Sorry for such long break since my last post. I’ve been go go go since I arrived in Japan and it’s been even more so since I arrived in my new home. I’ll try to run it down as best I can without making as long of a post as my last one.
Wednesday was the day I parted from my fellow Alaska JETs; some left in the morning, others early afternoon. I was right in the middle, set for 9:00. We walked to Shinjuku station and boarded a train to Tokyo station. We actually ended up leaving the hotel early, so we had plenty of time to explore the station for food. I bought a bento box from a store and chatted with my fellow Hamamatsu JETs. So much excitement! We boarded the Shinkansen (bullet train) headed to Hamamatsu City; the ride was about 1.5 hours. It was nice out, so the view of the surrounding area was beautiful! I even got a few pictures!
The past couple days have been a blur, so I don’t entirely remember what order everything happened. After arriving in Hamamatsu City, we drove to the City Hall to register our Residence Cards and at the same time while waiting for our cards to be updated, we filled out all our bank account papers. We drove to the Board of Education to pick up our suitcases and even received a welcome bag of baked goods from a current JET! The brownie was best by far!
In this INSANE heat, what is really only a short 10 minute walk feels like you’ve been walking for hours. I’m pretty sure we all were drenched in sweat especially since most of us live higher than the second floor. I live right between he BoE and the JR Station on the third floor of a complex; the stairs are SO steep. Even now I’m still breathless by the time I reach the top. I had the rest of the evening to myself, but I left right away to meet up with everyone else to go to Bic Camera to set up phones. Ended up getting a phone with AU (aw yeah, iPhone 6Plus at last) and even got wifi set up; super productive first day!
The second day was filled with training! Speeches and presentations and more speeches! I’m so surprised to see how well thought out this training is. Over the past two days of training (Thursday and Friday), we’ve covered topics of Culture Shock, Developing Good Relationships with our JTEs (Japanese Teachers of English), Introductions, Apartment Details, Public Transportation, Working with local International groups (HICE) and we even met the mayor of Hamamatsu City!
In the evenings, we’ve all been breaking off into small groups to shop for various things. The 100 yen store has been my best friend since I got here. Most of my apartment has been furnished by it! Recently, I bought a bed frame from a local furniture store. A current JET, C, brought a few of us there today; I could have bought so much, but I had to restrain myself! There are still a few more things I need to buy, but I plan on filling up the apartment slowly.
I get to find my four schools on Monday…. On my own. But! The BoE provided detailed maps and bus schedules so we can all find them with little trouble. Most of mine I take a bus to then walk, but I’m excited to see them at last! We don’t officially start working at the schools until the 17th, as we still have training at the BoE this coming week. I can’ wait to meet all the teachers I’ll be working with.
Hamamatsu is great city! I’m nearby quite a few stores and useful shops; I’ve been having fun scouting the area. I hope to keep this blog more up to date now that I have wifi!