Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years!

Happy New Year! I had a lot of fun ringing in the new year here in Tokyo! I headed out to Shibuya to meet up with some friends, and we counted down to midnight out in the street, on the scramble crossing with all the big video screens. They stopped traffic through there, and it was really crowded but still really fun. I guess Shibuya is the Tokyo equivalent of Times Square over new years! Afterwards we headed out to a club nearby - on our way there, we ran into a shrine, and it was a really odd location for a shrine since it was right in the middle of the clubbing/love hotel district. We stopped in for a minute (partially because they had a fire going and we were all freezing, haha), and tossed in a few yen and rang a bell for luck for the new year. We left the club around four am and headed for a Sukiya, which is sort of the Japanese equivalent of a Waffle House except with higher sanitation standards. The trains still weren't running by the time we finished, so we decided to head up to Meiji Shrine in Harajuku. It was a little bit crowded! Everyone goes to shrines here on New Years though, it's Japan's New Years tradition. Despite the cold, we washed our hands and mouths at the place where you do that (aunt sam and mom, you remember that ritual right?) and tossed some more yen and made wishes for the new year. Then I bought a souvenir, it's an arrow and I guess it's supposed to protect your home? I just thought it was cool, haha. Check out the PICTURES. I'm spoiling you guys with all these pictures lately : p The little piece of paper next to the arrow is a fortune, there was a place where you could shake a box full of sticks, and whichever number stick came out corresponded to the fortune you were given. I got number 7, and one of my Japanese friends tried to translate it but according to him it says that I should become a person who is better than bamboo. I'm guessing something was probably lost in translation there, haha. After we left Meiji Shrine we split up, some of my friends went to catch the train home but a couple of us decided to stick around and watch the first sunrise of the new year from one of the pedestrian crossings in Harajuku. Then after that I finally came home, and tried to get some sleep but the sun streaming through my giant glass doors onto the balcony made it kind of hard, so I decided to go ahead and write up this post : p

Friday, December 28, 2007

Back by popular demand, it's picture post time!

Due to popular demand, here are some more pictures. These ones are just of my apartment; I'm still sorting through all my Christmas lights pictures. That'll be the next post. Then you all will have to suffer a dearth of pictures again as I attempt to find the right cable to transfer pictures from my phone to my computer. It's hard right now because I was going to get one of my Japanese friends to help me out, but at the moment they're all in their hometowns for New Years. New Years here is when everyone goes back home to be with their families. But for now, enjoy some pictures of my apartment. Check out the size of my closet! Also one wall is almost entirely taken up by sliding glass doors out onto the balcony. Lots of windows, which is nice. I thought I took a picture of the genkan and shoe cupboard, but I guess not... I love having a shoe cupboard, it's so convenient because it's right there by the door, so you don't have to lug your shoes to the entryway to put them on or waste valuable closet space on them! Not that it would particularly matter in this apartment's closet.
The bathroom sink is right there in the kitchen, which I initially thought might bother me a bit but which has turned out to be perfectly fine. It's actually a pretty good little bathroom sink space, the mirror cupboard has shelves and a place to put your toothbrush. The stove only has two burners, but a couple of the other places I looked at only had ONE, plus no counter space. There's not a lot of counter space, which can be a pain at times, but I don't actually cook that often, so...
Anyway, I'm tired and slightly sick, so I'm going to head for bed. Vacation starts tomorrow, yay! No more work until Jan 7, which gives me plenty of time to rest and recuperate.
Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Check it out! Finally I can post pictures again! This post is going to be short because I need to get to sleep - I'm working tomorrow, so I need to be up fairly early. Just wanted to get this up because SOME people seemed to think that it would never happen! : p Anyway, these four are me at Tokyo Beach in Odaiba, the view of Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba, a view of Shinjuku out the window of the bar from Lost in Translation (it's on the 52nd floor, I think - it's a fantastic view, this picture doesn't do it justice), and me, my friend Matt, and Jack, the guy from Amsterdam we met at that same bar. This is it for now, but look for another post soon with even MORE pictures! I've got some of my new apartment, and a bunch of the Christmas lights from Shinjuku and Tokyo Midtown. Time to sleep now, though.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Being a tourist, after three months

