So my first impression of Japan is hot and long train rides. Lawrence came to get me from the Narita airport and we took the train for about 2 hours to a station near where I am staying with my suitcases. That was quite an experience. The first couple of days, the weather wasn’t too bad but today it was raining outside so I expected it to be cool like it is in Vancouver when it rains. Not only was it not cool bu it was very humid and possibly hotter than it was yesterday when it wasn’t raining. Imagine what karate class is like in this weather? Hot, very hot indeed but then you work up a really good sweat and after a nice shower, you'll pass out even before your head hits the pillow.
Aside from these two things (which sound like complaints anyway), everyone here is really warm and welcoming. I'm very happy to learn that most of them understand and speak English quite well, which is a relief for me because all I can say in Japanese is “Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Erica. I’m 22 years old.” It’s all I’ve been saying for the past week! I should really start learning how to speak it and maybe eventually learn to read so I can understand the menus instead of asking Louise (who is super at Japanese) to translate things for me.
PS – I got lost walking to the train station and ended up being late for work because Carl went ahead. That was embarrassing, considering I didn’t even get lost on the train line (which is very easy to do!!) but walking TO a train station...fun times..
Yamazaki sensei, Louise, me and Yoshihara sensei