Arrival in Japan
Before my departure, it was time of my luggage duty. My plane ticket allows me to bring a 23 kg suitcase and, a cabin luggage and accessory of 12 kg. I immediately chose the 2nd luggage option, at €70. But during the preparation of my baggage, I realized it would be enough. Hence, I wished to have a 3rd valise, but now the option was €160, instead of €70! 😨 Thus, I asked for a weigh option, for €100 I could load one my luggage up to 32 kg. Despite that option, it packing wasn’t easy! I was also afraid about the accuracy of my made in China luggage scale that I bought on Amazon.
D Day was Friday 13th (It was that date or September 11th 😉). I left Strasbourg heavily laden. Two suitcases, a backpack and an Eastpack bag (the two later are the couple cabin baggage + accessory, in Air France terminology). I was stressful because of the weight, even with the weight option, I was almost on the limit. Verdict after weighing: 31.90/32 kg and 22.65/23kg!! Just right! And hopefully, cabin luggage is rarely checked. Hence, everything was alright! I would thank Yoshinori that helped me to bring one of my suitcases to the train station.
To be noticed: Strasbourg train station have the service Air & Rail by Air France. Hence, you can travel to Charles-de-Gaulle airport thanks to TGV (included with the plane ticket) and the luggage is managed at the station, handy!
After eleven hours and half of flight, I arrived at 8:30 am at Kansai International Airport. Even if I will study in Tokyo, I chose to have two weeks of vacation before, especially in Kansai to meet some friends. I especially spent several days in Shiga prefecture with the family of my ex-girlfriend (I still have good relationship with them). They are the nicer Japanese people I know! They showed me some places in Kyoto, they allow me to taste Nagashi-somen in a restaurant, with a delicious BBQ! 😋 I also ate home made Takoyaki. Finally, they offered me the complete collection of 1st and 2nd generation of Pokémon games on Gameboy Color!!
Then, I spent some day in Kyoto to see the brother. I could go with him and his friend in sentos (Japanese public baths). It was a great experience; I’m getting used to be naked in public ^^. We also went to Universal Studio Japan, the big amusement park of the West of Japan. I could see new things, comparing to Europa Park that I know by heart. After that, we sang in a karaoke until 5 am. I sang the (few) French songs available ^^; because I’m not a good singer, I will spare you from my performances!
Next, I went to Osaka to meet a friend. Osaka is the Japan West megalopolis (3rd biggest city). It reminds me the city-planet of Coruscant in Star Wars. Indeed, there are many skyscrapers with highways and rail roads above the ground with streets. There is even a highway through a building! Osaka is the capital of takoyakis, it’s maybe my favorite Japanese food. It’s a ball-shaped Japanese snack with octopus. It’s really tasty, but very hot! Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet my other Osakan friend, he broke his leg at football, good luck Naoto!
After two days in Osaka, I took a night bus to Tokyo, nine hours and forty-five minutes of travel! I arrived in Shinjuku bus station at 6:30 am, still sleepy. I had to go to the Shinjuku rail station to meet my friend that will host me in Tokyo before going to my residence. It wasn’t easy, especially because of my bags! Indeed, Shinju train station is the world’s busiest transport hub, and immense; it was difficult to find my way. I was mostly afraid to find crowded train, but I was lucky and I could rest after my arrival.
Then, I was in Akihabara, place for nerds! I went shopping, but I should refrain me to buy everything!
But resting time was almost over, so I went to the University to meet my PhD professor, discover the lab and the campus, and meet my future colleagues. I also have plenty of administrative papers to fill, it remembers me French administration.
I also used my stay in Tokyo to meet some friends. I also went to Gunma prefecture in the family of the friend that hosted me, they were really nice! Gunma is country side, with a lot of rice field. Unlucky I get cold because of air conditioner.
After that last trip, I moved to the residence in the campus of my University. The room is small, but it will be great for one year (maximum staying), and cheap! I started to visit the campus, but the most difficult part is to only have internet in the lab for the moment!
Voilà, the first summary of my arrival is over. I will probably write more detailed article about Japan life that I talked here. 🙂