Having just completed my first week living in Nagasaki, Japan, I feel exhilarated and exhausted at the same time – talk about sensory overload!
Having had a massive interest for all things Japanese ever since elementary school, (everything from manga to martial arts, and beyond), I have to pinch myself several times a day just to remind myself that I am indeed now living in the land of the rising sun!
My first impressions both compare and contrast with the information that I got from friends and other blogs before coming over. My apartment does not cost me a fortune, is bigger than a rabbit hut, and the walls are not paper thin. I’m not sure if the infamous closet-sized apartments are confined to Tokyo, but my place is what they call a 2K (two rooms with a kitchen). I have more than enough space, as I don’t have many belongings, so I am hoping my friends will also come and visit from back home!
The Coco Juku training was as good as could be expected and I actually feel confident that I can add value as a teacher, not only to the company but also the community where I live in. I actually didn’t know what to expect, but I can now see that my classes are meant to be enjoyable, encouraging as well as informative.
After training, I was whisked away to Nagasaki by the world famous bullet train (yes, it was indeed as fast as a bullet!) Ever since arriving here, I have been busy exploring my new adopted home-town in my free time and have had the time of my life!
Abroad, Nagasaki – along with Hiroshima – has become synonymous with the tragic events that took place at the end of the Second World War. Visiting the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Peace Park make for sobering and educational visits and should be on the to-do-list of any visitor to the area. However, Nagasaki has a lot more to offer to travelers and inhabitants alike.
One thing that I found that I will not need is an alarm clock. I’m not located near a farm with hens but I have a different kind of alarm clock, which is something between nice and weird. At EXACTLY 7 A.M., the construction company working on the building near my apartment plays some preschool sounding music and does calisthenics. No joke, you can see construction workers in their baggy construction pants (“tobi pants”) doing stretches and the like, in unison together with the music.
The city has a population of around half a million, but seems bigger and livelier. The region`s famous champon noodles are probably my new favourite dish, so I find myself eating them almost every day! I didn’t know what they were called and misread a sign so I started calling them “Champion” noodles…..a good laugh for all……and I think my name describes them better.
I have found a great international group of friends with whom to explore the city`s nightlife, which – Nagasaki being a university city – is always guaranteed to be lively. The other night, we were invited to sing karaoke until the wee hours of the morning with a friendly group of locals! Right now is a very special time of the year as the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. This coming weekend should be fun, as I`ve been invited to join a “hanami” party under some cherry trees!
I am having the time of my life and am very pleased with my new adopted hometown. The area is surrounded by beautiful nature, mountains, beaches and islands – and I can not wait to start exploring everything, as I feel that I have only scratched the surface.
For more information about working as an Instructor for Coco Juku click here.