Today was a bit grueling given the jetlag as well as me and Henry having to report for work at 9 AM. Thankfully our apartment is located in front of 7 11 (which is way better than in America), so breakfast was no issue. The meeting was kinda basic and introductory with both of us being given our schedule, meeting some upper classmen, and learning that we apparently having work every weekday from 9::00 AM to 7:00 PM. It was way shorter than I expected, so with our free time me and Henry checked out a thrift store next to the school and on the advice of some students made our way to Shibuya even though we did get caught up in the rain.
The city was a bit intimidating to me, as it seemed far more intricate than any that I have been to in America. Every building was packed with stores and seemingly no empty floors. Me and Henry spent our time just walking aimlessly, but we did run into the famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Honestly it wasn’t that confusing besides the tourist who were recording themselves running through the crosswalks. I didn’t wanna be like one of them, so I did not take a video, but going through it is definitely an experience. I do think that the trains are honestly more hectic though during peak hours.
Eventually we got hungry and texted some of the students asking where we should get some food. They suggested some conveyer belt sushi place, but by the time we got to them there were waits an hour long. We ended up just going to a restaurant near our sharehouse instead and it was my first time eating a fresh shrimp. It was crazy seeing the entire thing just slide out of the shell
Today all me and Henry had lined up for today was a welcoming party in the evening. I decided to do a little exploring around the sharehouse to do some much need shopping. All I had bought up to this point was some plushies and snacks from Shibuya, and I realized I forgot to pack stuff like conditioner. First up though was cleaning my room and since I woke up at like 4 AM I just organized my room.
After finishing up with my room I started my day by taking a walk in a park nearby. Here I saw a bunch of cool trees, plants, and even a mini shrine. Then I stumbled upon a grocery store and decided to check it out. The workers there were extremely nice and helped me find some stuff like natto. anman and nikuman which I had heard about from stuff like tiktok. I was hungry by then, so I also picked up a baked sweet potato which is apparently really popular here. They taste nothing like the ones from America and have a white color, creamy texture, and subtly sweet taste. On the way back home I found this drug store and was able to some conditioner and face wash which got a bit complicated since everything was in Japanese. My backpack was full at this point so I went back to the sharehouse and also ate the anman and nikuman that I bought at the store. These were sort of like huge dumplings that had a red bean or meat filling in them. Overall the taste was good and now Henry is pretty much addicted to them. I also tried the natto which is a type of fermented soy bean food. They were very sticky and had a taste reminiscent of blue cheese.
After finishing up eating I decided to look for a shop that rented out bikes and ended up getting lost for an hour since it was apparently under construction. During this time though I found a pretty cool trail that I can go to once I end up finding a bike. Next to the construction there was also this thrift store where I bought a couple ties and gifts for my family. There was also this market street I stumbled upon where I got some omurice and ended up talking to the owner and a grandma for like half an hour. Mostly it was just about family and also the owner who has been to like 8 different countries with photos of all of them on the wall. The grandma also even gave me a little red bean candy which tasted interesting. Further down the street I saw a little fruit shop and bought a melon as well which the guy told me were in season right now. Above you can find a picture of my haul.
After all of that me and Henry made our way to the school for our welcome party which ended up this mix of a pinata game as well as a gameshow with us answering questions. It was pretty strange and scary, but also fun since. In the end I was able to give them all sorts of Mexican candy that I had brought from home. They did not have any food though, so me and Henry went to a restaurant afterwards near the sharehouse.
Today me and Henry decided to explore a bit more of downtown and so we decided to head to the Ghibli museum near Tokyo station. It took about 2 hours for us to figure out where we were and where to go. We ended up not even being able to get in since you must reserve your tickets one month in advance. Instead we just explored the park around the museum which had a shrine, cool trees and a little pond. We also ate at some ramen at a shop we found in an alley
Today I just explored the town we are staying in. For breakfast I had some Nepali food at this place nearby. Apparently they give unlimeted naan and I talked with the owner for like 30 minutes and we bonded over being foreign and thankfully he spoke english which made things easier.
I then visited a store that was popular with students called donquixote. It reminded me of the Mexican fleamarkets that my family would go to and prices were absurdly cheap. In the middle of the town there were these giant mesh walls for a golf course that it was pretty crazy to see. Apparently golf is really big here especially among businessmen.
I came across a local co-op as well and had some milk which was very different than the stuff in the states. Tasted very fatty and a lot more variety in dairy as well like calpis soda which my friend from Uzbekistan used to tell me about.
Also stumbled upon this park with lots of animals like ducks, turtles, and fish. It was a little bit lonely though since I saw all these people playing volleyball and basketball and I was just alone.
Once it was time to get back home I hit the Soba place near home and had some for the first time. The shop also had some sea salt popsicle for like 50 cents so I got one since I never had one before.
Then I went to another thrift store for some gifts. I found a kids section, so I asked a mother there for some recommendations for my niece and she looked with me for 10 minutes and I got a couple