End of Orientation

Posted on August 31st, 2010 by

So today was the last day of the three day orientation, and what a trip it has been.

Flying out to Tokyo is a 14 hour plane ride from DC, and it was pretty bad. Afterwards, I had about 30 minutes to make my connecting flight to Nagoya, which included going through customs, collecting my baggage and then checking it in again. That was pretty bad too!

I met a few other IES students at the airport and they were nice, then we took a train up to Nagoya station where our hotel was nearby. We had dinner and wandered around a little bit before heading back to the hotel and heading to bed.

On the first day of orientation, we got a look around Nagoya station. It’s huge. Just to give you an image of just how big it is– there are about five or six different train lines that meet there, two huge department stores, an entire high-rise office building, a hotel, a whole area dedicated to high-end restaurants, an above-ground and underground shopping malls. It’s no wonder it’s the biggest train station in the world! It’s incredible.

That’s also another reason I like Nagoya–It’s the third largest metropolitan area in Japan (after Tokyo/Yokohama and Osaka) yet it’s not a place where too many foreign tourists go. So you get the city experience but it’s very Japanese in the way that very little is actually in English.

Anyway, back on track. Afterwards we headed to Inuyama, a town north of Nagoya, for our actual orientation. We were divided into different classes for Japanese review depending on our level, and it was pretty fun. Our hotel here is a ryokan, or a traditional Japanese inn. So our guest rooms have tatami (straw mat) floors, sliding shoji doors, and we sleep on futon (but definitely not the kind you find in a college dorm!).

We got to do a bit of sightseeing around the town, and we got to visit Inuyama Castle, one of the oldest in the country still in pretty much in its original shape. It sits atop a hill and it has an incredible view (kind of like Gustavus, haha). The town itself is very quiet but it has a very nice atmosphere.

Tonight I got to try out the inn’s onsen, the public bath. It’s definitely a bonding experience that you won’t get in America. I have to admit that it was a bit awkward, since you have to be, well, naked to enter the bath and since it’s public, you’re not alone. But it was very relaxing so soak in the hot water.

Tomorrow we’re headed back to Nagoya and we finally get to be on the Nanzan campus! There, we are going to meet our host families. I’m really excited about it. お楽しみ!

I think I’m headed off to bed tonight. This post probably doesn’t make much sense because I’m so tired and still suffering from some jetlag. Hopefully I can adjust soon!

 


One Comment

  1. jill Fischer says:

    The adventure has begun! Look forward to reading your future posts!