Monday, January 09, 2006

In Osaka

Tonight will mark my first night in the city of Osaka. So far, my general impression of the second biggest city in Japan is this, I like it. Osaka seems a tad seedier than Nagoya and the streets are narrower and lined with stalls. It feels more like what I expected an Asian big city to feel like. If you remember Gremlins the movie, think of the opening scene where the dad is in Chinatown and he buys the Mogwai from the old shopkeeper, that is what Osaka looks like and sounds like. There is character here.

This is also Coming of Age Day in Japan. Basically, all of the twenty year old men and women dress up in traditional garb and attend parties in their honor, celebrating their entrance into adulthood. Due to the partying, there are also more people out than usual and there are more drunk people out than usual.

As for my hotel, it is tons nicer than the hotel we stayed at in Nagoya. The room is bigger and fancier and the bathroom is much bigger; I can fit into the shower. I am on what I think is a personal cable modem right now and it is screaming fast. I like having good internet and I will be here for two weeks during training.

As for training, it was pretty boring today. It was full of all of the administrative stuff that you must endure with every new job and they basically told us all of the different ways the can fire us. They are BIG sticklers for being on time. While I don't foresee this being a problem, it kind of worries me just because I am still not 100% comfortable with using the bus and train system yet.

I did get one piece of bad news today. I found out I will not be in Fujieda City as I expected and had planned. I will be in a city called Kakagawa in the Hyodo prefecture. There are upsides and downsides to this change. The downside is that I really liked the location of Fujieda in conjuntion with Tokyo. I was also very close to another girl that I have made friends with during training and we were going to take turns cooking for and visiting each other. It was going to be nice having someone close to hang out with. There are several upsides to the move, however. First, I will be very close to Nara, Osaka, and Kyoto. I will be where the history is. Nara is one of the only cities that we didn't bomb in WWII and many of its historical treasures are in pristine condition. Kyoto used to be the old capital of Japan and many of the oldest shrines are around there. And as I said, I am quickly growing fond of Osaka. Osaka also has Den Den Town. Den Den Town is the second largest electronics and computer area in Japan behind Akihabara in Tokyo. This is good.

I have also been told that my area is generally a nicer setting because Fujieda was a very industrial setting and it is a tad on the polluted side. The funny part is that the girl I was going to hang out with got my job in Fujieda. Evidently, the teacher before me in Kakagawa was a woman who claimed people were stalking her and trying to scare her. They needed a male replacement with a work visa quickly, that was me.The onsen are also down here so that is cool. They are the naturally occurring hotsprings that many people like to soak in. And come cherry blossom season, my city will be on of the first to get them due to its more Southern location. Yay Cherry Blossoms!

Tomorrow, we meet at a quarter to eight in the morning. We are going to go on a guided tour of Osaka and do a set of classroom observations with a partner. I am glad I will be able to move around a bit more tomorrow, today was a lot of sitting.

I also got to ride on the Shinkensin today. That is the Japanese bullet train. That thing moves. It is like riding on an airplane with more room and on the ground. I was amazed at the speed in which scenery flew by me. We went from Nagoya to Osaka in 45 minutes.

Once we got to our new hotel, the majority of the group went out to dinner. It was pretty good but I could have done for something a tad more hearty and filling. But it was good company and pretty cheap for the seven of us to eat so I can't complain too much. I am glad I will be with the group that I am with and I am glad we get to train in Osaka over Nagoya. The hotel is nicer, the city more to my liking, and for the most part the people too. The others that stay in Nagoya have to stay in cheesy apartments that are actually more expensive than what my hotel stay will end up being. All in all, not a bad experience so far at all. I still think I could live here forever. :)

One thing I will not be able to do forever is sleep on the futon that I ordered today. The Japanese have a different idea of what futons are than Americans do. The thing looks small and I doubt the comfort level that one will provide. I could be wrong but just by looking at the pictures, if I am going to be here for any length of time, I want a bed. I also have to air the futon out, as not to get mold and fungus growing on it. Beh. Oh well, now I will know what it is like to sleep on a futon.

Speaking of sleeping, I should probably head that way too pretty soon. I have a long day ahead of me and an early wake up time. Good night everyone!


At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Tony said...

What a Brave New World you're exploring!


Post a Comment

<< Home