The Tokyo Chapter Begins
Published Monday January 19th, 2009 from Ontakesan Dorm. Listening to DI.fm, feeling happy and comfortable.

IMG_0457.JPG
IMG_0457.JPG: 604 views
From the first weekend: In Shibuya

Ok; I'm getting back into blogging. No, really! I am. At least I'll try. The past half year things have been pretty sparse around here but at the same time the past half year I've been working a lot. (That's a good excuse, right?) I'd like to do more with this blog than just what it's been over the past 8 years; I'll likely move this blog under the Adieu-Adieu name and make that my online persona. Hopefully some vlogging will follow under the same moniker. I might also pursue internationalgaijin.com specifically for Japan related topics. I'm not sure.

Anyway, enough of that rambling. I'm in Tokyo! I got here Monday two weeks ago (Jan 5th.) Since then, things have been moving at an incredibly rapid pace--and I'm loving it! I live in Tokyo! No longer do I reside in boring, sleepy, nothing-to-do Camarillo! There are quite literally millions of people around me! It's so incredibly awesome. I sometimes catch myself standing somewhere with a giant grin on my face.

IMG_0537.JPG
IMG_0537.JPG: 563 views
From the first weekend: In Akihabara

Les Stroud said at the end of his last Survivorman episode,

"In the adventure known as life, there are those who live it vicariously and enjoy the ride from the safety of an armchair, and that's good. There are those who have a few chances to realize incredible and life changing experiences and though they don't repeat them, they carry with them a growth in personal philosophy for the rest of their lives. And there those for whom a taste is never enough, for whom the lust for adventure is nearly insatiable, and, if you add to that the overwhelming desire to create and to share, then you get where I reside; for the end of one adventure only signifies the beginning of another."
I feel I can relate well to what Les says here, especially the last bit. I share his "overwhelming desire to create and share." It's also rather relevant, specifically to this here first blog post from Tokyo, Japan.

Now that two weeks have passed since my arrival in Tokyo, the fog of confusion, the haze of mystery surrounding my new environment is starting to clear as I settle in further. I do regret not initially blogging right off the bat about my very first, initial experiences, but at the time things were just happening so quickly with so little breathing room in between, it just wasn't going to and didn't happen. Specifically the first week here is now but mostly a blur in my mind. A combination of jet lag, school orientation, getting accustomed to soooo many people around me, etc, etc, made the first week pass faster than my memory could record it.

Last week was my first week here in Tokyo with classes at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ location on Google Maps). So far, so good. My schedule looks like this:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
    • 10:00 - 11:20 - Intro to Film and Video Analysis
    • 15:20 - 16:40 - Japanese Elements I
    • 16:50 - 17:50 - Intro to Cybermedia (The instructor calls it Cybermusic)
  • Tuesday, Thursday
    • 15:50 - 17:20 - College Algebra
I think I like Intro to Cybermedia the best so far. The instructor is this In-His-Thirties, French audio engineer guy and the class is about the evolution of the recording industry and present day utilization and understanding of music. Going onto Second Life to do research is apart of the course. Haha!

Last Friday night the student government organization at TUJ organized a semesters start party at Club Muse in Roppongi, so myself and a few people including Radley and Gregorio headed there and partied for a few hours. 23:30 rolled around which was about the time we needed to leave to make it to the last train back to the dorm in Ontakesan. Most of our group left and headed home, but Greg and myself joined some other people to continue the night, subsequently missing the last train. We headed to Gaspanic, another bar/club place, but it was sort of dead so we didn't stay all too long. Once we left, we went to some ramen place and enjoyed ramen and the atmosphere for a few hours. Eventually the group dwindled down to just Greg and myself as we made our way back to the dorm taking the first train. On the way back we ran into some other people from the dorm who had been out all night.

IMG_0519.JPG
IMG_0519.JPG: 683 views
From the first weekend: In Akihabara

The first train subway experience was rather entertaining: The gates to the entrance of the Hibya subway line opened at around 04:50. We were some of the first people down there waiting for the first train to stop at Roppongi station at 05:15. As we waited, more and more people started to trickle and then pour in. Initially, the station was nearly silent, but as 05:15 approached, the chatter on the platform increased and increased to a lour roar; this is completely in contrast with the train stations during the day when most people are quiet or nearly silent. There were two categories of people on that first subway train that morning: Those who had stayed out all night, who were nearly falling asleep, eyes red from fatigue, some still fighting to hold their liquor, the others old people who just woke up. It was a fantastic mix, and an end to an entertaining night.

Shopping for food here has been fun (so far.) Here in Ontakesan (Dorm on Google Maps), most of the stores are all on one little street, the same street on which the train station is located. There's a supermarket called Jusco which is similar to a supermarket in California, albeit a bit smaller and with different stuff. Jusco has all sorts of sea food, and most of it cheaper than the beef, chicken, or pork also sold there. Each time I go and shop at Jusco I find something new that looks interesting. Yesterday (Sunday), I found chocolate pudding which tastes like a delicious pudding I've had in Switzerland!

When not shopping at Jusco, I visit the fruit market. Yesterday I found 7 large kiwis for ¥198 (~$2.19) while browsing there!!! Oh, also.. The apples here.. are GIANT. Depending on what kind of apple you get, they can be larger than both of my fists put together. When not visiting these two locales, I'll also stop in at a bakery called PanDoll, or a take-out sushi place with rather tasty Salmon sashimi! I usually visit all of these stores at 19h because everything goes on sale then. Usually 20-30% off, then increasing the later it gets if the store still has something they want to get rid of. There's also a ¥100 store nearby which sells all sorts of miscellaneous things that are surprisingly high quality for the price.

With that little random bit of shopping trivia, I'll call this entry done. It's getting a bit lengthy anyway. More entries soon, though!

Send me your address if you'd like a post card. Greetings from Tokyo! Sayoonara.