So this is my last night in Tokyo, sorry I couldn't update more everyone!! I'll give a little blurb about everything.
Berkley: Decent weather, crappy dorms, good food, generally boring orientation. the majority of the orientation seemed unnecessary, it was kind of cold and we couldn't explore. The flight over was on an ity-bity plane and we sat next to the toilet, T_T. The good points again were the awesome cafeteria and the alumni panel where former exchange students answered our questions. I guess I was just really ready to go to Japan already! I didn't sign up for California Japanese camp. Or walking 7 floors twice a day for Japanese language lessons where I already knew everything. Tragically, my roommate's grandmother passed away the morning before departure and had to return home. My group all singed a card to send her.
Flight to Japan: Not that bad surprisingly, the airport wasn't crowded. I watched how to train your dragon on the airplane :) The food was pretty good and the instructions were in Japanese and English!! Cool! But the movie subtitles were in Chinese for some reason. It's weird how quiet the Narita airport was, we were definitively very loud gaijin! Plus customs and immigration were like 10 times faster and easier than security! That was nice. Saw some cool stuff at the airport, like a giant hot dog statue with an American flag squirting ketchup on itself and a group of Japanese HS boys with cute uniforms.
Tokyo: Totally conked out after orientation (telling us the schedule) and my shower. Jet lag wasn't an issue but I woke up at like 2:30 and 5:20 AM in the morning feeling we were going to be late for 7:00 breakfast. Weird. The hotel is five star and super nice! (Keio Plaza). My roommate and I went to the "American" breakfast, complete with pastries and miso soup. In the hotel bathrooms when you take a shower, the bathroom mirror always has a rectangle that is un-foggy... crazy. All the hotel staff have adorable uniforms and there is even elevator staff! Japan really knows how to live. The food is great, which is surprising, I didn't think I would like it that much. Our hotel is in the middle of Tokyo. On the 11th we all went to the US Embassy to hear about the official's jobs. After we went to the Edo-Tokyo museum and saw a lot of cool things along the way. I bought my first things with yen there, It kind of doesn't feel like real money >.< I bought some goodies back at the hotel shops as well. Staff are so attentive at stores, it's crazy! They pack everything perfect and even twist the bag handle and are so polite about serving you, it's amazing! It's also weird hearing "Irashaimasse" every time I enter a store.We saw the Crowned Emperor and Empress's estate (from the bus) as well as giant departments stores, Tokyo tower and a big river. The museum was really cool and there were swarms of elementary and middle school kids who were happy to say hi to us :) We also waved to everyone outside from the bus and everyone was really happy. Some people started posing or making silly faces. We ate lunch at another hotel, it was delicious! The hotel was so big and everyone was staring at us, like everywhere else. One guy even took a picture of us. We even saw adorable kindergartners walking home from school! Super cute outfits!! There are also giant and terrifying crows picking at the garbage in the morning, as I discovered from my morning stroll outside the hotel. All the little shops are so cute and perfect.
More later, I need to start packing to meet my host family tomorrow! I am so excited, I can't wait to explore Japan! Photos soon to come <3