Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm finally here!! After a grueling 3 days of a jet lagged Tokyo Orientation at the wonderful and marvelous Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, I've arrived at my final destination.....Akita City in Akita Prefecture. Some highlights from the orientation included: french fries at the breakfast buffet, smoking INSIDE an izakaya and getting kicked out of the Canadian Embassy. Actually. The humidity was hellish but being so close to the core of Tokyo was enough to get us all out of our AC'd sanctuary. While I wasn't able to venture too far out, one of the more memorable moments was when two friends and I decided to brave a local restaurant without the flashy gajin wax figured foods and English translations. Although it was scary, we pushed through and had some really amazing food and drink.
The orientation, itself, was a something else. Although all the JET forums that I visited warned us about the bore that was Tokyo orientation seminars, I didn't quite fully understand until I got there. On top of the 12.5 hour difference between Toronto and Tokyo, our day began and 8:30 am and went to as late as 8:00 pm. PLUS, we had to put on our best business suits and pretend to be adults. But we got to meet some really great people and meet the folks who'd be in our prefectures.
But now I'm in sunny Akita City, home to 300 000 and known for the best sake, rice and most beautiful women in Japan aka Akita Bijin. More stories to come from the first week in my new home!