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I just wanted to post here some of my first impressions and thoughts after having arrived here in Japan.

Well, my VERY first impressions were along the lines of omgi’mfinallyherei’mhereican’tbelieveitomgthiscisrazyawesomescarryfantasticI’MTIRED (stream of consciousness style).  I didn’t sleep much at all in the plane in an effort to try to adjust myself to Japan time as quickly as possible, so I was pretty dead by the time I arrived in Hiroshima.

A lot of people have told me how their arrival into Japan was marked by a kind of darkness or heaviness as they descended into Tokyo.  So, I’ve been curious about this and wanted to write about it myself.  Well, hate to disappoint people, but I must admit we had so much turbulence the last hour of our flight that I was sick as a dog by the time we started our descent and if there was any dark cloud for me to feel us slip under, I was too happy to be landing to really take much notice.  So, I’m sorry I can’t give a firsthand account of this.

But it IS true that the only church I’ve seen so far is the one where we did Kid’s English Club at today.  And there is something like a pall over the city.  I don’t know if it’s quite so obvious as people were making it out to be (though that’s probably just me) but Japan definitely has a different feel to it…

So let’s see, other initial impressions on Japan?

Toilets here are AMAZING.  The toilet at the airport had a bidet.  It even made running water sounds – perhaps to help people pee?  The Murray’s toilet inside their home is automatically flushing.  There are rice paddies everywhere (apparently Japan produces so much rice they even export it).  90% of the women are always wearing heals (I need to do some shopping).  I’m still not used to being on the left side of the road (I’m not even driving yet!) and taking right turns (into the far lane) still freaks me out.  Everything is (of course) super efficient and very precise (the photo booth machine told me my pictures would be done in “approximately 27 seconds”).   Practically NO ONE speaks any English.  And I am totally feeling WAY over my head.  -__-

My first day here was mostly official stuff.  I got my alien registration, registered my inkan stamp (my official “seal”), got a bank account, a cell phone, and I made my first friend!  Yuuka-san is from one of churches that we’ll be working with and she came to act as our translator (thank the Lord for sending her). We had a lot of fun chatting and doing a little shopping throughout the day.  I also got to practice a lot of Japanese so thanks to my grandma/Tom Shin/anime because apparently I have learned and retained more Japanese than I thought I did.  Yuuka-san speaks a fair amount of English too, so that helped a little (truth: a TON).

Today was harder.  It’s one thing to speak cobbled Japan-glish with one other person.  It’s another thing to speak with a whole bunch of people who know almost no English including children who are really confused as to why the Japanese-looking person (me) can’t seem to form a single coherent sentence.  With jet-lag really kicking in today, I gotta admit it was DIFFICULT and I felt like an idiot.

It’s times like this I start to feel insecure about being in Japan (didn’t take me long to feel this way, did it?), and what can I possibly do in this country where I rarely ever have any idea what is going on?  But I am also constantly reminded (in prayer, by my teammates, etc) that God has brought me with a purpose and for a reason.  I try to cling in faith to these things whenever I feel like a bumbling buffoon.  And I pray God really would make his power perfect through these times of my apparent uselessness.

OK.  Enough rambling.  I’m falling asleep at my computer (it’s 9:40pm here – I’ll probably wake up at 5:30am again… :P)

Picture for Day 2:

Movie Night with the Murrays 😀

Picture for Day 3:

The view from my bedroom. At 6am. 😛 Beautiful.

Categories: Daily Life, Pictures
  1. Susan
    June 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    hi jess!! you made it!!! 🙂 am keeping you in prayer…keep posting interesting things about japan–i love reading about it.

  2. jess
    June 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    so happy you made it my dear 🙂 and yes… i am totally comfortable with sitting on japan’s public toilets. isshoni nihongo wo renshuu shimashoo!

  3. Lisa S.
    June 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    wowowow!! so amazing! i’m enjoying reading your blog…

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