Home Base in Tokyo

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Hello from Tokyo!

It’s been about a week since I landed at Narita Airport and traveled to my host family’s home in Kanagawa Prefecture, where I’ll be staying for this Spring semester. Now everyday, I find myself making my way into the heart of the city, to Minato-ku, where Temple University Japan is located. It’s an adventure everyday just to make it to school, and a bit of a heart-stopping one since it’s my first time leaving the States for so long. There’s a whole different world out there, and it’s all intimidating at first.

But people are built to adapt and explore, which means meeting new people and making new friends. I’m surprised by what I’ve already learned in just the first week of my stay. It’s very surprising how many different points of views I’ve encountered while living here.

It’s all very exciting and new, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. But yes, sometimes I’ve felt lost and a little frustrated with myself since my Japanese speaking skills are not as smooth as I want them to be yet. The simplest things, like asking for directions or how things work, has made me brain freeze on more than one occasion. Although the people living here are understanding, I can’t help but feel somewhat embarrassed. That’s when I just wanted a place to speak English freely without feeling awkward.

Yes, this is Temple University Japan campus. It’s like home base, and I’ve met a lot of new friends already – Japanese, American, German, Swiss, Chinese, French, Australian, Mexican, etc. alike. It’s home base to about 40% Japanese students, 40% American students, and 10% of students from over 60 different countries around the world! Impressive right?

Already I’ve been out eating and exploring with friends. Recently, we went to a little restaurant called Asian Kebab, located somewhere between Shirogane-Takanawa metro station and TUJ. Japan’s a haven for good food, and it’s hard to go wrong.

After lunch, we found ourselves leaving the cozy little restaurant and heading back to TUJ, ready to go our separate ways for our afternoon classes.

But before we parted ways, I wanted to talk a bit more with my new friend. Kristina and I hit it off really well, and talked a lot together. She’s from Missouri, and she’s a Japan Campus student – not to mention the last home-stay student who lived with my host family in Yokohama last year.

Oh, and that’s me – the little guy sitting next to her. I forgot to introduce myself earlier. My name’s Rowan, and I’m a Volks Yo-SD boy, a Japanese BJD or “ball-jointed doll.” You’ll find a lot of my resin kin wandering around the streets of Japan with their human friends. They’re all over the place, and I’m not kidding! I’ll get Haru to take me to Shinjuku or somewhere, and I’ll show you. Japan was actually where I was born… but since I don’t remember anything, we’ll just call this my first real visit.

Join me on more adventures! I’ll tell them to you through my human friend, Haru, as I make her type it all down for me.

Till next time,

Rowan

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