After a two-hour (this is what they told us it WOULD take… nobody paid attention to the actual length of time) bus ride from Narita Airport to the hotel where we’re staying (one block from the school), everyone was rather exhausted. We waited to get our bags, then waited to get in an elevator up, then waited to get our room keys, then waited (again) for an elevator up further, then we got to wander the block. I’ll get some pictures next time, but there’s one of those cool pedestrian food-court-alley things across the way from the hotel. A bunch of us ate ramen, and one of the proprietors joked with me about mugi-cha (barley tea) being good for the body, but as for the mind… well, he wasn’t sure. ^_^
So everything here is pretty wicked awesome. Check the album for pictures of the hotel room, and some brief descriptions. Also, not included in the album is the bathroom (I’m tired, whaddaya’ want?), which has a heated toilet/shower stool combo, complete with bidet functionality, and a neighboring bathtub. I think you’re supposed to wash outside the tub (it looks like the room is designed to accommodate such activities), but since I doubt it will do much harm to shower the western way for a little while, I think I’ll do that instead.
Also, we received information about our housing situations. I’ll be staying with what looks like a nice family in what looks like their apartment (cozy much?), in a little area what looks like about 13.5 miles away from campus. I’ll be taking two different train lines to get there each morning, and God (plus a few others, probably) knows how long that will take. I’m going to assume it will take less than an hour, but if I include waiting to transfer trains, I may be mistaken.
To the right you can see the path I will be taking each day to and from my home stay. I’m a little concerned about the size of the dwelling, because it’s a four-person family I’m staying with (and maybe another… there were five in the photo but four listed on the paper), and I know space is limited in Japan, but I guess only time will tell on this one.
As for what happens next, we have orientation all day tomorrow, and then we’ll have a host-family orientation half-day on Friday (today being the end of Wednesday, the 12th), and we’ll be going home with them at that time, through Sunday, and there’s some weird scavenger hunt activity on campus the next Monday. Exciting times… exciting times.