I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Don't know when I'll be back again.

In about twelve hours, I'll board a plane to Japan. My life is about to change!
Koshigaya LakeTown Pond
Most of you will already know the details. I'm teaching English at an eikaiwa in Koshigaya. Koshigaya is about 30-40 minutes by train from Tokyo (just under one hour to Shinjuku Station). While I don't know much about the city itself other than the official website, I am excited to be so close to so many great tourist locations! I'm sure Koshigaya has some interesting places to explore on its own.
Generic eikaiwa photo.
As I said, I'm teaching English, and I believe my schedule is supposed to be Tuesday-Saturday approximately 12-9, with the occasional Sunday and some variation in that schedule. My training starts on Wednesday and will run for nearly two weeks! I have time to relax or sightsee on Wednesday afternoon, Sunday, and the following weekend. After training, I'll finally visit my actual school and meet my coworkers, see my school and students, and be able to get into my apartment. Then, the full-time teaching begins!
I have a ton of locations to visit, and I hope to tell you about every one! Plus, I'll bring you my thoughts on the culture and differences between my experiences living in America and Japan. If you're not familiar with my background, I taught high school science in Georgia for several years before moving to San Francisco, which has been my home since last September. I've traveled all over the United States and I've been to Europe and Australia, but this will be a big culture shock for me. I'm very excited and looking forward to the challenges a new country, new customs, and a completely foreign language will bring. (I know one word of Japanese: densha - train. I'm not supposed to use Japanese in the school at all, and I'll learn more once I arrive and get settled in my school.)

My friend Elizabeth will live near me - approximately 90 minutes by train. She's been there for several years and has helped me prepare for the move. I've been warned about bringing plenty of deodorant, toothpaste, and medicine (though some medicine isn't allowed in Japan that's commonplace here). I have extra pairs of shoes and enough clothes to last me well into the next several years (I hope!). I'm sure I'll miss some of the amenities (or, food, really) that I have in San Francisco. Some of the food items I've been sure to enjoy this past week:

  • pizza (both thin crust and Chicago style!)
  • cheeseburger, with bacon and egg on top
  • Chinese food (I'm going to miss kung pao)
  • chicken wings
  • tacos and nachos
  • clam chowder and fish and chips
  • banana split, cookies, cake, and pie
I know I can find some of those in Japan, but I'm told some of the food I'm used to tastes different (or bad, but not always) or is expensive. I'm bringing taco seasoning and some dry seasonings to make pretzel, vegetable or chip dips.

I am beyond excited and so ready to start my new life. I know Japan isn't perfect, but the culture and work ethic is admirable, and I know the next year will be an amazing adventure and experience.

How long will I stay? The commitment is one year, but I hope I enjoy it enough that I stay for a few years. Besides sightseeing in Japan, my first international vacation will be to Taiwan - with Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, China, and Korea soon to follow. In Asia alone, there are enough locations to visit and experiences to have that I can be busy for a few years. If I can find a full-time science teaching job at an International school after a year or two with the eikaiwa, I could make Japan my home for even longer. Right now, I have no set plans for my future. There are several different routes my life can take, and my life experiences have shown me that situations can change in an instant.

Since I'm not sure about my internet accessibility for the first month in Japan, my first posts might be sporadic. I can find free WiFi and upload pre-written posts as I can, as I'm sure most of my cultural thoughts will come quickly!

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  1. Sounds like you're smack dab in the middle of Tokyo, you'll have lots of places to see in that area alone.
    As for the food, what you've been told is 100% accurate. Depending on the food they taste either different or downright terrible, coarse that's just me so you might be able to tolerate them more than I ever will lol.
    Still, I wish you the best of luck and hope you have a safe flight.

  2. Enjoy your travels. Enjoy the experience, I look forward to reading about your discoveries.

  3. I'm so jealous... enjoy the journey buddy!

  4. Thanks guys! Kenny: I'm just north of Tokyo. Omiya right now, Koshigaya later. (I think I said that but not sure.