Weeks 3 & 4: Oh glorious boxes, how I have missed you

The last week has been marked in history of Jenn finally receiving her long awaited boxes held hostage at the Tokyo port for 1+ month after landing in Tokyo. I no longer need to desperately mix and match UNIQLO clothes and wear the same limited pairs of shoes I had. I hugged each box upon receipt as they have gone through a lot ever since being packed in Hong Kong mid-August, waiting in the most humid months in both the Hong Kong port and Tokyo port. I officially moved out of Roppongi October 23 and moved into my new apartment in Kagurazaka. Although my commute has increased by 30 minutes which means I now have to wake up at 5:20am every work day, I absolutely love this new neighborhood. It’s definitely more old fashioned Japan with a lovely traditional, cultured, relaxing atmosphere with many good restaurants, alleys, stone steps, random festivals, and snacks from vendors. Now that I have my boxes, I can also upload the pictures from my camera. Yay! Here are some pics of my apartment and the neighborhood:

Building on the right

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The essential ingredient to a winning lobby: fish tank

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Views from room aren’t jaw-dropping but it was most likely the abundant amount of windows and light coming into the apartment that sold me:

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This is the same room I have now but this is when there was show furniture there. Apartment is empty now.

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AFTER:

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Sliding doors separate bedding room from living room:

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Now with newly installed curtains and a Bed frame awaiting to be made when Wilton visits :)

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Best part of this property aside from the bilingual services: lounge with fully equipped kitchen, entertainment system and great views from the rooftop on the 23rd floor

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More photos of my office. Midtown tower in theĀ  middle, I work on the 29th floor

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View from cafeteria, 34th floor:

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Window near my desk, dark dreary typhoon weather outside:

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Nice park right next to office:

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More Differences in Culture and Cultural Lessons Learned:

  • It’s common for bathrooms in Japan to have those weird multi-function toilets with tons of buttons I have no idea what to do with. One thing is for sure though, people at work really make use of that button to emulate the flushing sound of a toilet (there is a music symbol on this button). Every time I go to the restroom at work, there’s always someone using that button. I almost feel rude not having ever pushed that button in my stall. It’s funny that the purpose of the fake flushing noise is to somehow mask any farts or pooping. Who are you kidding. I can still hear all of the farting in other stalls even with the music.
  • In Japanese culture, it is considered rude to put your hands behind your back. Especially if you are waiting in front of a customer, your hands need to be in front with the left hand over the right hand. If putting right hand over left, you break the tale old samurai indication that you are enemies and prepared to fight with the other since your right hand is in the optimal position to draw your samurai sword.
  • While standing and talking to others, don’t cross your leg and definitely don’t lean on anything. But crossing your arms (equivalent to “I’m pissed off at you for being late again” in America) which indicates you are in deep thought is all good. It means nothing in Japanese culture.
  • So I was helping theĀ  Research & Design team at work clean up the samples and other clothes for next season that needed to be stored in boxes or thrown away. The ladies directing us were trying very hard to use English to tell us which box the sample clothing needed to go into. As we were labeling the boxes, there was one box that apparently had very high profile samples that we don’t want anyone to sift through the trash and see. They had such a difficult time trying to explain to me how to label the box and proposed “Secret Garbage.” In my mind, I thought “well, that definitely will attract anyone’s attention. Wouldn’t Confidential work a bit better…” I tried so hard to not laugh and not in a bad way, it was awfully cute how they came up with that. I truly commend them for trying to speak English.

 

Running activity of the day, total of 8.4 miles or 13.5 km:
Takadanobaba JR station to Waseda to Nezu (nice shrine) to Ueno (pass the zoo and park) to Yanaka to Nishi-Nippori station

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?????

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Passing by museums

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And galleries

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Love this old fashioned style and architecture that probably came from another period long time ago

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Please don’t ask me about that random guy with a tight red dress and crazy high heels…again, just running by…

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Running through the largest cemetery in tokyo in Yanaka

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View of a subway station and Skytree, the tallest building in Tokyo

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Finally arrived to destination in Yanaka with an alleyway filled with snacks and cute shops. Love it there!

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Grapefruit juice and a fried snack with tasty meat inside to reward the end of the run

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When I got back to Kagurazaka, there was this random festival/parade going on. It was very amusing and quite lively with the dancing and chanting. The kids in the front were a bit lost but super cute. My co-workers make fun of the fact that I live so “far” and call it the “countryside” but at least I get to see random stuff like this:

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Perfect formation just like when playing billiards before first hitting that triangle of balls

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I then went into a market on the same street. It’s insane how much ready to eat food they have in regular supermarkets. It’s a very on-the-go society.

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Most people drink coffee beverages like this or ones in cans/bottles…there’s no time to enjoy a cup of Starbucks at work!

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I have been taking Japanese lessons for about 3 hours a week not including time needed to review and do homework. I have also been watching the Mad Men series with my friends. We are on season 2 and season 6 has already been pre-ordered! Love the series so far. The script is so sarcastic but slick and witty. What an interesting decade to have lived in (1960s).

 

 

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