After how many months of preparation the moment has finally arrived! I am now in Japan!!! I am grateful to have made it here safely. I arrived to Narita Airport around 1:30. When I went through immigration I went up to the counter like everyone else, but then the attendant started asking someone for something. I wasn’t sure what they were talking about so it was kind of freaking me out. They pulled me out of line and they told me to fill out another form with my school name, but before I could finish they pulled me into a side room. The lady there asked if I had any other proof of my university study abroad and I didn’t because I wasn’t expecting to need anything. After waiting for a while on the side I had to do the fingerprints and photograph and then wait some more. After that I received my Japan Residence Card and was sent on my way to the baggage claim.
I grabbed my luggage and then head outside to meet the student assistant who was supposed to meet me outside. The person who I was told would meet me was a friend so I was looking for her, but then I heard my name called and it was someone else. Turns out my friend had a fever and could not come. Since I wanted to try and catch the 3:00 bus I went and shipped my luggage at the kiosk at the airport after getting help to fill out the form from the student assistant.
Note: to anyone who wants to ship something, make sure you not only have the address on hand but also think about what time you want the luggage to be shipped. I didn’t expect to have to choose that so I just picked any time. You can choose between ranges depending on what time you ship the luggage. I believe you can sometimes get same day shipping if you ship it by 12pm. For me, I shipped it around 3pm and chose to have it arrive between 4 and 6 pm on the 27th, which was a mistake considering that is the same time as the opening ceremony in which we meet our host families. Whoops. Shipping one large 50 pounds suitcase and one small 30 pound suitcase cost me about 3,372 yen.
After shipping my bag I purchased my train ticket to take me from Narita Airport to Kawagoe Station. The ticket cost about 3,300 yen for the two hour ride. During the bus ride I really wanted to look out the window and see where I was going, but the sun was too bright to leave the blind open. The traffic was actually pretty bad but it was interesting to see the cars next to us. Almost every time I saw a person in the passenger seat that person was knocked out with their feet on the dashboard. I was also reminded that I was in Japan based on the number of people I saw smoking in their cars, even with the windows all closed.
After I arrived at the bus station I saw the student assistant who was going to meet us there holding the “Tokyo International University” sign and also I found out that another JSP student was on the bus with me. So our party of three took the 10 minute walk to the Kawagoe Daiichi Hotel where we were going to stay overnight before going to school for orientation and meeting our host families.
After checking in and going to my room, I relaxed a little bit before heading out to walk around the area and to look for something to eat for dinner. I ended up buying omelette rice from the Lawson convenience store and a bunch of snacks that I probably shouldn’t have bought. I also bought a wakame musubi for breakfast.
At this time I was only about 8 pm, but I was tired from the long day of travel without any naps so I got back to my room, ate, took a shower, and then went to sleep by 9:30.
Well, I just typed this out in the 30 minutes that I saved this morning to possibly go and walk around during but cancelled because it is raining.
I am excited to go to see the campus and meet the other study abroad students. Wish me luck today and I hope to update again soon!