Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I Think It Was A Left…. Ha-ha, Nope. Where Am I? (Hannah)

Park across the street from the seminar house.
Anyone who really knows me knows that my sense of direction is practically non-existent. The second day of my arrival I didn’t have anything to do, so I spent almost two hours (with no GPS, since I had no Wi-Fi router yet) roaming around the Seminar House dorms and surrounding area, searching for Kansai Gaidai Campus and the building in which we would have our first orientation meeting so I would know where to go the next morning (turns out the RAs walked us there, and it was all for naught). But I learned a lot about the area, and I learned just how valuable a bicycle could be.

From Seminar House 1, it takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to walk to Kansai Gaidai East Gate, all the way up the back behind the athletic fields, and across campus to where most of our orientation meetings were held. That, coupled with lugging a backpack in 90+degree Fahrenheit weather makes for a very, very long trek

Hirakata map, Day 1/2
In front of the Seminar House 1 is a big park, and somewhere to the left was a straight shot road to campus, to the right was a mysterious street, but it had a restaurant or two that was very popular with the dorm residents. Second day in Japan and I’m still trying to keep a level head and figure out where I am, what I’m doing, and where I need to go.

Hirakata map, day 5/6
A week later and I have a much better grasp of the area. The rest of the week walking to and from the grocery store or East Gate, I marked my way with small things, like the park, a small shrine, a blue and white insurance sign, and the Top World Supermarket in the distance. I knew my way to the Top World food market, the KGU East Gate, and knew the 7/11 down the block from the campus main entrance (with free Wi-Fi). I astounded myself when I realized how quickly I adapted to the new area. There were still many places left unexplored.

And then, I had to move to Neyagawa Ward! Doing home stay, I had to get used to an entirely new set of streets, paths, and landmarks. My host family was very helpful, and after only two or three days I was able to have a decent mind map of the area.

Homestay residence to KGU campus, September 5
I have not explored much around the area outside the path to school, but I plan to take a Saturday or Sunday and do so. I’ve somewhat mastered the train system from Kayashima Station, a short 3 minute walk from my home stay, to Gotenyama Station, a 15-20 minute ride, and the subsequent 10-15 minute walk from Gotenyama to campus. I find new shops and restaurants every day (apparently there’s a bakery next to Gotenyama, and I’m definitely stopping by).
Walk to Kayashima Station from homestay residence

3 comments:

Emma said...

How has your homestay experience been so far? It was one thing I thought about doing for a long time, and it seems like you'll get a lot of experience speaking in Japanese.

Millie FAN said...

It's cool to have a host family in Japan! You must speak a lot with your host family in Japanese hahaha. Although I live in dormitory with local Japanese students, I still use English a lot - -, it's hard to speak Japanese with them.

Ethan Rosa said...

I haven't been anywhere around Kayashima, I'll have to check out the area at some point. Gotta explore as much as possible. Let me know how the bakery is.