Hi everyone! My name is Genevieve, a Come on Out intern and blog head for the summer. I’ll be documenting my adventures in Japan this summer in photos and words. よろしくお願いします！
After a 13 hour flight from Chicago to Tokyo, surrounded by screaming children and airplane food, I was more than ready to land in Tokyo. The first thing I wanted to do when I stepped off the plane was grab a huge melon pan (a bread that tastes like a sugar cookie) and a jasmine tea from a vending machine; however, before I could do so, I bumped into a group of three other interns who were in my terminal! We waited a bit for two more interns to show up, and then the six of us started our journey from Narita Airport to Asakusa, a distance of about 70km through Japanese countryside into the city.
We took the Keisei Skyliner from Narita, a high-speed (and high-priced) train that travels those 70km in around 40 minutes, racing through the Japanese countryside. It’s incredibly easy to make out when the suburbs start, because the green fields that seem to span on forever in every direction suddenly stop. I unfortunately did not get any pictures of the ride because I had my face pressed against the window the entire time, but the scenery outside the window was some of the greenest I had ever seen, until you suddenly hit the concrete jungle that is Tokyo! After the Skyliner, we navigated our way from Ueno Station to Asakusa Station via the Ginza subway line. Figuring out where to exit Asakusa Station was a bit of a challenge, but we found our way down Kaminarimon Street and to the Bunka Hostel (located in a covered shopping arcade) with very little trouble.
From there on out began our orientation weekend over the next day and a half- staying together in a dorm-like hostel, exploring Asakuka and eating amazing street food, disaster training (in case of earthquakes and tsunamis, it’s always better to be safe than sorry) and finally onto a boat cruise in Tokyo Bay and out to our welcome dinner with the rest of the program directors and staff. Arriving on Friday was exhausting, but I was so excited to be in Tokyo that after our delicious first dinner in the hostel, I ventured out with a group to Senso-ji (the large temple complex in Asakusa) for an amazing nighttime walk. A beautiful start to my six weeks in Japan! More to follow in the next post about our orientation programs.