My First Week in the Land of the Rising Sun

Nakatsu

View from Nakatsu

It’s been an amazing week here in Fukuoka city! I have never been to Japan before and was filled excitement and expectations prior to the trip. Let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed. Even jet lag, a cold and tons of legal procedures couldn’t stop me from enjoying my days in Japan. I feel like a kid in a candy shop because everything amazes me. My dorm is located in a quiet neighborhood right next to Kyushu University Hospital. My single-room is clean and comes with furniture such as a bed, a desk, a refrigerator, 4 closets, bathroom and a small cabinet. There are コンビニ (convenient store) on both sides of the street for easy access to mid-night snacks, a shopping mall called You Me (ゆめ) Town with a grocery store, restaurants and almost everything else. The location is great and only a 15-minute bike ride from campus.

After days of exhausting paper work and orientation, I’m finally able to relax and hang out with other JTW students. Everyone here is incredibly nice, especially JTW staff who organizes everything to help us settle in a new country. We had an orientation trip to Kuju training center, 2 hours away from Fukuoka. The journey was fun, excited and the mountain landscapes were gorgeous. The highlight of the trip was Mt. Aso where we get to observe the entire town in a valley surrounded by mountains. The view was breath-taking and I felt blessed for the opportunity to be there! I also got to watch a funny monkey performance as a bonus. It was a great experience. Even after being here for a week I still can’t believe that I’m here experiencing both the language and culture. I do miss my friends and family back in Seattle but Japan is beginning to feel more like home. I look forward to trying new things here in Fukuoka, meet new people and form new friendships.