Recent Move to Japan, It Begins…

I recently moved to Japan for reasons explained here. Just wanted to share my experiences coming over and some pics of stuff.

Things started out pretty well when JAL (Japan Airlines) ran out of economy class seats and decided to upgrade me to business class for free on a 10 hour flight.

I like JAL now 🙂 Although, after seeing how much business and first class are pampered and the amount of empty seats, it was easy to see why JAL is in trouble financially. Especially when you have chairs with this:

Have this much space:

Have room for a superfluous bottle holder:

Give you full course meals with a disposable menu to read from:

With appetizers:

More appetizers:

Freshly cooked fish:

Place nice little notes in the bathrooms:

Give you real blankets and a friggin’ cardigan sweater to take with you.

And allow you do lay down 99.9% flat (you gotta get first class for that extra .1%)

The movies all had English subtitles which bothered me, so I had to do this with some magazines:

Breakfast looked like this (Coca-cola should really consider sponsoring me):

When I finally got to Narita Airport in Tokyo, I made it smoothly through customs except that I was bleeding at the time and had a hard time explaining why:

I guess I cut my hand when I was digging around in my bags for something.

Got on the Shinkansen towards… Tokyo station.

Ordered my traditional coke in a aluminum bottle (which I do every time on this ride):

Got to the apartment office in Shinjuku 10 minutes before it closed and signed a bunch of papers.

Took a Taxi from Shinjuku to my new place in Nakano. Taxis in Japan are really expensive and really nice. But Nakano is pretty close to Shinjuku and my apartment is a 20 minute walk from Nakano station, so there was no way I was carrying all my luggage that far.

I walked into my flat and saw the 10 square meters (100 square feet) I will be living in for the next year.

Now you know why I have the Incredible Shrinking Studio article 😉

There is also this huge kitchen/bathroom.

Which includes a luxurious gas stove.

From which I will be indulging in many delicacies such as this fine food:

Nakano is actually a really nice area to live in. Unfortunately, the closest convenience store is about a 10 minute walk. But I noticed they have this at the store:

Look closely. They sell socks, shirts, and underwear. I wish all convenience stores were this convenient.

Oh, they also had Final Fantasy mini models. Which I thought were neat 🙂

They next few days I spent with my other half. Catching up, eating a few last fine meals (before tightening my wallet for a year), and writing difficult kanji on a napkin.

Well, that’s what she said. I don’t consider 籤 or 痙攣 any more difficult than 饂飩 but I appear to be a 漢字 whore.

We then went up to Saitama for an evening in the freezing weather to visit an onsen (hot bath place)/ryokan. They had a kotatsu 炬燵 (heated table thingy) set up for us. I love kotatsu. You stick your legs under it and never want to leave.

All ryokan also seem to have this cheap, free tea set:

However, I had never seen Sake Jelly before. This was in the gift shop. So tempting to try out, but I passed this time.

The room at the ryokan included our own private bath in an outside zen garden sort of place.

So yeah, it’s freezing outside and you get into a tub of hot water around 45 degrees Celcius (113 F). Really scary when thining about getting out of the tub.

Especially when last night’s 甘酒 (a warm sake drink which tastes like oatmeal) is frozen to the bench.

Such a short stay, then back to Tokyo. Caught this pretty shot early morning at the 秩父 Chichibu Station in Saitama.

Had some free time so I went to visit my Swedish friend in Yokohama and try out the new Wii Karaoke game (which kicks ass, it was developed by an actual Karaoke Machine company, and has an online database where you can download pretty much every song ever written).

The next morning, as opposed to the weather last time, it was a clear day and you actually can see Mount Fuji 富士山 from my ridiculously lucky friend’s apartment window. My camera doesn’t do the view justice.

Oh alright, since everyone loved looking at food in Lazy Man’s Tokyo, I’ll even throw in some obligatory food shots for you foodies out there:

餃子 (Gyouza), Caesar Salad, 鶏唐揚げ (fancy way of saying fried chicken), and my favorite:

馬刺 (Basashi, raw horse meat)

That’s it for now. Next I gotta get my Alien Registration Card, National Health Insurance, a mobile phone, and possibly a new bank account. Should be fun.

See you soon! 🙂

yakiponyo
The Lazy Man’s Way to Tokyo, Day 14