First week of work!

My first day of classes was last Friday, so my first week is officially done :)

Everything is going well so far, and I'm enjoying my job. I want to get more into it though, because I think once classes really get going and I get to know more students better then I will be able to do a better job. But, so far so good!

Last weekend I went on a trip with other Japanese students and also international students to Kamakura. Kamakura is a very historic and old town near the beach south of Tokyo. We took a bus down with about 30 people, then explored in groups. The first temple we went to I had been to before, but it was just as beautiful.
All these were bought by people who wrote some kind of wish on them, and the proceeds support the shrine. This small shrine was part of a much bigger one and it was in its own little secluded spot.
We also did omikuji (fortune telling lottery) as a group. I got kichi which is pretty good luck.
This was my group. There was one more guy and he is in a hip-hop dance club at the school. He invited me to the club so I hope I can go sometime to dance! We had a very fancy lunch with tempura, sashimi, chawanmushi, soup, vegetables, rice, and tea. Needless to say, I was quite full and satisfied.

The next place we went was called Houkokuji. It is famous for having over 2,000 bamboo plants, and it is also quite old (from the 1300s). It had a very tropical feel actually. The place was really peaceful and full of nature. I really enjoyed this place.

They grow to be very tall-
We also got to taste matcha green tea at a small building in the middle of the bamboo forest.
You eat the candy first to get a sweet taste in your mouth, then drink the bitter tea. It's delicious!
Next we moved a bit farther south along the ocean to Enoshima to visit the aquarium. They had a whole jellyfish room which was really cool. There was a dolphin show too, at a stadium that was right up against the ocean and partially outdoors. The show was quite unique, because it had these 4 women who sang, danced, played with the dolphins, and did synchronized swimming. Not like a dolphin show in the US really, but I was entertained-
2 of the dolphins were huge like this^^

After we got back, the two professors chaperoning the trip took us out to eat. We went to this Indian curry place right by campus, which is one of the other teacher's all-time favorite curry place. The guy who ran the place actually asked us if we knew him because he goes there all the time :P

The naan there is humongous!!
This trip was really fun, and I loved that the main purpose of it was international exchange because OWU had lots of events like this but other schools don't. Mostly, it was a really fun day and I made a few friends. I'll probably be returning to the curry place soon, too!


my room

I am all unpacked, so here's where I am living:

bed with storage underneath

desk, tiny chair, and surprisingly fast dial-up internet

closet and kitchen

all-in-one bathroom

the door to the hall (2nd floor)


the view outside
I also have a storage closet down the hall, communal laundry area, bike parked outside, and a cat that wanders around-

and this is the route from here to the school:
check it out!


Back in Japan!

After a year and a half, I have finally returned to Japan to start working as a teaching assistant at Toyo Gakuen University in Chiba/Tokyo. The flight was long, my bags were heavy, and it's hot here, but despite all that I'm happy to be back! I got set up in my dormitory apartment last night by two of the faculty members. I just got internet this morning and I still have a few things to put away. Pictures will come when everything has a place- Today Mama-san, the lady who takes care of the dorm, took me out to show me around and to treat me to lunch even. We went to the station closest to me (about 3 minute walk!) and a little farther away to Kashiwa. This is kitakogane:

and the delicious green tea ice cream we had:

and now some awesome things I saw-