In Japan...

"Hey, is that a ninja up there?"
(Japan, Aug 20 - Sep 19, 2011)

November 07, 2010

Day 0: Arrival

Arrived in Nagoya after flights of 10 hours and 2 hours and travelling 8 hours ahead in time (or 9 due to daylight savings). Sampled first proper Asian cuisine on the London-Seoul flight, with a traditional Korean dish that came with its own instruction manual. I was one of 2 western people on the flight from Seoul to Nagoya, which was a 747 (capacity over 400).
Differences between Japan and the West: No. 1)
The customs man who looked through my bag carefully refolded every article of clothing he took out and placed them back exactly as they were.
Two friends, Simon and Louisa, greeted me at the airport, who had only just moved out to Japan a month ago to start work as post-docs in their respective fields of research. Simon is also working in the same research group as I will be here in Japan. They showed me how to navigate the subway and took me to my accomodation, which was very appreciated after a long day of traveling. They had also kitted out my room with some bananas and bottled water - win! I am staying at an international student residence owned by Nagoya University. Apparently I have a 'couple' room, as it is sizeable and equipt with a small kitchen, large living space with a couch, desks and 5 chairs, endless cabinets, a double bed and balcony.

Differences between Japan and the West: No. 2)
Japanese use bean bags for pillows. At first I thought this was odd, but they are actually very comfortable, and I awoke without any soreness!

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