Time has to just fly by! My life in a Japanese nursery school is extremely busy. I was shocked and impressed by how many field trips and events that the school had planned for my kindergartners. There were literally only 3 days in the last three weeks that didn’t have a special activity planned. Needless to say, my days have been passing by at the speed of light!
My first week in the school was a whirlwind of jet lag and acclimation to the Japanese lifestyle. When I first got here, everything was so new and amazing. It was very exhilarating. I arrived on a Saturday morning, so I had the weekend to explore my surroundings and learn how to get the basic necessities like food. Thankfully, my apartment is in an awesome location. There are two grocery stores and a pharmacy about a 5 minute walk away. The principal of the school was kind enough to loan me an extra bike and lock that she had at her home for my time here, and it has been a lifesaver!
School was very overwhelming at first. I have zero experience with Japanese so I was literally flung into a 100% unknown environment. It took me that whole week to get used to what I was supposed to be doing and learning how to communicate with the teachers and children. It just killed me that I couldn’t communicate with the kids, especially when they were so eager to communicate with me! The children at my school are so friendly and loving, I’m showered with hugs and good mornings every day. It is adorable, and I’ve grown to really enjoy being called sensei (先生/teacher); it is endearing!
I knew Japan was expensive, so I was worried about being able to see what I wanted without breaking the bank. Transportation is especially expensive. I ride my bike literally everywhere. It has a basket on the front so I can easily get groceries and any shopping I want done. I just think of it as a way to get my exercise in and save my money for more tangible things. Of course, this won’t help me for travel that requires more than an hour by bike, but it still works for the areas that are closer. After a week of using the bike, I got used to it and I’m working on my thighs of steel, haha. I can tell that biking has gotten easier and I can go longer distances now.