I have arrived in Nihon!
After packing up the remainder of my first big girl apartment in SF and saying a tear filled goodbye to my roommates, I was greeted by my parents and airport bound chariot. The lovely grey Honda CRV was ready and waiting to escort me to my new life overseas. My parents drove me to the airport where I met up with up the rest of the SF crew as we anxiously discussed what was in store. My parents were able to park and sit with me a bit before I had to head through security and board.
The nine hour flight was completely full and rather uneventful. The food and service were AMAZING, leaps and bounds better than any
flight service I’ve ever had. As soon as we exited the plane we were greeted by a JET participant about every 10 ft pointing us in the right direction, it literally would have been impossible to get lost. All of them had a smile and an accent; it was amazing to meet so many different people from so many different countries in all of 30 seconds. We then boarded a bus from Narita to US , during the two hour drive we signed release forms and made some new friends. Tokyo
|Katie, one of my two roommates from the Bay Area|
It was interesting to watch the dynamic of the future JETs as we got further and further from home. People were trying to hold on to where they were from all the while trying to find similarities with everyone else. At the SF consulate people were very proud of where they were actually from and quick to rattle of towns in the
rather than have be assumed that they lived IN the city. But as we arrived in East Bay Japan, you would watch an SF person introduce themselves to a person and one might as well have exclaimed, “Oh my god you’re from the West coast too! Let’s be friends!” By the end of the weekend it was assumed that if you were from the same continent you were destined to be friends for life. Seattle
During our 4 days in
we attended various speeches and workshops to help prepare us for our new life. Needn’t worry though, I was able to go out at night, discovered some bomb Udon and Korean BBQ and 2 hour karaoke/all you can drink place, Uh, Yes Please! I explored Tokyo Tokyo a bit with some new friends from Canada, we took the train to Harajuku, yes as in Gwen Steffani’s clothing line, and Shibuya, kinda the times square of with the huge cross walk that has the cars stop completely while everyone crosses. A-mazing! Tokyo
|In Harijuku. Apparently this Japanese man saw us in these and|
promptly purchased a pair, we should get commission.
|Shinjuku in Tokyo, across from our hotel.|
|In Shibuya at THE crosswalk with Trey lurkin in the background. He is also Chiba bound.|
|Proof to our mother's that we saw each other.|
After 3 days of orientation and learning more about the JET program, stages of homesickness, and Japanese etiquette than I could handle, I was ready to experience it for myself! The final day of orientation I met with the other 8 Chiba JETs to board a bus and head our new prefecture!