So in the last two weeks I've seen more of Tokyo and done more touristy things than in the entirety of the three months I've been living here, probably. Last week one of my friends went back home to England, so in the two days before he left we hung out and did some stuff, including going to the bar from Lost in Translation. It was a little smaller than we were expecting, but the view was AMAZING. I took pictures which I can't post yet... hopefully I'll be able to within the next couple weeks though. At the bar, I started talking with this guy who turned out to be visiting from Amsterdam. We hit it off so I spent the next couple days being a tourist with him. We went over the Rainbow Bridge into Odaiba, which I had never done before. Odaiba was great though, there was actually a beach there, and another fantastic view. There was also a store that had the turquoise kettle I wanted! Score! I tried to take some pictures of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower from the observation deck, but my camera is on its last legs and didn't quite capture it very well. I'll try to post the pictures anyway though. We also took some purikura pictures. You can choose all your own sparkles and glitter and accessories, and it's soooo high school girl but totally fun anyway. Then today I went to Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Kouen, or Ikebukuro West Gate Park as it's known in my favorite Japanese TV show. It was also smaller than I expected, but I walked around and took pictures like the fangirl I am ^^ Afterwards I went on a quest to see some illuminations. Tokyo is decorated to the nines with Christmas lights, but some areas are more extravagant than others. I went to see the Shinjuku Southern Lights and the Takashimaya illumination circus, and they were pretty awesome. I also went to Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi, which had an entire field of lights as well as avenues of lit-up trees. Marunouchi is supposed to have some great lights as well, but I probably won't make it over there before Christmas is over. Apparently here in Japan, Christmas decorations go down the minute Christmas is over, unlike in America where they might stick around until mid-January.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Home decor

Now that I have some money again, I've been doing some shopping for my apartment. I still don't have a refrigerator - I want to get one used but I have to figure out how to transport a used fridge, since most sellers don't offer a delivery service. So I went looking around - the cheapest new fridge I've found was around 30 000, which is a bit more than I really want to pay. I'm sure there are other places to look though, that might offer smaller and cheaper. I got a bathmat, and some cute blue bowls, and a frying pan, and the Japanese equivalent of a Swiffer today though. I was going to get this awesome turquoise tea kettle, but when I went back in to pick it up after deciding to fork over the 3000, it was gone! So no tea kettle for me. Tomorrow I'm going to try to run back to Yodobashi to get one of those hot water heater/dispenser things instead. It's kind of fun to do all this home shopping, since I've never lived by myself before I've never really had complete control of the decor and everything.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Internet-less again

Today is my last day here in Ikuta, and unfortunately my new place doesn't have any unsecured wireless signals for me to pick up so this will also be my last post for a while, until I can set internet up there. Everything else is set up though, there's water, electricity, and gas, so that's good at least. Anyway I should be going, still got some things to move and I probably shouldn't procrastinate too long. Until next time!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Moved... almost

