Sunday, August 30, 2009

ICU Campus

Yesterday Rob, Katy, our friend from ICU, Chihoko, and I went to our University, the International Christian University.

We met Chihoko at Musashi Koganei station (武蔵小金井駅) after a trip to our neighbourhood police box (交番, kouban) because Katy had lost her camera. It was the first time I'd been into a kouban when I wasn't just asking for directions, and I thought they were very helpful.

Chihoko said that the closest station to ICU was Musashi Sakai (武蔵境), which is two stops on the JR Chuo line from us. The tickets cost Y150 single. From the station, we followed her lead and walked to ICU. There is a bus (no. 93) from Musashi Sakai station to the Uni but we didn't want to take that as we wanted to explore, and it costs Y210. We worked out that if we took that route and used both the train and the bus twice a day five days a week, it would cost Y7,200, which is just too much to spend on transport. I can claim my travel costs back from my city council, but it's still a lot of money I wouldn't get back for a long time.

It was the hottest day so far, with the maximum temperature reaching 32 or 33C. The humidity wasn't too bad, but the hot sun made the long walk quite difficult. Plus I wasn't wearing sun tan lotion, and as I'm British, that's a very bad idea! Because we weren't rushing, and we were stopping to take photos every so often, it took just over an hour to get into the campus from the station, with a total journey time of an hour and twenty minutes. But we thought we could do the whole thing in under an hour if we sped up, plus it'd be easier once the weather cooled down for autumn and winter.

We finally reached the front gate and we were all very excited to see the University for the first time. The kanji in the name is pronounced "Kokusai Kirisuto-kyou Daigaku".

I'd seen photos of the road leading into the campus before I even knew I'd be studying here. It's beautiful in cherry blossom season, so I'm looking forward to seeing that around my birthday next spring.

There was a lot of nature around, and the roar of cicadas was extremely loud near the woods.

The campus was really nice. You would never have guessed it was in Tokyo. It was quiet because it was a Saturday, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it bustling with students. It should be a great place to study!
We walked back to the station and had ramen (Chinese noodles) for dinner in a small traditional restaurant nearby, before heading back to Musashi Koganei. We went into a shop and bought a couple of things we needed (I wanted an umbrella because a typhoon is heading our way tomorrow) and then, as we were passing the station to head back to the guesthouse, we spotted a map of the local area. And then we saw that ICU was probably closer to us than Musashi Sakai! We checked what route we'd take and took photos. So our plan for tomorrow is to go to the City Office and register as offical aliens, and buy National Health Insurance, which is compulsory for exchange students, and then try to walk to the campus from our guesthouse. We'll see how long it takes, but if we can walk it in a reasonable time, then that's a good cheap option! The route looks nice too, along a river most of the way.
My Matriculation Ceremony is on Wednesday so I now have three days to get ready and prepare for all the work that's coming my way soon!

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