This first week sure has been hectic!
There’s been a lot going on, between things for school, getting my life set up here in Japan, and just generally trying to regain my footing. There’s been orientation these past few mornings at 9AM, along with filling out forms and getting them turned in. Getting up in the morning hasn’t been hard for me; surprisingly, I’ve woken up at 5AM these past few days. It’s interesting; I’ve never been a morning person. It would be fine, there’s just not a lot to do in the morning. Our Seminar House is locked until 7, so I’ve just had a lot of time to make breakfast and talk to my parents.
Today had a pretty busy start, though. I had orientation, and then I set off downtown to Hirakata City Hall to change my address. That was intimidating enough, but I had quite a walk ahead of me. That’s one thing about Japan; if you don’t like walking, you’ve really got to get a bicycle. Luckily, I’ve always liked walking, but the distances are really what’s getting me.
It takes about twenty to thirty minutes to walk to school (depending on what entrance you go to), which would be fine, but the heat is killer. It’s very hot and humid, so bringing along water bottles is a must.
I’m enjoying exploring the area, though. Japan truly is a beautiful place, and the scenery is so much different than back home. There’s not as much livable space in Japan (because of all the mountains), so the houses are more compact, and buildings stretch up towards the sky. Even though most houses don’t have large yards, they make the most of their space, and have lush gardens with flowers and trees. I was especially surprised to see that quite a few houses have fruit trees that extend over the fence, into the sidewalk.
I’ll admit, I’ve gotten lost a few times already. I’ve never been good with directions, and while the conservative use of space by the Japanese is impressive, it leads to there being a lot of streets that get confusing. However, because of the tranquility and general atmosphere of the area, along with the scenery, I’ve never felt upset about being lost. There’s enough unique fixtures that I eventually find my way back again, and I get to know the area better.
I’m looking forward to being able to confidently say I know the area, though.