My friend came through for me with a car last Saturday, so I'm mostly moved into the new place now. There's no hot water there yet so I'm sticking around in Ikuta until there is, because hot showers are pretty much a necessity in winter.
Once I move in there, I really want to get a bicycle. It's a little far from the station - not a terrible walk, but when I'm in a hurry to catch the train to get to work on time, I can see a bike coming in very handy. Plus it'll be good exercise. I need one with a little basket on it to put my grocery bag or shopping bags or purse into when biking back from the station!
Sadly, it doesn't appear that the grocery store at Komae station is 24-hr like the one here in Ikuta is. At least there is a coffee shop in Komae though.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I'll be picking up the key to my new apartment tomorrow, and hopefully I'll start moving in tomorrow as well. My friend's friend has a car, and hopefully will help me out a bit so I don't have to move everything by train! I should really be starting to pack, but I'm sooo exhausted right now. I need to hang my laundry too, ugh.
The company that bought out Nova is finally putting things in motion, and there was an information session the other day where we could sign up for employment for the new company and also, more importantly, sign up for a salary advance. So hopefully I'll actually have some money in my account sometime soon! That'll be a novelty. I really hope I get it soon though, because I'm going to need to buy some stuff for my new apartment, and also I want a warmer coat. I got a pair of (really cheap) earmuffs today, so my ears at least should be toasty now when I venture outside! There's this great store in Shibuya that has all sorts of really cheap stuff. It's not a hundred-yen shop, but everything is sooo cheap. It may not be the highest quality stuff, but when you need something quick on a budget it's fantastic. I meant to pick up some socks there too, but I totally forgot.
That's about it for news... and besides Project Runway just finished downloading so I'm going to go watch that instead of packing! More updates to follow if anything noteworthy happens before I move.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Hmm... where to start. So I've been working at Gaba for a couple weeks now, unfortunately it's been kind of slow (for everyone, and worse for me since I'm a new instructor). The way Gaba works is that you only get paid for as many lessons as you actually teach, so if you schedule yourself for all day but only actually get four lessons, you'll only get paid for those four. It's kind of frustrating because I want to schedule myself for a lot of classes in the hopes that someone will book in, but then if they don't it's essentially a wasted day that I could have been doing something else in.
Like finding an apartment. We finally got the eviction notice, and we have to be out of here by Dec 5. I've been looking around at apartments and guest houses, and I've pretty much decided on a place in Komae. Komae is on the same line as Ikuta, it's actually only like five stops away, but it's a fairly inexpensive place to live. The closer you get to central Tokyo, the more expensive and smaller the apartments get. This one in Komae that I found is 65000/mo, which is quite good for the area, and it's a decent size too - it's actually got both a living room and a kitchen/dining area, as opposed to all the tiny six-mat studios I've been seeing up closer to Tokyo for 70000 and up. Komae is about 20 minutes from Shibuya, which is nice, and like five minutes from Seijo, which is also quite nice. The move in fees are pretty high, but they're still lower than everything else I've looked at.
I'm still working on my Japanese, I went out the other night to the restaurant one of my friends works at with some other friends, and it was pretty fun. I'm heading out again tonight with my language exchange partner, he's been great for helping me speak more naturally.
It's FREEZING here in Tokyo, although I'm sure it's probably colder in Ohio, haha. At least you've got heat there though, most apartments in Japan don't have central heating and ours is no exception. The little space heater that came with the apartment is getting a lot of use, and I'm definitely going to take it when I move. If I ever manage to save up enough money, there's actually room in this apartment that I'm looking at for a kotatsu, which is a traditional Japanese low table with a heater and blanket built right in, to huddle around during the wintertime.
Anyway I'm about to head out, I might be without internet for a bit again after I move so I'll try to post more in the interim!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just some stuff

I finished training with Gaba, so I'll be going in tomorrow to set up my schedule. I'll be working at Seijo, which is nice because it's really close, only about fifteen or twenty minutes away. I might try to move to Seijo once we're evicted, it's a pretty nice area and it's on an express stop, up a little closer to central Tokyo.
I went out last night with some Japanese friends; it was fun, although communication was a little difficult at times! Aki actually speaks quite good English, but the rest are at a bit lower level, so it was kind of a mix of broken English on their part and broken Japanese on my part, haha. It was amusing sometimes - one of the dishes we ordered came with salmon roe, and Nobu went "salmon babies!" I cracked up, although I guess it was technically accurate, lol.
I've actually got a private lesson lined up tomorrow with one of Aki's friends, which should help a bit in getting by until my first Gaba paycheck.
I'm really sad that I have no money right now, since two of my favorite Japanese bands are touring through November and December! I was all excited when I first found out, then I remembered that I have no money. Kawaisou (sad)! I actually probably wouldn't be in such bad shape if I didn't have to buy train tickets all the time. Half my money goes to train tickets, the other half to food. I've been going through the gates illegally lately, to save money. Since the train stations are so crowded, you can actually get away with just buying the lowest fare and then really quickly walking through the gates before they close on you.
I guess that's it for now... I should get to sleep soon since I want to get to Shibuya a little early tomorrow to make sure I can find the cafe I'm meeting Aki's friend at. It's impossible to find places here since nothing has an actual address and half the streets don't have names.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

We have internet!

