Monday, October 11, 2010

Journey to the South-West

Before I tell you about this last week I wanted to show everybody a pic of Kyle and Kaori.

 On Saturday morning after staying up late to watch the third Shrek, we left the house at about 8. We walked to the local station pulling my two rather heavy pieces of luggage. We took two trains to the Tokyo Shinjansen station. This picture was on the first train. K&K took me all the way to the Shinkansen. They had to buy passes for the platform which was very generous and kind of them. They made my first few days in Japan really nice.
The Shinkansen left at 10:00am and I arrived in Kyoto around noon. I wasn't really thinking when I purchased my ticket, because I forgot that I would have to wait for three hours with two suitcases that seemed to get larger and heavier as the day passed. I kept thinking "Do I really need all this stuff?", and " I could have done with less." When I bought the ticket I had thought to wander around and see stuff, but that was not realistic. I found a convini at the station and purchased some onigiri (rice balls with filling), then found the correct entrance at which I was supposed to wait then spent the next three hours trying to find a comfortable way to sit. If you ever have large luggage ( that won't fit into a locker) don't buy a ticket that will get you there with more than an hour to spare, it was stupid.
Eventually the bus for Kansai Gaidai arrived and 9 other students and I embarked upon the next leg of our journey. It took us another hour to get to Hirakata, Osaka. We were dropped off at Seminar house 4 and told to walk to Seminar house 2, fortunately they took our luggage over for us. I am not sure I could have done it. When we got there they gave us our orientation packets with just about everything that we would need to know for the next week. Then those of us who were in Seminar house 3 were led next door where we removed our shoes and put them in a box numbered according to our room. Then we were led to our suites then our rooms, where three futons were laid out. It was about 4:30 0r 5:00. I wasn't very hungry, but I had one of my onigiri left form lunch so I ate that. Then I walked to the grocery store to get some food for breakfast. When I came back more girls in my suite had arrived, and I ended up going to the store again with everybody, just for the fellowship. Eventually it got late enough to go to bed, for which I was extremely grateful. Our futons.
On Sunday there was nothing scheduled so I explored and got a rather pretty sunburn. Here are some pictures of Kansai Gaidai, and the surrounding area.
Kansai Gaidai seems a bit monolithic to me, but I suppose it will be really normal soon.
This is Isabelle

I love how everybody grows stuff in pots here, but I think that it is probably a lot of work watering every day.
They grow rice in random little plots all over the place in the city, it's great. I am looking forward to watching it ripen.

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