Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Hello everyone! So, I made it! After an excruciatingly long flight, I made it! I’m going to cut out the blow-by-blow for you and just touch on the important bits of my journey. First of all, when you’re on the plane over, you need to grab the two sheets that the stewardesses are handing out. One is a customs form and one is an immigration form. When you head to baggage claim, you’ll turn one into the man at immigration (where you’ll give your index fingers’ print and a picture), and then once you get you luggage, you’ll turn in the other one to the customs lady.

I would suggest taking the limousine bus from the airport, as we did, because you do in fact, get to see all of Tokyo on the drive. We took the one to Shibuya and I got to see Tokyo Disney, the great Ferris Wheel, Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, Roppongi Hills, everything. You buy a ticket for this as soon as you come out of baggage claim, where Car Rental places are in American airports. It dropped us off at the Cerulean Hotel, and from there I believe you can walk to the Shibuya station, though we took a cab to the apartment. My family has given me my own separate apartment/room with a kitchen, washer and bath, and separately feeds me and hangs out with my in their house, which is the entire second floor of this apartment building. I got to see my host father’s shrine, where he works, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen so far. I’ll be sure to get a pic soon. Also, the view from my balcony is breathtaking. You can see Tokyo Tower from my apartment. I met all but one of my host family, the younger son who was still at work at 10 when I came up to go to bed. The elder son is an English teacher and bears a strange resemblance to Nino from Arashi. I’d like to give you all instructions on how to do a collect call from here, but unfortunately, it took me, the son and the mother to figure it out, and I really was the least helpful of the bunch, so on that account, I’m sorry.

Day Two: Well it is midday on day two of my adventure. I had my older brother here help me out with the internet, another long and involved process that had him breaking out the packet of instructions, poor thing. At this point, I owe him my life. Also, my host mother showed me to the Supermarket, which was bustling with all manner of people. You had to dodge them, there were so many. My host mother made yakisoba for me for lunch, which I thought was awfully nice seeing as they aren’t obliged to feed me. I also had breakfast, which consisted of squid, onigiri (rice balls), coffee, a pastry with fresh cream and red beans inside, and a sort of corn chowder. It was all quite good, though I passed on the squid. That’s when I met the other son. He was young and smartly dressed and out of the door by 7:30. Other than that, I did meet with my homestay advisor today, from JTB. She was a very nice lady and we talked for about an hour, in Japanese, about this and that. We had coffee at this tiny, tiny, tiny place were most of the chairs were bean bags, the entrance door was just over half my height, and you had to walk down a flight of steep stairs. Kind of like a cave. I have pics. Anyway, so after that I came back and figured out (sort of), how to use the shower. Of course, you don’t bathe in the tub, you shower first and then soak, but I’m too tired to sit and bathe, so I opted for a shower and a lie down. Tomorrow I suppose I’ll brave the supermarket again, on my own this time. I have a few cup ramen and some tea, but I’ll need a little more I think. It looks quite cloudy today, and I’m thankful I brought an umbrella. Also, good to know, on bigger sidewalks, there is a yellow line running down the middle and you always want to walk on the left side of it, or else get run over by a biker. Now, I’d talk more, but I don’t want to gnaw your ear off. All my pictures are at my photobucket account, under the file 'First Few Days' : .More tomorrow…


  1. omg this is so exciting! i'm super jealous! does your host family know english? what about people around town? is it hard to communicate with them?

    are you going to do to tokyo disney while you're over there?

  2. The host family does know quite a bit of English. The mother has started actually mostly speaking to me in English when she needs to explain anything, and the older son in an English teacher, so he knows it well and I really do owe him my life. He's been a real lifesaver. Pretty much everyone around this area knows a few words and tries to help if I can't understand. I still don't know about Tokyo Disney. I suppose it depends on how expensive it is. I'm a Scrooge McDuck so...

  3. That's pretty cool! :O How did you get to know your host family?