We finally have internet! I've been online talking with people and surfing the web all day, haha.
So I'm going in to sign a contract with Gaba tomorrow, then I'm training for three days after that. After training, I'll start actually working there. I'm still looking for other jobs as well though, since Gaba doesn't pay for transportation or find housing for you or anything. Housing shouldn't be too much of a problem though, there are guest houses all over the place that are fairly cheap and that you can just rent by the month. I'm going to stay here through November though, I think, although circumstances may change at any moment.
I met up with a guy yesterday to do a language exchange - teach english in exchange for some japanese. It's very informal, just some chatting over coffee. He was pretty cool (and very stylish!), so we'll probably try to meet up again next weekend. It's a pretty good way to get some conversation practice in, for both parties. I need to try to get some more intensive practice in, it's too easy to get by with only English here.
I bought a cord that I thought would let me transfer pictures from my phone to my computer, but I guess it was the wrong type because it didn't work. Next time I'm in Machida I'll try to exchange it for a different one. So no pictures yet, sorry.
I'm sure I had other things to talk about, but I definitely can't remember any right now. I can post more regularly now that we have steady internet though!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sightseeing and karaoke-ing

Not a lot has been happening lately, which is why there haven't been many posts. I'm planning on going sightseeing soon though, so I'll try to remember to bring my camera and post some pictures. I tried to go to Asakusa the other day, but I got lost trying to find the subway and somehow ended up walking straight into Akihabara. I didn't feel like trekking all the way back into Kanda and wandering around fruitlessly some more, so I decided to just head for Ginza instead, since it was really close and I hadn't been there yet. Ginza is the really, really expensive shopping district; as I was walking around I spotted a Chanel, a Dior, a Balenciaga, and a Bulgari - one at each corner of this one intersection. There was also a Le Cafe de Doutour, which I found kind of hilarious because it was basically just a Doutour (which is a coffee shop that you find everywhere - there's one right below where I work that I go to before going in) that they Ginza-fied. No ordinary Doutour will do for the Ginza shopper; when they finish buying their thousand-dollar Chanel bag they want a coffee shop with a fancy French name! There were actually some really cool buildings in Ginza - I took pictures, but they're all on my phone camera ^^;
After Ginza, I headed a couple stops down to Hamamatsucho to visit the Tokyo Tower. That brought back memories! I was like, aww, there's the Mos Burger that we stopped at in the mornings, and hey, there's the Shiba Park Hotel! So I've been to the tower during the day, but I wanted to go up it at night this time. Unfortunately, a lot of other people had the same idea and the line was huge, so I didn't end up going in because I was going to be meeting some people. I'll probably try to get someone to go up with me sometime in the future.
Oh! I almost forgot! I finally did karaoke! After I met up with everyone in Shibuya we went to an izakaya for some food and drinks (the bartender there was pretty cute, but man he was so slow and careful), then we went to a nomihoudai club nearby. Nomihoudai is basically just all-you-can-drink. We got there before midnight so it was pretty cheap - 1500 for women. Anyway, we ended up heading for karaoke afterward. Karaoke in Japan is different from in America; what you do is rent a room for you and your friends, so you're not singing in front of a bunch of strangers at a bar. Everyone gets a microphone, and there's an electronic remote that you use to pick what song you're going to do. At some places, you can also order food and drinks, but we didn't do that.
I still haven't bought any fall shoes, because I still haven't been PAID. We were supposed to have been paid last Monday, but there was a notice that it had been delayed and we would be paid on Friday instead. Friday came and went - no pay. Saturday there was another notice saying that we should be paid around the 25th. Not ON the 25th - AROUND the 25th. So, uh, I'm looking for other jobs right now. Nova's been having a ton of financial difficulties that have only come to light recently, so I'm thinking I might try to just jump ship elsewhere. There are a ton of English conversation schools around, and I've already got some interviews lined up.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Machida, mochi, and sushi, oh my

Today I went to a sushi-train restaurant in Machida with one of my roommates. It's this little restaurant where everyone sits around a circular bar, and there's a little conveyor belt that goes around and you pick the sushi you want off the conveyor belt. There's a couple sushi chefs in the middle replenishing what the customers take. The price is based on the color of the plate; something on a pink plate might be 100 yen, 150 yen on a yellow plate, etc. Then the final bill is determined by how many plates of what color you have after you're finished. It was pretty good, and not too expensive in the end.
We also stopped by the new department store that just opened up there, in order to pick up some mochi cream. Mochi is rice that's been pounded together into a soft, gooey texture; it's traditional to have mochi at new year's here. Mochi cream is flavored mochi with a cream filling inside. I picked up a blueberry one and a green tea one; my roommate got melon and strawberry flavors. They were really good, but soooo rich.
I also saw this really cute pair of ankle boots while we were poking around this one store; I might get them once I get paid, because I kind of need another pair of fall shoes. The vast majority of my shoes are sandals, but it's getting too cold to wear sandals anymore.
We should be getting internet in another couple weeks, so I'll hopefully be able to be online more and maybe post some pictures and stuff as well.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Roppongi Hills

