So after a 12 hour flight to Japan, a three day stay in Tokyo and a one hour flight to Hiroshima, I finally arrived in my placement prefecture. From there two Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) from my senior high school picked me up and drove me to Kikuya Mansion in Fukuyama–my new home.
Don’t be fooled. Kikuya is no Biltmore House gone Japanese. Ironically, in Japan, small apartments (we’re talking closet or entry-way-sized) are called mansions. Although compact, these “mansions” are perfect for one person and–an added bonus–probably inexpensive to heat and cool.
Here’s a view from my apartment looking over the balcony:
Side note: I sleep on a futon mattress. It seems a little uncomfortable, but I LOVE firm beds at home–so it works out perfectly! Every now and then, I will hang the futon outside to air dry and prevent mold (because Japan is so humid).
Finally, here is a view from my balcony. It shows some of the city as well as the JR Line–the train that takes me to and from work.
Thus far Fukuyama, Kikuya Mansion and my supervisors have been wonderful. I am still exploring the city, meeting my neighbors and settling in to the new environment. As I discover all the quirky aspects of Fukuyama, I’ll make sure to let y’all know!