By the time this blog goes up it will mark my first week in Tokyo, Japan for exchange at Meiji University. In all honesty, I was a little scared when I first stepped onto my flight as it was around 7+ years since I last flew on a plane, in addition to being that this time around I was flying alone. The flight was quite comfortable and I was surprised that I did not get a migraine like I remember previously when I flew. After a long 9 hour flight, I finally arrived at Narita airport and was greeted by a blast a hot humid air.
It was the beginning of autumn for Japan so I was not that prepared for hot weather. It was already getting dark around 5:50pm when I arrived at the airport, and my top priority was getting to my housing as quick as possible. Not being able to read Japanese made it quite difficult finding where to go. Luckily Japanese people are very nice and they pointed me in the right direction. Japan’s railway system is exceedingly complex compared to Sydney’s own city rail and I was very much overwhelmed as I could not navigate around the stations well. I finally arrived at my housing at around 9pm, extremely tired and sweating due to all the running around, stress and hot weather, but at least I made it and now I could rest a little bit easier knowing I found my home for the next 5 months.
The housing I stayed in was in a quite convenient location with supermarkets and convenience stores within walking distance, most of your needs could be acquired easily. The train station (Meidaimae), one of the university’s campuses (Izumi) and numerous restaurants were all within a 10 min walk from the housing. You are also quite close to the popular areas such as Shinjuku and Shibuya with a simple 10 min train ride!
Meiji’s main campus is the Surugadai campus which has its iconic liberty tower. You will need to take a train to get here but overall it is not that difficult once you get a little more used to railway system (having data and being able to use maps will be a lifesaver in the initial days).
As classes have yet to start, using the free time to go around exploring was the way to go. I visited so far two parks, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Odaiba and Kichijoji. As expected as well, food was heavenly everywhere I went and service absolutely top notch.
Japan has so many things to see and I know I have only touched the surface. I recommend Japan to everyone as it is such a different and vibrant culture. As with all exchange destinations, it will be hard initially but just know it will get better! I am very much excited to commence studying at one of the most prestigious universities in Japan and continue to experience Japanese culture. Seeing snow for the first time is also something I can not wait for in about 3 months time.
Simon Mach 11756412