I went out last night with my roommates and the guys upstairs to a club in Roppongi. It was really cool, the club was on the 57th floor of the building and there were giant windows everywhere, so you got a FANTASTIC view of Tokyo all lit up at night. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures, though : (
I finally had some sushi here, too - last night after work I went out with one of my coworkers to this little sushi restaurant right there in Sagamihara. It was pretty good, although I wasn't terribly adventurous; I just stuck to egg, eel, salmon, shrimp, and eggplant tenpura. James went for some octopus and squid, but I pretty much will only eat octopus in small, well-cooked quantities, and squid if it is calamari. I went out for drinks and appetizers the other day with a couple other coworkers at TGI Friday's (there's actually one right in Machida - I was surprised, I thought they were just an American chain) and had some delicious calamari.
This post will be fairly short because all this talk of food is making me hungry. I think I'm going to go run to the grocery store and pick something up to eat.
Tomorrow I'll be working at the Tsurukawa branch, which is much closer than Sagamihara. I think it's a pretty small branch, so hopefully it'll be fairly organized and not as crazy as Shibuya was.
The weather here got really cold overnight it seems. A couple days ago it was hot as ever, and now it's cold and rainy.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Takoyaki is the octopus; it's basically diced octopus rolled in this special breading and fried into balls. Yum yum, right? It actually tastes okay, although unagi (eel) is better.
I went out last night with most of my branch to this all-you-can-drink izakaya right there in Sagamihara; it was like five minutes from the school. Almost everyone was there, including the staff; I think we were only missing like two people. We were in a tatami room, so we actually all had to take our shoes off in the entranceway and put them in these little cubbies. The place provided slippers, but most of us just went up barefoot. We were at this really low table with cushions on the floor to sit on and a hole underneath so you can stretch your legs. It was pretty fun.
Another new Nova guy just moved in next door to us, I ran into him yesterday on my way home. He's actually training at Shibuya this week; he's going to a branch that's closer than Sagamihara, though.
I'm off tomorrow, yay! I might head back up to Harajuku; or I might see if there's a Tully's anywhere in Mukougaokayuen (the next stop up from Ikuta). The one in Machida is really nice, it's pretty big and there are tables and cushy chairs all around, and the coffee is pretty good. Oh and when I was there the other day the guy behind the counter was really cute ^.~
I STILL have not done karaoke, but it turns out a couple guys at my branch are into it, so I might try to go out with them at some point.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Today before work I went to Akihabara with one of the guys I work with, it was pretty fun. I picked up this awesome dictionary for my DS; I was going to just pick up a regular book-form dictionary, but James showed me this DS thing and it's pretty awesome. You can look up unfamiliar kanji by using the touch stick to just draw it right on the screen, and you can use it both ways - look up the English or Japanese definitions of a word, or look up the Japanese word for an English word or vice versa. I'm very happy to have a dictionary again, my Japanese should come along much better now. I looked at digital cameras as well, and I think I might go ahead and get one once I finally get paid. Mine has been acting up, it's probably time for a new one. My phone actually takes pretty good pictures, but I don't know if I can get pictures from my phone onto my computer.
While we were in Akihabara we saw this guy (a Westerner) dressed up as this anime character, actually leading a guided tour through the district. It was pretty funny, people were actually following them around taking pictures. Oh! and I ate takoyaki again for the first time since I've been here. It was better this time, although it probably won't become a regular staple of my diet, haha.
I also had Dr Pepper for the first time since arriving here! You almost never see Dr Pepper in vending machines or at grocery stores here, I was beginning to think that it didn't exist in Japan. But no, there was some in Akihabara! Right there in the vending machine! I hadn't had soda in general here in Japan in forever because all I've seen has been Coke and Pepsi, neither of which I particularly like. It's probably a good thing, it's not like soda is the healthiest of drinks, but it was kind of nice to have some good old-fashioned sugar and carbonation.
I saw one of those sushi-train restaurants in Machida while I was wandering around, so my roommates and I might head down there at some point to try it out. I still haven't eaten any sushi here, since I'm kind of wary as to what might be in it.
Anyway, that's it for now; gotta get up far too early tomorrow in order to be at work on time so I should get to bed soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


