Arrived in Japan

I arrived in Japan yesterday to study at Waseda University with professor Yoshimura.  I’ve gotten situated, but I can’t figure out how to use my rice cooker and my hot water pot since I can’t read Kanji (see picture, feel free to comment).

something to make and store hot water
rice cooker

some first observations:

  • shampoo comes in pouches (not bottles)
  • not much dairy (except ice-cream)
  • vending machines are everywhere (Cigarettes, coffee, soda, etc).  Many of them say “Boss” on the side.
  • Most people speak some English, but it’s satisfying to see how far you can get with Japanese.
  • Nobody wears sunglasses.
  • Most people have assumed I’m from Japan which is a problem since they aren’t ready for me to not understand them. Perhaps if I wear my sunglasses they will think otherwise.
  • You really need Kanji to get around.  All verbal knowledge is useless for navigation.

4 thoughts on “Arrived in Japan

  1. The 切 means shut off power. The pouches are refills for bottles with squirting pumps on the top. 給湯 is to dispense. You know 時 is hour/time and 分 is minute, right? おかゆ is porridge. タイマー is timer :) Do you have an electronic kanji translator? It might be nifty to get one in akihabara, especially one you can draw characters in with your finger. Also I think there isn’t that much dairy because of the tsunami. I always ate a lot of yogurt and cheese and milk before. Email me if you need any other advice!

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