crowd the people are considerate and polite. Everyone proceeds to where they are going in a very orderly fashion. No pushing or yelling!

I am having a great time in Japan so far, and I'm very optimistic about my next three weeks.

I'll try to write more soon!

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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