Thursday, January 26, 2006

Last (First) Night in Japan

Seeing as this is my last night in Japan, I'd like to talk about my first - the evening of July 4, 1987. My girlfriend Tristan and I had flown from LAX to Narita on a JAL flight - had our photos taken with the captain in the cock-pit (that's not done anymore) because a flight attendant was impressed by Tristan's Japanese. We went throught customs in Narita and caught our connecting flight to Osaka International Airport in Itami. From there we caught an airport bus to Umeda in downtown Osaka. We had a load of luggage, including an impossibly heavy WWII-era trunk (mine). We had to more or less take baggage piece by piece up and down an unGodly number of stairs as we plugged along to our destination. We took the Mido-suji Line (Red) from Umeda to Yodoyabashi where we caught a Keihan semi-express train to Kuzuha Station in Hirakata - a suburb of Osaka. There we spent the night with Tristan's old host family. What I'll never forget is lugging that damn trunk in the July heat.

Here's where I lived in Japan:

Mentori-cho, Hirakata City
One week with Tristan's old host family.

Guest House Kyoto
Kita-ku, Kyoto City
Social living in North Kyoto at the foot of Mt. Daimonji - walking distance from Kinkaku-ji and Ryouan-ji (my favourite temple in Japan).

6-mat 1 room apt in America Mura
Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City
In the heart of the Minami entertainment district. Comparable to living in Times Square NYC.

1 room apt
Suminoe-ku, Osaka City
Near Suminoe Station on the Nankai Main Line. Large window faced the south and really cooked the place in the summer.

2ldk apt
Suminoe-ku, Osaka City
A 'heights' type apartment; new when we moved in. Was here during the big earthquake in January of '95. Far from the epicenter but, boy, did we shake. Near Abikomichi Station on the Hankai Streetcar Line.

House in Yao
Akebono-cho, Yao City
Upon moving to Yao I stated teaching students privately. Between JR Shiki and JR Yao Station on the JR Yamatoji Line.

2ldk apt
Yasunaka-cho, Yao City
Near JR Yao Station.


Anonymous Florence said...

I lived in Shinsaibashi too, for a few months in 2004. I was in a "monthly mansion" close to Amerika mura while I worked on a job in Osaka. Strange place to live in, I really felt like an alien :-D

2:15 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Hi Florence. I lived there in 87-88. It was pretty funky then. Cheers,

1:49 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello- I believe that I lived with the same family in Japan in 1988. I lived in Kuzuha while attending Kansai Gaidai, and remained in touch with the family for many years. I was recently trying to track them down, wondering if they have moved, since we lost touch a few years ago. Toshiko was in my wedding in 1992, and I remember that she was very fond of Tristan. Small world!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

oops- I'm sorry that posted as "anonymous"... not an experienced blogger! Any way, would love to know if you have ever heard from the family in Kuzuha. I was trying to track down Toshiko, which lead me to your blog comment.... Thanks!

10:35 PM  
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