I woke up as usual just before 5 in the morning today when the first train passed by.. But I managed to go back to sleep again and woke up shortly after 7 instead the next time. I almost didn’t hear my alarm clock even though I had it turned up on the highest volume but only almost, luckily. I went out of bed, washed up, got dressed, had some juice and went to meet Andrey at 07.50. The academic orientation should start at 09.30 so we thought it was best to have some time since we were going to bike to Hongo campus. The GPS said 12 km so one and a half hour should be fine. But.. Of course we got a little bit lost on the way and when we finally arrived at campus we had some problems finding the right building (believe me Hongo is HUGE!) so we were a little bit late unfortunately but everything was okay and we didn’t miss much. I hate being late so I was really nervous but Andrey were just laughing at me and telling me to relax.. I tried!
Meet Andrey everyone, my biking mate and neighbor on the same floor at Komaba Lodge. He’s from France (or actually originally from Ukraine) and a funny guy.
Biking across Tokyo is really cool but it requires a lot of concentration to avoid hitting all the hundreds of people walking everywhere, especially in the morning rush hour. But we did good!
The academic orientation lasted for about two and a half hours and we got our student ID cards and lots of papers with information about almost everything you could possibly need to know as well as an international student handbook. Very handy. After that we went to a restaurant at the top of another building were we kind of mingled for a while and had juice and cold japanese tea while we waited for all students to arrive and for the food to be served. It was very pleasant! I actually found two other swedish students from Stockholm University who were really nice. Viktor and Maja. I think we will be great friends. We don’t live on the same campus but there doesn’t seem to be too many swedes here so I have a feeling that we will probably stick together. I also talked a lot with my neighbour Luke and his friend Henry from Ireland as well as a guy from Switzerland, a girl from Poland, one from England and another one from Australia. I also met Freya, a really nice girl from Copenhagen University in Denmark. And people from lots of other places of course. When this year is over I will have friends from every corner of the world and that is amazing! I am so happy and excited about this chance and opportunity that I have been granted.
The student orientation classroom,
A cool view over Tokyo Sky Tree from the restaurant &
Some of the food we were served (it turned out to be an Italian restaurant).
After having filled our stomachs with a lot of salads, finger food, different pastas and Tiramisu we all rolled out of the building to take a group picture in front of the University before we went on a smaller tour of the campus. I think we were all too busy talking to each other to actually take in our surroundings and learning how to find our way around.. But we had a good time!
One of the University buildings and a big pond in the middle of campus area with lots of beautiful Koi fishes!
Then it was finally time to go home. I was actually very tired after all the given information and all the new impressions and meetings with new people. It took us about one and a half hour to get back to our lodge, this time because I wanted to stop all the time to look at buildings and people and take some picture. But it was a nicer trip now that we didn’t have to stress and a very good exercise. My butt somewhat hurts after 24 km on a new bike.. Feels good to know that I was active.
We actually passed Tokyo Dome which is a big amusement park (I have read about it in so many shojo mangas that it felt just like meeting a celebrity in the street!). I so want to go there! You can see a glimpse of one of the rollercoasters in the upper right photo. We also met a lot of elementary school children on their way home and just look at them! They are so adorable that I almost fell of my bike twice just because I couldn’t stop looking. Same cute clothes and hats and many of them are holding hands. So lovely ❤
And finally I want to introduce you to this new friend of my. I’m sure she will be a faithful companion. I call her the Black Flash (I made that up just this second, it’s a terrible name…) because she is black and well.. If there only wasn’t so much people everywhere to slow her down she would definitely be fast as a flash…
I actually lost the key to my bike lock today so I told one of the orientation leaders that I had probably dropped it somewhere in the restaurant buildning, however I wasn’t sure, but I asked her to tell the staff that if they found a small key somewhere it would probably be mine. I had the spare one in my wallet so it would have been okay anyway but guess what, no later then 15 minutes later she showed up with my lost key! It felt so unlikely that they should find it because this building was so big and we had been so many people in there. But everyone is just so helpful and everything is so efficient! It’s amazing and fascinating at the same time. I can’t help but smile. 🙂
Now it’s time for more Hiragana and Katakana studies and then bedtime!
Good evening to you all!