I arrived here in Tokyo on April 1st, so that means I’ve officially been here for more than one month (50 days to be exact)! I was initially going to make a blog post for my first week in Japan, but I never got around to it, so now I’ll just do an update for how things have been going for me so far for the past 50 days.
It’s crazy to think that I’m not even a quarter of the way there for my three-year stay here, and yet it feels like so much has already happened! I’m going to try and keep this update organized, but since there’s just a lot to talk about, I might not be able to keep that promise haha.
So, first, like I said, I arrived here on April 1st, and by here, I mean at the Suginami International Student House. The kaikan as they call it here, is around 20~30 minutes away from my school, depending on how quickly you walk from the station and how packed the train is (especially since I have to go to school at the same time all the working people in Tokyo do too, so I get to experience Tokyo rush hour everyday). I have to ride the train for four stations, and then transfer trains, and then ride it either to Nishi-shinjuku or Shinjuku, and then walk from there to my school, Bunka.
The first few days were just doing paperwork for the school, the dorm, the bank, etc, and orienting myself with how things worked and where things are. It was a bit hard to get used to how things were done here in Japan, since a lot of things are different from how things are in the Philippines, but I’m lucky I have people from the dorm and senpais who helped me figure things out, otherwise I think it would have been a lot more confusing without them!
Although I still can’t navigate my way to all around Tokyo without the help of Google Maps, I can say that I’ve gotten used to the surrounding areas near the dorm and the school and the commute I have to take everyday without getting lost. I already have usual shops that I go to buy things from, and have explored the food options near the dorm, and have gotten used to a routine for how to do things here, which is great news since that means I’ve already gotten used to life here.
As for school, although I’m in one of the lower classes for Japanese, with every lesson I can feel my Japanese improving. I’m still far away from being able to hold a conversation and ask about the life story of a random Japanese person, but it’s the little steps that matter 😀 The classes are entirely in Japanese, but the teachers are friendly and funny, which makes the classes 楽しい 🙂 Although the pace of the lessons are a bit fast (or maybe I’ve just gotten used to my chillax student days from before I came here) and there are quizzes everyday, I manage to keep up and do well in class, so don’t worry about that! 😉
As for things outside of school, they’re also really fun. Tokyo is a great city to be in because there’s lots of things you can see, and I’ve been able to explore lots of different parts of Tokyo, like Shibuya, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Marunouchi, and Odaiba.
A few things that stand out in my mind that I really enjoyed during my first 50 days here are:
- Spending free hours in karaoke with friends singing our hearts out. Japan is obsessed with karaoke. You can find karaoke places in almost every corner, and I think the only place that rivals that love for karaoke is the Philippines! So naturally, I channel that Filipino love for karaoke by going to karaoke almost every week.
- Going to Odaiba and spending a day with Filipino senmongakkou senpais! I’ve never been to Odaiba before this, and it was fun just letting the senpais lead me to see cool places there and try cool things. We went to the Miraikan, and there was a special exhibition that time about video games and since I love ’em, I really geeked out over the exhibition haha. Then we went to a Niku (meat) Festival, a bit overpriced but the meat was so good, then went to see the giant Gundam thing, and I got to try out kushikatsu for dinner!
- Taking a day trip and going outside of Tokyo for the first time! For Golden Week, I went with some friends to Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo. It took over two hours to get there by train, and it was interesting seeing the landscape change from Tokyo’s urbanness to the countryside look of Ibaraki. The park itself was also breathtaking, although we arrived a little late in spring so the flowers weren’t that many anymore, it was still nice being surrounded by flowers and seeing the sea.
- Meeting senpais from the Association of Filipino Students in Japan (AFSJ) and strolling around Omotesando and having a hanami (although during that time, there were no more sakura trees haha, but it was nice just chilling around nature) with them in Yoyogi Park. It was great meeting other Filipino students in Japan and just chatting with them and also eating and playing games 😀
- Going to a cat cafe! If you know me, you know I love cats haha. And Tokyo is a great place to be a cat lover, because of the abundance of cat cafes! I miss my cat back at home, so seeing and getting the chance to pet all these fluffy cats was exactly what I needed 😉 I’m not done with cat cafes though, I shall make it my goal to visit all of the cat cafes in Tokyo in my time here in Japan!
- Exploring different parts of Tokyo on my own. It’s really fun just exploring places in Tokyo, I just use a bit of internet to look up the place I want to go to, and a bit of Google Maps to send me on my way. I like wandering around and enjoying the places I go to on my own pace. So far I’ve gone to see Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Akihabara, and Tokyo Station in Marunouchi all on my own 😀
So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past 50 days! There are a lot more that I wasn’t able to include in here since I think this post is long enough haha. I’m looking forward to the many, many days after that and the adventures I’ve yet to have. I promise that I’ll try to update more often, so I won’t have to try to fit too much stuff into one blog post.
Until the next Japan adventure, and thanks for reading! 😀