First morning impressions

It is my first morning in Japan. I woke up pretty early, around 7 AM, but I slept well after going to bed about 11 PM last night. My bed is a futon, thin and quite hard, but I'm not sore and I don't recall having trouble sleeping. I was a bit worried that sleeping on such a firm mattress would be uncomfortable. Ask me again in a few days and I'll let you know how it is in the long run. Of course, in two weeks I'll be sleeping on a different futon in my apartment, which may change the game completely!

I have a fairly large room, empty except for the futon and a short table, all to myself. The bathroom is Japanese style with a western toilet (I don't have to learn how to squat and poop yet!). This means there's a very deep tub and the rest of the room is waterproof so you can shower outside the tub. It looks like most people probably shower in the tub anyway (at least around here) as there are some paper products and such in the bathroom. Plus this bathroom has the toilet and shower/sink in the same room, which isn't quite traditional I think.

For breakfast so far I had this strawberry and bread type of thing that was really good. I think it was meant more for dessert though, something I didn't realize until I opened it this morning. I took a cue from my more Japan/experienced training mates and grabbed a package of noodles in a hot dog bun (soba roll) and something that I think is a peanut butter sandwich. Since nobody else is up and downstairs yet I'll probably wait to see how she eats it (does she heat it up? Does she eat it like a hot dog?) and do the same as I'm still a bit hungry. It looks like we don't get a lunch break today since we're working from 11 til 3.

Am I experiencing culture shock yet? Not quite. I can thank my training mates for that as they have been doing all the talking. The restaurant yesterday was my first experience with a ticket vending restaurant, but it was simple to figure out. They did the talking at the Internet cafe, and I didn't need to say much of anything at the market. I realize I need to get some basic Japanese down quickly, though.

Words I already know:
Densha - train - learned from Elizabeth
Ichi, ni, san, chi, go - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - learned from a song, mainly
Hachi, juhachi - 8, 18 - learned from Saturday Night Live. Ju (or is it juu?) means 10, so I can count 11-15 as well. If that's correct, that is!
Origato - thank you!
Sumi maisan - I'm sorry.

I think those are correct. If I can get those down, I have a good start on very basic communication. Having people around me who speak some Japanese means I have some help I communicating these next two weeks, but it is also a crutch of sorts that might slow down some of the first steps in learning.


  1. Technically it's "Sumi Masen," but you'll get the hang of it eventually. If you need any help with basic Japanese words I can lend a hand.

  2. As I've seen in the past, you write very well. I am thoroughly enjoying reading your blog, Ryan. I am so proud of you! Reading your blog almost makes me feel like I am there with you and that is soothing to this mother's heart. I know you will do well in all aspects of this adventure. It is wonderful you have Elizabeth there to help as well as your training mates. I look forward to further pseudo adventures with you including the pictures you post... they are a big help. I'm sending you big hugs, much love, and prayers for continued good experiences.

  3. Zippy Zappy: Thank you! I think I've been pronouncing it properly! I haven't had to say it much. I'll certainly appreciate any advice you give!

    Mom: Thanks. Elizabeth sent me a message and we should be meeting up next week!