Promised Pics

Posted in Japan, Life at 9:26 pm by Acorns

After arriving and being told where my room was I had no trouble finding it. The first thing I noticed about the apartment is that the outer door doesn’t lock; instead it opens freely into the lounge/kitchen/baths area of the apartment. The next thing I noticed was that it was HUGE. The pictures don’t do it justice; we could hold a major DDR party here and not be short on room. We can fit everyone in the apartment + 3-4 guests on the seats in front of the TV. If this is Japan’s “modestly sized but cozy” living areas then they don’t fit my idea of cozy! Of course because I am in Semester House III – for which you pay a little extra – my apartment area is probably larger than the other Semester Houses. I haven’t seen more of them than the lobby yet.

The storage areas for each tenant (right inside the door) I don’t expect to be much use. They could be stolen from easily, and are segmented wrong for storing almost anything. Oh well. My next view was of the bathroom area. There are doors to close off the entire bathroom area. Inside the bathroom area are sinks, two toilet rooms, and three shower rooms. I was surprised at the large number of shower rooms, but honestly it is needed! Every time I walk into the dorm rooms I need to take a shower. Unlike the other semester houses the showers are true showers; you turn them on, shower, then turn them off. The toilets are very, very interesting! Instead of being flat on top there is a sink of sorts. When you flush the water must be refilled; so it pours through the sink! Back in the main bathroom area there are 4 sinks and a huge mirror. You aren’t supposed to leave anything in this area, but so far I’m the only one with few enough bathroom items that I haven’t needed to (in my apartment).

The dining room/kitchen area are again huge. The table can seat everyone in the apartment plus guests (although we would be short on chairs). There are two fridges, two large sinks, and a cooking area (which we arn’t allowed to use yet). I honestly don’t spend much time in this main apartment area; I try, but I’m not good at mass socializing! There is one other computer-savy person in my apartment (named Andrew as well!) who I hope to get to know better, but the rest enjoy things I consider a bit too “rowdy” or movies like ‘300’. Unfortunately I am different from them in such a way that it is hard to just hang out!

The final part to my apartment is my own room. This can be locked, and we have a key to it. The key is temporary, we will be given a different one once orientation week is over (also, we will be given a gate key; currently the gates are locked at 11 so we must be back before then. This really hasn’t been a problem). Inside the room you step up onto the tatami matted area. Here are futons, and access to the closets. I put my suitcases inside the closet as you aren’t supposed to sit them on the floor. They said we would be extremely crowded with three people, but it doesn’t feel crowded. The room is large, about the right size for two people; for three there would need to be another desk. You can open a sliding door and step out onto a small balcony; the view over the city from here is nice.

I think my favorite part of my room is the futon. I had been equating it to sleeping in a sleeping bag, or maybe on a couple sleeping bags piled up but it isn’t! It is extremely comfortable; although I didn’t put the covers on in the intended order! I like using the heavy padded… thingy as my main blanket. It is meant to be put on the base and then the sheet used as a cover. My only current roommate (my third roommate is Japanese, he is still living off campus despite his stuff being here) loves it as cold as me and is doing the same. The air conditioner is nice! It took a while (even with the handy Japanese-English how-to-work-the-remote) to figure out how to control it. The hardest part was (embarrassingly) realizing that the remote was IR and not RF/similar. You have to take it off its stand and point it at the right place before any button will work. The Japanese used on the remote is impossible to read, as the small LCD doesn’t have enough pixels to fully create the characters. Everything ends up looking like a black square with one or two blank pixels. It does cool nicely though! It seems that while most Japanese houses provide little or no insulation our Semester Houses are insulated quite well.

My roommate, who will be moving out after orientation to go to a homestay, is from Canada. He speaks French as his first language, then English quite well as a second. He is very, very kind; he has encouraged me to socialize and attend student gatherings (which helped me make a friend!). He allowed me to use his Cat5 cable to connect my wireless router up; this way we could both connect even though my Cat5 cable was in my lost luggage! I am going to try to keep in contact with him even after he leaves for homestay.

I am so far behind in my blog writing! I will soon we writing about my first day, second day, trip to Kyoto, etc. Hopefully this weekend will be as free as it appears and I can catch up! Pictures coming to this post soon.
I promised I would post these pictures. I will incorporate them into a post as soon as I catch up to this point.

Note: To save the pictures first click on the thumbnail then right click on the image and click save as or save image as… you will get the full quality image, here
not just the scaled down one.


  1. SigmaJargon said,

    August 31, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    That would be the waterfall below the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera? Drinking from there is supposed to bring “health, longevity, and success in studies,” right? :3

    Study Abroad is still something I want to do, but I’m not sure I’d want to go to Kansai. I remember being very interested in the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland), and there were a couple other places in Europe that looked promising. Spending a whole year taking classes out of major would be a great way to broaden my horizons though. Hmm-mm.

  2. Acorns said,

    August 31, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Health, longevity and love (from left to right if you are facing the waterfalls). I am quite impressed at your knowledge of the area!! I stayed back and took pics; I promised to share them, so I posted them early.

    If you are in a tech school, I think taking a year (or just a semester like me) off of your major would rock; else it might be overkill. There are a lot of good study abroad opportunities that can fit with any major. Just not always in Japan :/

    Japan rocks, btw.

  3. Katia said,

    September 1, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    OMG! What cute girls! Just like looking at a LA Anime. Love all the pics, keep them coming….and keep blogging. I only check this blog about a zillion times a day, lol! My schedule and yours just doesn’t mix for IM it seems. Well, back to eating my supper of No-Bake cookies. XXXOOOO to you Acorn.

  4. Acorns said,

    September 1, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    LOL thanks Mom. They were our tour guides in Kyoto; all very nice.

    I’ll write more soon! I think I’m going to condense 3 posts into two posts, then write one normal post and be caught up.

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