Saying goodbye to my family once again as this time I venture out into the world to pursue adventure in Japan. I will be studying at ICU (International Christian University) and read about why here!
Our family jokes about how the airport is a frequent meeting spot where our whole family can actually come together. It’s true that we find our selves here more often than other families, whether going together on a family trip or sending each other off. Growing up I’ve always had a liking for airports – thinking of it as a unique gathering place for different people from all around the world.
My flight was just over 13 hours which sounds as long as it actually is… if not longer. Flying Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane was a great experience. A new model of Boeing planes, this aircraft was designed to make the long haul flights as comfy and entertaining as possible. The Entertainment System was also a great upgrade and I watched one documentary called “Antartica: A Year on Ice”.
I secretly wished that my flight was a jet plane going to the southern tip of the world, and that I was about to embrace the freezing weather to live among scientists and penguins. The documentary was about what it is like to live in Antarctica for a whole year (including the harshest conditions of a long dark winter, but also the most visually stunning forces of nature and landscapes). I might not find real penguins but maybe I can find this in Tokyo…
After arriving in Japan (and not Antartica), I took a bus from Narita airport to Tokyo. I stayed in hotel one night before going to the university. The hotel I stayed in, picked for a particular reason, was located in the same neighbourhood (Kudanshita) where I lived three years ago. The hotel was steps away from the apartment I lived in and when I walked by, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with nostalgia and excitement.
The green space on the map is the Imperial Palace, surrounded by moats and a large stone wall. The park area is considered the centre of Tokyo, and rightly so since it is the residence of Japan’s Imperial family.
Before I left Tokyo, I spent the morning walking around a shrine, finding peace in the busy hustle of the city. It was like I was suddenly away from the noise and could focus on the sound of rain falling between the trees.
After about a 40 minute total commute out of Tokyo to the campus by train and bus, I arrived at the dormitory to be welcomed by an incredible staff living and working here on campus as well as a wonderful roommate! I’m looking forward to all the other new faces I’ll be meeting in the next several days. What a change in pace and environment than the Alps of Austria, but it’s time for new adventures in Asia!