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Posts tagged apato

Court Nishi Waseda

tokyo apartment

Speaking of tennis courts, today’s photo is from our apartment building in Tokyo, コート西早稲田. The land was formerly occupied by a bunch of Waseda University tennis courts. Long before that (early 17th Century), Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu built a horse racing track here. Waseda University still owns part, or maybe all, of the place. Notice the double-decker (triple-decker, actually) parking spots. There are cars under these cars.

I think I took this photo because the sky was particularly blue on this fall morning. Perhaps there was a rain storm the night before. Tokyo doesn’t usually feature skies this blue. If you want to see a blue sky in Tokyo, your odds are much improved in the fall and winter months.

Automatic parking

automatic car park tokyo japan

Today’s pic is from our Tokyo apartment’s parking lot. While most of our neighbors own their living unit, they don’t own the land or a parking space. Parking spaces run the equivalent of several hundred dollars a month and most are underground in these automated, stacking devices.

Home Sweet Home

tokyo apartment japan

My home for the past 10 months…

Pics of the apartment (part 1)

nishi waseda balcony

The most requested images from friends and family have been of our abode. Don’t ask me why. Our apartment isn’t nearly as interesting as everything beyond its boundaries in this country. But I’ll post a few shots anyway for the curious.

The first photo, above, is the view from our little balcony. Our building is 5 stories (I think; I haven’t actually gone above the ground level). We are on the walk-in level and don’t have a need for the stairs or elevator. There is one level below us and several above. I’m guessing the balconies on the top couple of floors have pretty cool views. Our view is mostly obstructed by the neighboring buildings. The people who live downstairs have no real distant view at all, but they do get space for a garden and/or some trees as you can see.

court nishi waseda kitchen

This is one side of our narrow kitchen. The other side, not pictured, has our rice cooker and refrigerator/freezer.

bedroom court nishiwaseda

Above is the master bedroom, featuring room for two single beds and not much else.

コート西早稲田 bedroom

Our kids sleep in the above room which has enough space for two, roll-away, single futons and two small desks–one of which I’m typing from at the moment.

First day of school

ryan and ellie first day of school tokyo international school

The kids just left for the train station to get to Tokyo International School (notice the uniforms) for their first day of school in Japan. I took the above photo in front of the front door of our apartment before they left. We thought they’d be sitting for most of the train ride (of 26 minutes), but they ended up standing for all but one stop.

Hopefully they’ll start blogging more so you can hear directly from them.

時差惚け (じさぼけ = jisaboke = Jet Lag)

I’ve been in Japan for almost three days now, and my jet lag doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. As I type this it is 4:30 a.m., and I have been up for more than an hour. Oh well, it can’t last forever, right? The night before I slept a Benadryl-assisted 7 or 8 hours, but I woke up feeling like crap so I skipped the drugs last night. We’ll see if that was a good decision later today.

Backing up to the day of our arrival, our flight into Tokyo was painless enough despite the lack of leg room and our being stuck in the middle of the center row of coach seats on the plane. There was an announcement while in flight asking if there were any お医者様 (doctors) or 看護婦様 (nurses) on the plane. It turns out there were no doctors, but there were two nurses–my wife (pediatrics) and an anesthesiologist nurse. That’s probably not what they were hoping for, but what can you do at 39,000 feet? It turns out the co-pilot was knocked out of commission. I’m not at liberty to give more details than that. But we made it, safe and sound, into Tokyo.

The trip to our apartment was pretty hellish. It’s not a good idea to try to haul more than a single piece of luggage per person to your destination from the airport. The price to have it shipped from the airport to places in downtown Tokyo (over $150) seemed ridiculous so we moved our luggage via train ourselves. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad had we not just been sitting on planes and in airports for almost 16 consecutive hours. Or maybe it would have been better if it had not been extremely hot and humid on arrival. In any event, we made it through some taxing situations to finally stumble into our Court Nishi Waseda (コート西早稲田) apartment.

court nishi waseda sign at night

Our luggage literally filled the place. We couldn’t get the AC to work. Sweat was pouring down my face, and my body felt like it had just been dipped in syrup. I felt a mutiny from my family was about to take place, and to be perfectly honest, at that moment I could have joined them.

The next day things quickly looked shockingly brighter however. It’s amazing what a little sleep (only about 5 hours worth), an unpacking of the eight suitcases, and a stowing of them out of the way can do for one’s outlook. The apartment seemed to grow by about four or five fold, and it became apparent that we could do this after all.

Also, I had forgotten about the 蝉 (cicadas) in Japan. Hearing them gave me hope and brought a smile to my face. That first morning I also learned how to open our mailbox, use our AC, heat our shower and お風呂 (Japanese bathtub), I found the local market, and was greeted with a hearty おはようございます (good morning) by several of my new neighbors. Things were looking up. In fact, I couldn’t have been much happier, which couldn’t have been much more opposite from the way I felt the night before when I was at the lowest of the low.

I’ll leave you for now with this picture of the entrance to our apartment, コート西早稲田. Several friends and family members have asked for pictures of our apartment so I’ll get some interior shots up soon. First I have to take them though. 😉

コート西早稲田 court nishi waseda apartment tokyo shinjuku-ku

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