And they’re off!

I’ll include more pictures and video over the next couple of days but for now, I just wanted to check in.  Friday I left Seattle at 11:45am with a brief layover in Los Angeles.  Around 6pm, I departed for Haneda and tried to get as much sleep as possible on the 11 hour flight.  Once we landed, it was off to my hotel for the night so that I could get rearranged for Sunday morning.  By this time it was almost midnight on Saturday but luckily I managed enough Japanese to get my to the hotel in one piece.

It’s Sunday morning, and I am wide awake at 7am (a solid 2 hours before my alarm).  I decided to go ahead and get ready so that I could find breakfast and do some shopping for apartment supplies.  My quest for an inexpensive yukata failed but I did get some other essentials before checking out of the hotel around 11am.  Because my bag was far too heavy and large for the hour long trip on the trains out to Kawasaki, I called another cab.  Normally, I would not recommend hiring taxis in urban Japan, when there are much cheaper trains and buses to be had.  In some cases, you just have to bite the bullet though and pay a bit more.  In this case, my 40 pound suitcase with Japan’s summer weather would probably have been the end of me had I decided to pay 590 yen (about $6).  I took a cab and paid 10200 yen ($105).  Yep.  Ouch.  Now, if I didn’t have the suitcase, I would have taken the trains without question; they are fantastic here.

Enough about transportation for now though, I need to wrap this up and find some batteries for my alarm clock.  I’m moved into my roughly 200 sq ft apartment (with a washer and bathroom) and finally have internet set up.  I need to hang up my clothes, go though some review and prepare for my first day of class tomorrow.  Let’s hope I’m awake enough by then for the 10am-4pm wave of intensive Japanese that I’m about to dive into.