This is the final weekend before the semester begins at Kansai Gaidai, and today we participated in the new faculty appointment ceremony. Tomorrow, there’s a new student reception, which new teachers will attend. Monday things kick off.
As of today, I am covered in the Japanese health system, which is good since I strained a leg muscle while jogging on Friday morning. I guess that’s what happens when you go jogging in 40-degree weather without warming up.
On Wednesday, the personnel office at the university took us to city hall to sign-up as residents.
The team here at KGU has helped me acclimate to the new environment. Last night, I enjoyed my first after-work Izakaya night out with the them at a place called Kichiri in the central part of Hirakata. My new director showed us around the town afterwards. I hadn’t had a “night out” like that since before the pandemic, so it was refreshing.
Not having to drive 40 minutes in heavy Los Angeles traffic feels like being paroled. I can walk to my office and classrooms in fewer than 5 minutes.
Not all of the classrooms on campus have state-of-the-art technology, but the rooms in which I will teach do.
Cherry-Blossom Viewing (花見)
Wednesday and Thursday we visited Osaka castle and Maruyama Park (円山公園) in Kyoto.
The largest tree at Maruyama park had lost its leaves by the time we visited, but plenty of other trees were in bloom. All of the popular spots draw large crowds, but the local towns also have cherry tree viewing spots.