Japan!

Hello! I don’t know if anyone is still reading this as it’s been so long since i’ve written. But i thought i’d give a little update on life in japan so far.

As it always goes, my time at home went by way too fast. Another week or so wouldn’t have gone amiss! But i had a great time hanging out with my family over easter and my friends in london thereafter, even if it was a bit of a cramming session to try and fit as many people in as possible!

Anyway, on the 20th of April i left home to go to japan, though the 20kg luggage limit proved to be rather tricky as ihad more than twice the amount… thank god my dad was there! In Tokyo i was met by someone at the airport and brought to the hotel, and that afternoon i stayed in the area of my hotel because i was quite tired and it was raining. I’m currently still at the hotel, which is located in Asakusa, also known as old tokyo. It’s a nice area, though sometimes a bit long-ish to go to some of the more popular central places like the emperor’s palace and shibuya. I really like tokyo though, i’ve tried to do as much sighseeing as i can when i’m not in training and when it’s sunny, which it usually is, it’s beautiful! I have no issues with the trains, and there’s SO much to do here…. you can tell it one of the world’s biggest cities! But in a good way, it’s quite clean and it has some really interesting buildings, architecturally.

I had training from wed the 21st till the 28th. It involved talking about teaching, strategies, some policy stuff and then a demo lesson at the end. It was really useful, especially as the guy who was training us was good. i mean real good. I trained with 10 others at the beginning but 2 days in 2 guys left and it was 9 of us (all staying in the same corridor in the same hotel). We all get along really well, which has been a nice change from travelling by myself, and we’ve been out in the city several times! I’ve actually been placed with 5 of them down in nagoya, which is supposed to be one of the most liveable cities in japan, the 4th biggest, and it’s really close to kyoto and osaka and about 2 hours from tokyo so i can’t really complain! i’m most likely teaching junior high (13-15yrs) and slim chance of high school, but i’d ideally wanted elementary. Beggers can’t be choosers eh? The good news was that we’re only going down on the 8th of may, so we had a load of time to do sighseeing, but they were originally only going to start paying us from the 15th of may (so almost a month in japan without being paid for it… they only pay at the end of the next month as well!!!) but they’ve agreed to start paying us from the end of training.

For anyone interested in coming to tokyo, this is what i’ve seen so far:
– shibuya (only at night) is pretty hectic, and the crossing is as busy as they say! will see it in daylight tomorrow, so that should give some great pictures! good for clubbing
– ginza, this is the shopping high end area, with all the designer shops and the sony center (8 floors of displays) and the mac store etc. it’s really nice to walk there on a sunday cos they close the highstreet (chuo dori) off
– shinjuku – part of it is lots of shops and part is some wacky but interesting architecture. nice for a walk on a sunny day.
– daikin’yama – the best shopping as far as i’m concerned – all retro shops in small alleys, quite authentic
– roppongi – a busy gaijin (japanese word for foreigners) area with a few clubs, not many are good, and a rip-off of the eiffel tower called the tokyo tower.

That’s about it for now! Hopefully won’t be too long before i get back to you

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