It was a crazy long trip here, burdened as I was with mega luggage (and a bike) - this is the nature of a one way plane ticket. After the interminable 12 hour plane ride, it was a 3 hour bus ride, and then a 1 hour car ride. Nice sunset while trundling along the country side.
We still don't have a place to call our own and are living at Sato's parents house, which is a little awkward at times. Imagine living as an adult with your own parents, and that's about right.
I've been for a couple short runs here, but everyday is super busy with trying to organize and get started with our lives here. Priorities include: getting our own place, getting Ame in school, getting our cell phones functional, getting health insurance, getting a car, getting the tons of other stuff needed for daily living.... etc... Japan is awesome in it's bureaucracy so that slows everything considerably.
Some progress has been made: after viewing dozens of properties, we've finally now put in a rental application for a new Mansion! So, you might assume, things are about to get pretty luxuriant, pretty fast!
This is maybe where I should mention that "mansion" in Japan does not mean the same thing as everywhere else, here it means: "condo". Ah well. It is a nice 3 bedroom space and in a good location fairly close to downtown but not too far from Sato's parents house (for childcare assistance!). Additional bonuses include a good public elementary school and a short walk to Mosburger and a ton of other restaurants.
Here are some shots of the view from inside, and of some of the interior. As per normal Japan rentals: no curtains, no major or minor appliances, no furniture, no kitchen cabinetry... It's a bit crazy, made a bit more crazy by the fact there is not any form of craigslist here! Everyone just buys new for the most part. Ug.
|back window view|
|chez fieldwalker, in Japan|
Food here has been the treat it's always been. We've been going a bit crazy trying all our old haunts for very good and fairly inexpensive food.
Trying to limit ourselves to one meal out per day!
|this was amazingly good.|
|eating some weird mochi things|
Today, Sunday, we've had a typhoon hit. I don't think they get names here though, just numbers. So by tomorrow I'll know what Hurricane/ typhoon # '185' goes. Just quite windy right now.
One other bit of news was the party for Sato's Grandfather. He turned 100 about 6 months ago. Anyway, the mayor of his little town finally came by as part of his officialdom and we had a little green tea party together. Grampa had already received his prizes from prime minister Shinzo Abe and the prefectural minister so the major was the last guy to chime in with some accolades. The mayor made a point of requesting we all move away from Himeji and into his little town and declared I could instantly have a language teacher job if I so desired. We said we'd think about it to get him off our backs!
|at Sato's grandpa's house|
|"Kuromitsu" (means 'black syrup') the neighbors dog|
|some swag for getting to 100|
|a tired little bus hiding in the bamboo forest|
|nice car for one person|
|Hurricane #185 hitting us tonight|
|big dude I almost stepped on while jogging|
Holy cow - weather is currently going beserk outside. Raining, blowing and lightning like I've never heard. So this is what a hurricane sounds like! Hopefully house stands in the morning!!
|grampa and the gang|
|more of grandpa's swag for getting to 100+|
One other important note: the internet here sucks. We loose connectivity, with daily regularity. I was going to publish this last night but we lost internet before I could post. Blerg! We are hoping once we get into our own apartment that we will be more connected, till then communication with us will be Spartan.
|Catching (and releasing) dragonflys!|
One more bonus update from today: we bought a car! High rollers that we are: it's a Toyota Vitz! We were planning on getting a yellow plate (660cc motor) but there wasn't really any cost savings with it, so we just went with a fairly normal car. While a Vitz is small for Canada, it's larger than 50% of cars in Japan since it's much bigger than a yellow plate Kei car. So we are sort of road hogs in the massive 1.3 litre engine Limousine we drive.
|NEW (for us) Car!|