Ohayou gozaimasu! Good morning from Japan! After a grueling twelve-hour flight, we arrived in Japan on Saturday afternoon at about three o’clock. We were all somewhat shell-shocked, and overwhelmed by the thought that this was our new home for the next two years. After going through immigration and customs, we were picked up in a couple of vans by two of the school’s staff members, and had another three-hour drive or so from Tokyo up here to Tamura city in Fukushima.
A good night’s sleep and waking up to morning sunlight yesterday morning helped revive me a little. We had a relaxing day yesterday, exploring town with some of the experienced team members (the ones who arrived a year ago) and trying out some of the restaurants. In the afternoon, one of my other team members and I went back to the grocery store to stock up on some food. There were so many new products to explore! It will take awhile to get used to what the stores here have (and don’t have), but fortunately I was able to find some of my favorite food items.
We each have our own small apartment, although two of my teammates have to share temporarily. We all live in the same building, which is great. It is an incredibly comforting feeling to know that I have my team for support as I navigate all of these new experiences. I haven’t had serious homesickness or culture shock hit me yet, but I think I’m still living in the surreal experience of adjusting and trying to figure out exactly how I ended up here on the other side of the world. 🙂
We have one more day of exploring and relaxing today, and then orientation begins tomorrow. After two days of orientation, we officially begin our jobs, although some of us will just be shadowing and not actually teaching yet. Phew! There’s going to be a lot to take in over the next few days and weeks, but for now I am thankful that we are at least somewhat settled, and can try to start adjusting to life here.
That’s all for now, but there will be more stories and pictures to come! I’m hoping to do a post about my apartment and possibly the grocery store. If there are any topics you would particularly like to know about, or questions that you have, let me know in the comments section and I will try to address them in a future post!