I realized that it's not going to get much more exciting here in Nakamura (which is the de facto name of Shimanto), so I decided I should go ahead and post. I'll start work on Monday, which is a big relief because I'll get to start interacting with people on a day to day basis. So far it's been pretty difficult getting things done because I don't speak or read Japanese, so simple things like going to the grocery take a long time. I did find the local Aikido club and got to train on Friday. There were only five people in the class including myself, but all-in-all it was good. The people were really friendly and were glad to have me. Two of the guys in the class were fourth and fifth dan (i.e., fourth and fifth degree blackbelt) respectively, and I'm really excited to get so much face time with such high ranking folks. Today I finally made it to the beach, and it was really really beautiful. The water is still warm enough to swim in and there were tons of people out surfing. The beach we went to was very clean and there were piles of drift bamboo scattered about. I didn't bring any shorts to swim in, but I think I might ride out tomorrow before I start work and take a dip.
Oh, by the way, Japanese culture is really odd.
This is the Shimanto River. It's pretty low right now, but I hear that during typhoon season it gets really really full.
The Japanese are really weird, but it makes for some good signs.
Now, did they mean 'Fish Flesh' or 'Fresh Fish'?
Yes, and please make sure to tidy up!!!
It flies, and it's bigger than you might think.
OK. This place is NOT for arachnophobes. These spiders are enormous and are absolutely everywhere.
There's no denying it: my apartment building (the big ugly grey thing) is hideous and looks depressing. But I have a great view and it's nice on the inside!
Japanese cars are really small. I saw an ad on TV yesterday for the new tiny Honda that parallel parks itself...just hit the button and there you go.
I took these on the way to the sports center. Walk ten minutes in any direction from "downtown" and you're in the middle of rural Japan.