Yesterday, I got a chance to go to the university where I’ll be studying (Sophia University), and had to take a placement test, for the required Japanese class I’ll have to take. Though the test wasn’t a fun experience, it was fun getting to see where I’ll be probably a lot of times during the week, learning about the school, the people who attend it, and of course eating free food at the welcome party later that day.

The school is technically a catholic school, but I think it’s more catholic in word rather than practice (as mass or things like that aren’t required, and I don’t think they’re too pushy about it) — but it’s definitely going to be an interesting year. I saw two other guys my skin color, so I may not be as rare as I think I am… Maybe I should change my title to Just Another Big Black Man In Japan (they were also pretty tall).

I learned today though, that there were a TON of people studying abroad in Japan. I met people from the US, France, Germany, Finland, Japan (obviously), Spain, and I’m sure I’m leaving 5 other countries out. As for the states, there were people from colorado, kansas, Philadelphia, Connecticut, amongst others. There sure are a lot of us (foreigners, that is).

Also, the president of the university stopped by for a visit… He was old, as to be expected, but I was honored that he dropped by. I’m not sure I know what the president of the university at UT looks like… Either way, I’m relatively sure we should have been doing some super low bows and what not to him, but most didn’t. It was a sort of laid back meeting, and some school clubs introduced themselves. The karate club also did a live demonstration, which was pretty cool, and included a section where they let people come kick the bags.

I’ve got a pretty good idea which groups I want to join, but it was interesting watching some of the ones that showed up (like the flower arrangement club, who came and arranged some flowers in real time, as exciting as that sounds, it was pretty interesting).

Also, I got my point and shoot running/working/taking pictures, so now I’ll probably be able to take alot more without having to lug the DSLR around everywhere.

After all the hoopla of the test and welcome party, we had a little mini-party, at a local restaurant (izakaya), that we went to with some of the local students. Though I don’t have many pictures from that (I was a little busy eating, and doing some general jollymaking or whatever you’d call it), I’ve got some.

I was also going to go to Akihabara today, but it’s raining, so it looks like all the things I need to do will have to wait till another day. Unless I decide to go out in the rain…..

Well, picture time (Taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2 point and shoot that I got for $50 off of craigslist):

A small shot of the campus

A better view of the church and some of Sophia's campus, as well as Yotsuya in the background (The area that Sophia is in).

The area around Yotsuya, on the way to a local restaurant (izakaya).

I thought this picture sort of caught the overall feel of the place. It was a really low key, low lit, cozy restaurant type place. Food was really good, enjoyed everything that I ordered, whether or not I had eaten it before.