View from Tokyo Plaza Hotel
Laura Kelly, Ciara Kelleher and James O’Riodan at Tokyo underground
Arriving to Tokyo on June 25th 2010 felt like a new world was begining, both inside me and all around me. New things I was walking towards in my life and strange images my eyes had never experinced.
We were warned and told of a culture shock but thinking I was well travelled meant I had not prepared myself for such the adventure and challenge. A language that is 100% unrecognisable with a script that looks like a painting to me, I became instantly lost beneath a surface. A race that has been built by a differnet world. The Japanese are small and neat, a very clean and modest society but by far the kindest most warm hearted people I have ever met.
Being swarmed by 45 other Irish while in Tokyo masked the outside world and gave us a bubble to hide inside, again ignorant to what lay ahead I beleived I had expierienced all there was to shock me! Little did I really know……
Once landing in my new home town, ‘Aomori City’ which is cushioned in the very northern tip of Japan’s main island, I began to slowly slip deeper and deeper into a quiet panic. I was constantly asking myself why? why am I leaving the ones I love and diving into something I really had no idea if I would even make through never mind enjoy. I tried to constantly reassure myself that I wanted to come here, I begged for this position and I accepted an opportunity that some would have given anything for.
The day was a blur of exhaustion. In a swealtering heat of 35degrees and dressed in a full suit I was dragged around the town (air-con does not exist) to make my alien registration card, you’d think in this day and age they would think more of us than aliens! Making a bank account made me feel proud, this was going to be my first year solely depending on my own hard work, this was my bank account which I would fill soon! Seeing the school was a very exciting prospect, it is an amazing building newly built and in immaculate condition. It made me feel happy to see my desk were I would be working for the year and my classroom where I would be teaching. All together a very sweet deal. My new home I can’t complain about, its very cute, its clean and came with everything I needed. I can’t wait t fill it with tat!