So here are some pictures, finally. The first two are the two flights of stairs I have to climb in order to get to my apartment building. The last is my futon in my room. I tried to take a picture of the view from my balcony, but it's too dark out to really see anything. Those steps are killer. Those are two separate flights of stairs, not just pictures of one taken from different angles. They're right after one another, too, so you don't even get a bit of a break after one before going right on to the next. If I didn't like my roommates and if my apartment wasn't actually fairly nice, I'd be putting in for a housing change simply so I don't have to deal with those stairs anymore! Apparently Ikuta is sort of infamous because of them; when I was training at Shibuya, when I told people where I was from they would go "oh, with the giant hill?" or "with all those steps?" I'm getting a ton of exercise anyway, with having to go up and down those steps every time I want to go somewhere and then walking up and down all the steps at the train stations and then of course walking wherever I need to go.
I saw this cool burnished silver bag at a little shop in Machida when I was there yesterday; I might try to find the shop again tomorrow before work to pick it up, it was only 1700 yen. The 5000 yen ankle boots at the shop right below where I work are still calling my name, but I am strong! I will resist! At least until payday : p
I heard that Tully's coffee shops all have free wireless, so I'll probably stop by the one in Machida tomorrow before work as well. I wish we had a Tully's here in Ikuta so I wouldn't have to lug my laptop all over the place. I think there might be one the next stop over, I'll have to go there and check next time I'm free. Ikuta doesn't even have a Starbucks, can you believe that? I haven't spotted a single coffee shop here, not even a small independent one. Fortunately there's a brand of canned coffee that you can get in vending machines that's actually really good, I usually grab one as I'm heading to the station to go to work.
A kind of funny phenomenon I've noticed here is American and British actors endorsing Japanese products. So far I've seen commercials with Tommy Lee endorsing canned coffee, Orlando Bloom endorsing hair gel, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt endorsing Softbank (my phone company!), and in a HILARIOUS episode of SMAPxSMAP, the Black Eyed Peas were guests and they did a rendition of one of their songs along with all of SMAP. So you have this American hip-hop group doing their thing, and this Japanese pop boy band all trying to be all hip hop along with them. I don't really care for SMAP, but I may have to start watching their variety show regularly if this sort of thing is a common occurrence on it. It's funny because it seems like all these famous western stars all come over to Japan to do things that they would never do in their home countries.
Anyway, I'm running low on battery here so that's it. I'll post again sometime later this week!

Monday, September 17, 2007


So I just discovered that I can pick up an internet signal on my balcony! It's not very strong, but it gets the job done. I might run down to Yodobashi tomorrow to try to figure out getting our own internet... it's kind of hit or miss whether or not there'll be an English speaker there but since I got a commuter pass, might as well use it. Man those things were expensive. I kind of want to change branches to somewhere closer, but apparently you have to wait until the end of probation to ask for any sort of changes, be it a branch change or a schedule change or a shift swap or whatever. Bah.
I'm planning on heading to Shibuya again on Wednesday with a girl from my branch, so hopefully I'll be able to actually get my traveler's checks changed then as well. I've got tomorrow and Wednesday off, yay. No hour commute for me for two days, whoo. I haaaate the long commute to my branch, but I like the branch well enough, so I guess by the time my probation's up I'll have decided whether or not I want to put in for a transfer to a new branch or not.
Speaking of commuting, I've become so Japanese on the trains. I sit down (or stand, as the case may be), pull out my phone, and browse the internet, haha. I can't access regular PC sites without major fees so I can't, for instance, blog on the train, but there are plenty of mobile sites that I can poke around on instead.
I'm getting bit by mosquitos here, so I think I'm going to head back inside now. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up this signal again tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Not a lot this time

