I arrived Thursday night (JST – Japanese time) and met my supervisor at the Narita Airport. He has been incredibly helpful throughout this entire process. I flew from Minneapolis to Toronto and finally Toronto to Tokyo. The 13 hour flight from Toronto to Tokyo was boring, but boring is okay! I typically experience motion sickness on many forms of transportation, particularly on boats and planes, so I’m glad I didn’t get sick and didn’t feel too nauseous during my flight. I’ve come to swear by wrist bands with pressure point bulbs (not sure the name of them). I watched a few films, but due to the plane being uncomfortable and my nerves being awake, I couldn’t sleep much on the flight. Luckily however, I seem to not be experiencing jet lag. I think this is due in part to sitting in the middle of the plane so I couldn’t see how light/dark it was outside the plane windows, and the flight attendants adjusted the lighting of the interior cabin (plane) to match the day in Japan. I’m also convinced that my optimism and enthusiasm has kept jet lag away as well.
I met a coworker Alex who is staying in the apartment below me when I got to my apartment, he’s a great cook and speaks Japanese very well. By the time I arrived and settled in, I was so tired I didn’t even want to take a shower. I threw my bags down, glanced over my company notes, and passed out around 9 or 10 pm JST. I got much needed sleep I had been missing out on over the past two days and managed to sleep about 10 or 11 hours total.
On Friday I met my roommate Natalie who is staying in the same apartment as me during our training period in Tokyo. She arrived just in time so we could meet; I almost missed seeing her as I was scheduled to go out with my best friend Mari. I invited Natalie and Alex to tag along. Together, the four of us quickly bonded and had a lot of fun. We took photos, and went exploring around the area in Minato-ku, stopping for dinner at a noodle shop and at a purikura machine to take photos. On Saturday, the four of us went to Senso-ji for Sanja Matsuri, a traditional festival that attracts thousands of people to this Shinto temple. There were many people wearing traditional clothes, such as happi and kimono.
We also went to harajuku and Shibuya. From the time I was 14 years old, visiting harajuku has been one of the biggest dreams of mine. I’ve been very interested in fashion subcultures that stem from harajuku. In my free time as a teenager, I collected books and magazines such as Gothic & Lolita and Fruits, while reading avidly about decora, sweet lolita, gothic lolita, gyaru, and other unique fashion from harajuku. While I’m a working adult and wear business attire, I still appreciate the cool and trendy fashion from Japan. I think on my off days while I won’t be able to dress as say, a lolita, but I can still photograph people who allow me to take their photos. I don’t feel the need to wear decora or lolita fashion in the same way that I used to (In 9th grade I wore many different colorful clothes and accessories similar to decora). However, given the chance and if I had enough money, I would wear cute/trendy clothes out and about harajuku on a Sunday if I could. 🙂
Today Alex, Natalie and I began training at our new job. We have a week or unpaid training followed by a week of paid on the job training. I can’t wait to figure out my school placement and to get settled in my company apartment, which will be set up with LeoPalace. Life is busy but it’s good. I’m finally living out my dream of being in Japan.
I’m signing off for now as I’m quite tired after my first day of work and I’m sure I’ve made a few grammatical errors writing this. I will write more soon.