Mt. Fuji -- Weekend Update

Hooray Hooray!!!! I am back from my trip hiking up Mount Fuji.

The full story and pics are on their way...... I will just say that MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I made it to the peak (3776 meters at the peak) and back down successfuly!!!!


Birthday Wishes...

July 23rd is my birthday!

Although it was a workday, let alone the first work day of the week, my day went pretty well. A couple calls were done including mother of course to wish me a great birthday. I thought that was very thoughtful since this is my first birthday about 5,000 miles away from where I would usually celebrate it.

The co-workers were great about my birthday, I was taken out to dinner. One thing I can hand these Japanese folks is the speed of lightning is no match for gossip in the office. I was kind of shocked and surprised about it! I of course, casually mentioned my birthday was coming about a week ago and before I knew it, the news spread around the office like wildfire! I showed up in the morning in the office like any other day and I was constantly being greeted with Happy Birthday in the best possible English they can speak. Later in the day I was told by one of the guys that we will go out and have a couple drinks, then it morphed into dinner with the boss man. I couldn't have asked for anything more it was a good group too, maybe 11 folks. The food kept coming, the picture above was just to start.

So all in all my birthday was great, to be honest I was wondering if my birthday would have actually gone by without a word but it didn't - so it smoothed out those feelings I had for missing all of you!!!

One week left before the Mt. Fuji trip......


So far so good......

Hey folks so much has been happening the first few weeks of my stay in Japan, it is troubling to think where I should begin? Lets start with the first week.

The jet lag was in full gear so I tried to tackle it head on. I have met the whole company and then some during this time plus several meetings, meetings for registration, meetings for meetings.....etc....

Here is a place the co-workers had taken me to for the official welcoming party. There are actually seven new people joining this department including myself. I am the only american national, though, most of them were from other parts of Japan and China. This location is a bowling alley, tennis, game center, miniature golf all in one!

It was actually great fun we began with an official opening and each person was presented and introduced. As each person is introduced they stand out in the bowling alley, then we were all supposed to open the bowling games together by bowling the first ball all together, I could lie and say I made a strike but I came close!!!! We all played two bowling games then adjourned to a private room for a dinner reception. I had met all kinds of people including the prez of the company. Many gifts were handed out for high scores and appreciation awards.

My boss in Japan is shown here, he has helped my transistion to Japan and is continuing to do so while I have been here. The people in this country are NOTHING like the American Japenese, I have never felt so welcomed before especially in the presence of people I have never met before.

Some of the pics are kind of fuzzy sorry about that I am still trying to work out this groovy cell phone they gave me.


Surprise what surprise???

On the last blog I spoke of a surprise. Well the surprise is that I am going to hike Mount Fuji in two weeks. The last weekend of July will be the big trip. I basically mentioned to the folks at work (trying to make friends right!?!), "oh yeah lots of places I want to discover, like Kyoto, Nagoya and Mt. Fuji." Well they kind of lit up to the liking of Mt. Fuji and next thing I know they were in planning stages for it. Oh my god, I said in my head it is for real, so I am totally excited about it! The timing couldn't be more perfect it is official climbing season for Mt. Fuji so we scheduled for July 27 - 29, it will be a group of seven(so far). This weekend I am taking for preparation and get some gear for the trip although previously I wanted to go to Tokyo, that is now on the back burner.......

More details after I get from my trip on this.
I will bring my camera, hopefully it will survive the journey okay.

Wish me luck hiking to the peak!!!


Pics of the new Pad......

Ok Ok Ok..... you guys asked and I shall deliver here are some pics of my place in Japan!!!
I am sure all of you have my new address now, if not please email me and I will give it to you.

First off this picture here is a little misleading, this is the rearside of the building, my apartment is on the opposite end showing here, first floor. The neighborhood is very quiet and this is actually a residential road about a block or so in from the major road, so the apartment is actually quite comfortable for me and private.

From the patio looking towards the entrance. Note the makeshift table and chair out of luggages and cardboard, kind of sucks but thats until the rest of my stuff gets shipped in........hopefully just a few more weeks!!!!

View from the kitchen side towards patio. If you look carefully at the top picture the patio is used for hanging out clothes to dry. Something I just started doing........I miss my dryer already!!!

Shots of the kitchen taken here, the space is about typical, mind you the place was completetly unfurnished. The microwave is a "Hand Me Down" from a co-worker. I had to buy the fridge - I got a good deal for it at a second hand shop!!!! That was the best place I even bought a washer there too. The second hand shops in Japan are NOTHING compared to the U.S. The quality and conditions of all their appliances were better than I expected. The guy who sold them to me, delivered and installed them for me and tossed in a free box of laundry soap(delivery was free too). Take that Maytag!!!!!!

The bedroom is just big enough for a full size bed and nothing more!!! Luckily the closet is very deep. Practically a walk in closet so it helps for storage. The plastic storage bins are actually behind the shirts that are hung in the closet..... some of that could of been used for the bedroom.....

The bathroom is great it is a 3 room layout. The picture shows the sink and the washer (second Hand, made by Hitachi) the door handle on the left side is the toilet room. on the right side of the bathroom is the tub and shower. Very nice features, there is a super duper control panel to ventilate the shower room, blow hot air for clothes drying (if its raining outside), fills the tub automatically and keeps it hot for you, for Japanese style bathing...... the tub is not american full size but big enough to get my head and toes wet at the same time.

All in all I like the apartment very much and will continue to make this pad as comfortable for me as possible, for it will be my home for the next year or so.

more updates coming.......... I have some big news but that will have to wait for the next post..........


News Flash for the Concerned!!!!

I am sure there were lots of open ears and eyes this weekend on the news. One for the typhoon that hit Japan and second for the earthquake. Lets just say first that I am okay. The Typhoon came and went by us, it was headed for Tokyo but curved out to sea instead, so basically lots of rain on Sunday, a bit gusty but for the most part the storm was not severe (atleast in my area). This weekend was a 3 day weekend and because of the rain and the typhoon scare most of my time was stuck at home......total bummer...... you can read more about it here:

The earthquake I didnt even know happened. It turns out that the quake wasn't too far from here, on the other side of the island it was about a 6.0 magnitude. It happenned about 10:30am local time, I was up, maybe taking a shower at the time but didnt feel a thing.......

no worries!!!!


My Very First Blog!!!!!


I have been convinced that maybe a blog is the best way to relay, things that are going on with me. I have done several emails to several people, and you know what? Why not just take the easy way out and write a blog instead, kind of like hitting two birds with one stone!!!! This site is still a work in progress so bear with me.........

Well most of you know by now after a hectic few weeks packing and moving, I am now living in Japan, so with that I am excited to share my experiences with you!!!! I will try and keep up with this blog and I would hope you will check back often for updates.

I have been asked for pictures and I am working on it......check my blog for updates soon!!!!!

BookMark this page, or type my address: http://jam78ilc.blogspot.com/