So I don't actually have a lot to say in this post, but I figured I should take advantage of the internet while I have the chance. I finished training today, whoo. So now I've got tomorrow off, and then I'll start at my main branch on Friday. I will hopefully use tomorrow to both finally deposit my traveler's checks and get a cell phone. I'll probably get a Softbank one, just because it seems like almost all the Nova instructors use them. I think DoCoMo is more popular with Japanese people, but for now I'll probably be calling more Nova people than Japanese people. It seems like all the plans and phones are all pretty much the same anyway.
I've been too busy with training to buy anymore shoes... which is probably a good thing, haha. Gotta make my money last until I get paid! (Which means no Koichi poster for you yet, Corinne : p) It's a Johnnys paradise right now in Tokyo - Nagase is in the latest DoCoMo ads so he is EVERYWHERE, and Kinki Kids just put out a new single so they are all over the place as well.
Ummmm, I suppose that's it for now. Not much new has happened since yesterday, all I really did today was train. And get my bankcard. I'm so happy I got my bankcard. Anyway, I'll post again when I get a chance!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shoes, this time!

Did I forget to mention in my last post the shoes I bought in Harajuku? What an oversight! They were only a thousand yen, or roughly ten bucks - I couldn`t resist! They`re these cute strappy backless silver and blue sandals, and there was only one pair left that just happened to be my size. I`d post a picture, but I`m still internet-less, unfortunately. I`m back at the internet cafe in Shibuya that`s right across from the building I`m traning in. Training has been going fairly well; all the people are pretty nice and the job isn`t really too difficult. My fellow trainees are pretty cool too; they`re both Canadian, and both pretty friendly. One actually lives pretty close, he`s in the Tama area as well, and I think he`ll also be working in the Sagamihara branch.
For lunch today I went with both of them to this place where you got a ticket from a vending machine with what you wanted to eat, then you gave the ticket to a waitress and she brought your food out. It`s a pretty convenient system, and the food was actually pretty good. We were sitting near this Japanese guy who wanted to practice his English on us, so we were all talking with him in this mixture of broken English and Japanese. It was pretty cool.
I`m going to try to pick up a cell phone on Thursday; apparently there`s a place here in Shibuya that has English-speaking staff, so I`m probably going to go there. I want to get a phone with internet on it; apparently most models and plans include internet anyway. I heard that it can take up to a month to get internet sorted out for an apartment, so phone internet would at least be better than nothing.
That`s it for now; I might come back here again tomorrow, we`ll see. It`s open pretty late it seems, so stopping by after work shouldn`t be a problem. I`ll have to try to find a different cafe in Sagamihara once I start there.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Internet, finally!

So my apartment is currently without internet, and the town I`m living in doesn`t seem to have an internet cafe, so I haven`t been able to post to this thing. I probably won`t be able to post with any regularity until we get our internet back, either. I`m currently at an internet cafe in Shibuya, and I think my hour is almost up so this will be a short post. I start training tomorrow here in Shibuya, then on Friday I start regular work at Sagamihara. My roommates are both really friendly and cool, I`ve gone out to dinner with them a couple times and yesterday I went to Shinjuku with one to pick up some stuff for my room. The sheets that came with my futon were mismatched and ugly, so I had to pick up some new ones, and also a mirror and some storage. The town I`m living in is tiny, but we`re pretty close to some bigger places and only a half hour train ride from central Tokyo. There are some other Nova people living in the same apartment building as us, I met a couple the other day. We`re all planning on going to karaoke Monday evening, that should be fun. Um, I guess that`s all for now... I`ll probably think of something else the minute I leave the cafe, haha. Anyway, it may be a couple more weeks before I post again, but I just wanted to let everyone know I haven`t dropped off the face of the earth!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

USB necktie
It's too bad we couldn't find THIS tie for you to take back to Tom, aunt Sam! It plugs into your computer's USB port and creates your own personal breeze from the little fan embedded in it, for all those hot days at the office. Because apparently Japanese salarymen don't have AC? Whatever, I found it amusing and thought you guys might too ^.~

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Testing, testing

So here's my blog, in which I shall be posting about trials, tribulations, Johnnys, and cute shoes in Japan. I'm not leaving till next Tuesday, but everyone can now add this to their bookmarks in anticipation of the thrilling posts to come.