...one last view of the West coast. Fast forward a few days and a few time zones and... おはよう good morning FROM THE MOTHERLAND!
Landed at Narita airpot at 7:00pm on Thursday and was quickly greeted by the hot, humid, and muggy summer weather. It was surprisingly easy to get out through customs as I received one funny glance when the ID-checker-man looked at my passport with shock in his eyes and said "EHHh?! 5 year visa!...すごい! awesome!" I walked out of the terminal and found Imazawa sensei holding a sign with my name on it and I couldn't help but feel like a celebrity for 2.4 seconds...until I realized I was that crazy American with three ginormous bags of luggages and more sweat on my face than an ultra-marathon runner. We walked out to the car and I got another dose of reality when Imazawa said "please sit in the car while I pay..." and I walked to the right side of the car *passenger seat right?* only to be reminded that I WAS IN JAPAN and the passenger seat is indeed on the left side. ohhhhhh...right.
We then drove about an hour to my new home in Kita-Kashiwa. The best part about arriving at my apartment was when we turned the corner, saw a 7-11, and then the car stopped because apparently we had arrived. Yes. It is true. My neighbor is 7-11. And I am not talking American-7-11-with-sketchy-hot-dogs-and-slushees....I am talking about immaculate Japanese 7-11, pristine, cleaner-than-your-teeth-after-the-dentist clean. Life is good.
On my first full day in Japan I was able to visit the school I'll be calling home for the next few years. KASHIWA MUNICIPAL HIGH SCHOOL aka ICHIKASHI. dope! I've seen many many pictures of this place since a lot of Torrance people have visited, so finally seeing it in person was rad. You'll be hearing a lot more about this place in the future.
After a tour of the school, filling out paperwork, going into town to get a bank account set up, and coming back to my apartment to meet the JCOM guys who would set up wifi...It was finally time for dinner. Lucky for me I have a few built in friend that come with the job title (because this position is purposed for Torrance locals) so Steph and Kevin took me to this place called White Gyoza for dinner. WOW. 10 Gyozas a person with rice and dashi soup...YES PLEASE. It was an amazing first dinner in Japan.
Well folks, so far so good!