The Commute

Student orientation at Waseda today! There are a million Oregon students, but just Alia and I from Lewis and Clark. The trains were awesome- bright, confusing, and crowded, but very clean and quiet. The trains actually aren't as expensive as I expected (about $5 each way), but everything else is- black coffee costs $3 at Starbucks!

The commute is probably better explained through pictures than words, so I've got a Flickr set up chronicling it. Check it out here (click here for a slideshow). It's about 80 pictures long, and follows me on the train to the university, on a tour of campus, and then checking out Shinjuku with Alia. A couple highlights:

Kagefuchi station:

My host mother, Tomoko Koyama. She made me eggs, toast, and miso this morning.

On the Tobu line to Kudashita. Elle Girl is running a major ad campaign here (the horizontal banners hanging from the ceiling). The trains get crowded at times, but they're way clean, and eerily quiet.

I was somewhat shocked with how green Waseda is, considering it packs about 50,000 students into a space the size of Lewis and Clark (student body: 2400ish). The campus is beautiful.

Shinjuku, a popular shopping mall. We went to Yodobashi Kamera to grab an ipod cable. I chatted with a cell phone guy for a bit, and they're big on the two-year contracts here. I might end up just getting one and paying the termination fee at the end, because prepaid and by-the-minute charges are zany. The cellphones here are silly in how high-tech they are- I finally get why the Japanese weren't that fazed by the iphone.

Kudashita station. I got slightly lost here, because the line names didn't match up with my scrawled notes on getting home, but the station agents helped me out.

It's true- you can find McDonalds anywhere these days. I refused to go in on priciple.

A vegetable shop, close to closing on my walk home.