Duration of my flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo: 10 hr 50 min
Number of people sitting next to me on the flight: 0
Movie highlight of the flight: re-watching 1993 Harrison Ford classic, The Fugitive which was originally recommended to me (and the rest of his Plato class) by Palle Yourgrau while he was teaching Crito. Particularly enjoyed the scene that prompted that recommendation, where Harrison Ford yells "I didn't kill my wife" at Tommy Lee Jones and Tommy Lee Jones says "I don't care."
Most embarrassing moment: forgetting my carry on bag on the plane.
Most pleasant (and still puzzling) surprise: finding said carry on waiting for me on a cart with all my other luggage picked up and put together by airline attendant.
A smooth hour and a half bus ride later, I arrived to Yokohama.
Picture 1: Japan has various regional designs for manhole
covers. They are generally quite intricate and pretty.
Jet lag. I spent most of the day unpacking and cleaning my room.
Picture 2: User guide sticker on my toilet
Text below picture on the left: "For use by men to pee"
Text below picture on the right: "For use to poop and for women to pee"
Despite the attempts of the plumbing to enforce gender roles, the place is excellent. The neighborhood is lovely. It's quiet and green and residential. There is a park nearby with a lake. The train station is about a 7 minute walk away, named after the Buddhist temple that is right by it. I tried to look up information about this temple online, but the two top hits for it are the Wikipedia page for the station and a TripAdvisor review for the Denny's location across the street from my apartment. The Denny's, by the way, sports one English language review, titled: "Better than you think it would be." The review goes on to mention that this Denny's is a good place for family as it serves both steak and sushi...
Still jet lag. Today I officially registered at my apartment's address, which means the address is listed on my official Japanese ID. I brought my lease with me but the Ward Office did not request any sort of confirmation that I do, in fact, reside at this address. Unless they called my landlady while I waited for my card, I literally could have made the address up. Apparently, it's harder to get an LA library card than get an official address with the Japanese government.
My flatmate and I also went to check out the place we will be studying at, to get a sense of the route and the location. Turns out this is the building I will be having class in for the upcoming year:
And this is the view from that building:
Alas, my all too in-character reaction to seeing all this was to become more nervous about the upcoming classes and feel more insecure about my Japanese.