They've been a blur. I am probably forever indebted to my professor/ sensei/ translator Osamu Shoji, aka Shoji San. He is the advisor on my Fulbright Project. He is also a master wood worker who worked as an assistant to the late James Krenov (a super famous wood worker who has had a huge influence on modern craftsmen). Shoji San is himself one of the most respected wood workers in Japan. In April, he will retire from Shinrin Takumi Juku and head to Tokyo, to work on restoring and repairing furniture in the Meiji Shrine (The biggest shrine in Tokyo). I might tag along!
These past few days, he has been helping me out with everything, including translating everything (I'm almost entirely helpless in rural Japan without knowing the language). We went to the town hall and got my Alien Registration Card, applied for the National Health Insurance Plan, applied for a bank account, and I'm in the process of obtaining a cell phone (I needed an address first) etc. He has also helped me find an apartment- which I found today! We looked at a bunch of places all around town, including the one in the middle of nowhere I mentioned in my last post. However, that one thankfully I did not pick! I'm in the middle of downtown Takayama, a block away from the train station. I could not have asked for a better location! Also, I live directly above a design store! What are the chances?! The apartment is a few miles away from the school, but I was assured that I can get a ride from one of the students at school, some of whom live in town as well. The apartment is pretty small, but no so bad, it's also really cheap! It's on the 4th floor and has really nice lighting. Plus, it came mostly furnished- I got a laundry machine, refrigerator, tv, table (which is also a heater (the Japanese are so ingenious)), and stove (though no oven). No bed, so I'll be picking up a futon when I also get some small things such as a pillow, blankets, pots, pans, plates, and cups. I move in this Saturday! I'll post the address then.
Till then, here are photos of the building, when I move in, I'll put up photos from the inside!