Monday, September 22, 2008

Arrived Safe and Sound

I am here! I am where soon will be called "home". Wow. I still can’t believe I will be living here. I think once we actually start looking at houses maybe it will seem more real. Until then it's just Matt and I on a trip enjoying the sites.

The plane ride was good. I flew from Raleigh to Detroit and then straight into Osaka, Japan. The flight wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Because of the distance Cat always flies us business class. I had my own LCD TV set, radio and even video game system. The food was actually decent and I loved the free drinks.

It was already dark when I got in here (it seems to get dark early) so I couldn't see much except for the outline of the mountains. Stepping off the plane my first thoughts were dang it is hot. It is incredibly humid here. Much more than NC.

We spent all Sunday exploring the area on our own before our guide meets us. We managed to find the school and even a few of the areas we will be looking at houses.

Ferris wheel in Harborland.
The front of the Canadian Academy, the school the kids will attend.

Street in Shoyia neighborhood.

View across the harbor.
Walking up the huge hill into Shoyia neighborhood.
Back yard of one of the houses we will be seeing on Wednesday.

It’s going to take some getting used to living in a city. The train system the first night looked so overwhelming, but after taking it everywhere yesterday it actually is pretty simple. (as long as you have a map)

I think I could just sit everyday and people watch. If someone can figure out the fashion statement here I would love to hear it. Anything goes. And I mean ANYTHING. I probably saw 20+ people in Uggs. Some people had winter stocking caps on (even though its the same here in the winter as NC). The only non-heeled woman shoe I saw was crocs. And the shoes... Oh my. I love shoes. Leggings with shorts. Shorts and tights. Mini skirts and thigh high socks. Thigh high boots. The younger guys in skinny jeans. Straighted hair (on men!!). And the list just goes on.

Shopping... There are more stores than people. Kid you not. It is the strangest thing. Some expensive, some not. I already found Gap and we have quickly found a store called Uniqol that we love.

The first night we had pizza for supper. Not what you would think as pizza though. And mozzarella & tomato salad! It was to die for. Matt said that the food here is amazing. He was right. I had an actual Japanese lunch and last night we went to a "Japanese steakhouse". The menu’s aren’t in English, heck nothing is in English, but they have pics and between that and a word guide we were able to figure out what to get. I can say water, beer and wine in Japanese. You know, the important words. Eating will be an experience that is for sure.

The bugs are scary. There is a common centipede that is poisonous and I think all the bugs are on steroids. We found this dead bug and its about as long as my fist. No joke. Then we had one buzz past us and we thought it was a bird.

Our toilet seat is heated and it has a butt washer and dryer on it! It is the weirdest thing ever.

Today is our first official day of our house hunting trip. We are meeting our guide for orientation and then going to tour the school and then look at our first set of houses. Then tonight one of the expats are hosting us for supper.

My sleep schedule is so screwed up. I didn't sleep well the first night, despite only the 2 hours I slept on the plane. Last night I crashed at 8pm and now am wide awake at 2:30 am. I am sure once I get on a schedule it will be Friday and I will be going back.

After being here less than 36 hours I can honestly say this is where we are supposed to be. This is going to be an amazing adventure for our family. The experience the kids will have in the 3 years we are here will be life changing. I cannot wait for them to see everything themselves.

You can see more pics from our first day here. If you watch the slide show make sure you mark to see the titles and comments so you will know what you are seeing.


Jamie said...

I am so glad that it's turning into a good experience. I am a little sad still that you will be so far away but I know that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you have to take it. Good luck on the house hunting. Crossing my fingers for you.

Ang said...

Oh wow the pictures are amazing! I am glad you are finding your way around. I hope the house hunting goes well!! You are right this will be a once in a lifetime experience for your children..well really for everyone! You will be in our prayers!!

Ang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aimee said...

So glad to hear you are there safe and sound!! Have loads of fun!

DeeDee said...

WOW N WOW! A Buckeye in Japan!!! (btw...we won Saturday 28-10)

You are brave-girl! I admire you for this. Please keep us all updated on your experiences.

My oldest daughter spent 2 wks in Toyoko...she said it was awesome and would love to live there. The people are amazingly helpful and the subways were really not that hard to figure out!

Make sure you check in my blog at times and drop a line or two!

Congrats in doing what you felt was right for your family! I will pray for you all! I wish you well and JOY!

Keri B said...

Goodmorning, or evening, or what ever it is there! Chris and Sami saw your blog update and they think Japan is GREAT and COOL! They are doing very well. Chris got an Excellent and Very Responsible for behavior and Sami got another 3! They wanted me to tell you and Matt that they miss you, love you, and can't wait to see you on Friday!!! No injuries, illnesses, or another issues to report. All is well. Gotta go to get them off to school. I will write a note an Sami's hand for you!

Much love,


lil ole' me..... said...

Good luck house hunting.

I can't wait to hear more.
SO incredible that you are getting this experience.

Will you be able to keep up on 90210 in Japan??? :)

Spice said...

You sound so happy and excited. What an adventure you and your family are going to have these next 3 years! That's awesome!!!!

Tiff said...

This is the first i have heard that you are moving! I'm glad the trip has turned out so well. Good luck with the house hunt!

PaulickFam said...

Alexis, it looks just awesome. What an exciting adventure for you guys. I am really looking forward to learning more about Japan from your blog! Have fun!!

Michelle said...

Wow! It looks so cool! I am so glad that you are excited and feel already, that that is where you are to be! That's a great thing! Best of luck on the house hunting! Can't wait to see and hear all about it!

Terri said...

butt washer and dryer? I'm sure that's not the most unusual thing you'll see either! very neat post.

Johanna said...

What an amazing adventure!!!! I'm so excited for you guys!

Amy said...

Oh my gosh this makes me miss Japan!!!