Published 2/27/2013 by

Arrival in Osaka & First Day ~

So... after a long flight with a short stopover in Dubai I arrived at Kansai International Airport at around 4pm, right in time for my first photo of Japan - a beautiful sunset! The flight with Emirates was comfy and nice, I specially loved the "stars" on the ceiling and the light color change around sleeping time and waking time with birds singing... another funny detail was the "available anytime on request"- Instand cup noodles that were offered throughout the flight.

After a slow and tiring checking out process and a first small Japanese conversation with the airport staff who opened my luggage to discover kilograms of chocolate (he laughed) I finally walked through the South Arrival door and started... waiting. I had to wait for the Thai and Australian group who were supposed to arrive 2h later. The coin I am holding was the change from a vending machine and though it's just 50yen I thought it was very pretty~ Luckily everything worked out and around 3 hours later I met Hiraoka-san from the International Office and we boarded our bus to Senriyama. I was so tired I fell asleep on the way to the Seminary.
At Senriyama Seminary house we took our baggage and prepared futons in our rooms (the rooms where shared rooms with 6-8 people in each room). That's also when I met our 3 Korean roommates HY, TY and HE.
The staff had prepared bentos for dinner and I was finally able to grab a Curry bento after checking out the Seminary house and trying to find my way around.

The next morning I woke up before 7am (hello~jet lag) and started exploring the area around Senriyama Seminary. There's a beautiful bamboo forest and many sports grounds around the building.
After watching some Pokémon Talkshow (don't ask me - Japanese TV ~.~') with HY the Aussie girls, HY, Dew and I dared to go out to buy breakfast.

After walking for around 10min we found a nice combini and I got myself a Melonpan (メロンパン) for breakfast and that was the start of my love for Melonpans... I might have eaten once a day while I was in Japan? kkk 

Anyway, I also spent my first money to buy a Vivi magazine and after getting back to the Seminary I was happily skimming over it while waiting for HY who was drawing something in my (physical!) travel diary. I was also happy to be able to relate much more to Kansai's fashion (more playful and feminine) than to Tokyo's (more 'chic' and grown-up).

Around 1pm we finally met Tao, the International Office Staff who had guided me through the application and kindly replied to all my Mail inquiries before coming to Japan and first had to sign a Liability Insurance, then got a small introduction into Japanese public transportation and important subway stations we were supposed to know. We also received a list of Japanese language partners we had been assigned to. (They had already contacted us via Mail before our departure.)

Afterwards the whole group (we are around 40 students from Australia, Thailand and Korean --- and me from Switzerland, of course ~.~') took the subway and experienced the Japanese subway system for the first time. The tall Aussie guy was used as a "guide" for everyone as to not get lost. kk That's also the reason why he's faking that smile in the photo.

Yes, it was quite a mess as you can see. There were also some Japanese language partners keeping us company and starting first conversations/taking care of us. As you can see, yes, we were a lot of people. The woman in the green jacket below is Tao and this picture was taken right before our 1h break at Namba Station. She had scheduled a Welcome Dinner for us but before we could roam around freely... more in the next entry! ~