Ten Days, Ten Tokyo Universities

The new academic year has started in Japan, and with it brings a new job for me. This term, I am going to be working in a Women’s University in Tokyo, supporting women to communicate in English and understand more about global cultures. My new university says that it aims to create global women (it actually says girls on their poster, but I am choosing to upgrade that patronising word to WOMEN).

Kicking off this term has seen me travelling all over Tokyo to meet with new students. This has seen me jetting off each day, exploring various previously unexplored corners of Tokyo, and (sometimes) enjoying a variety of different university campuses. Each morning I wake up and check out which route to work I’ll be taking today…no day has been the same so far.

This is proving to be a pretty unique experience. Earlier this week I stood looking out of a window into a bamboo forest, and the following day I was stood in the same position, but a different campus, looking out across an immense city scape of Tokyo. Honestly, my head is a little fuzzy at the variety of these ten days! Firstly, how, how are there so many universities in Tokyo? Hundreds! I remember being so proud of Liverpool for being a city of four…Secondly, how is possible to travel for over an hour West and still be in central Tokyo? I mean, I knew it was big, but wow, it really really is.

My favourite university so far was somewhere West, somewhere in Tokyo. The campus was nice enough. However, during a lunch time explore I came across a very special place. A Koi Carp pond celebrating peace and unity. It had a couple of beautiful statues and ample seating to sit back, relax, and contemplate. I did just this, and that act has led to me starting a diary. I took just fifteen minutes of silent time and it was a true meditation! I came to appreciate the source of some bubbling anxiety, which has beet sitting in the very pit of my stomach over the past few weeks. In seeing it in this peaceful place, I have been able to understand it. This natural space has got me even more exited about heading off to my new university campus in September as an actual student- which is set in basically a forest!

I also spent a day in a building that was clearly haunted. There was no one else in the place for most of the day and the entrance stairway was adorned with the skeleton of a horse…why not. The toilets were particularly creepy- they reminded me of the toilets in Harry Potter book one where Hermoine gets trapped with a Troll. Minus the Troll. Still, the unexpectedly open roof was nice a quiet and gave me a nice space to catch a few rays. The flip side; I am pretty sure I saw a ghost cleaner. But hey, he was polite enough!

I am coming up to my final few days of this mad Tokyo University tour, and to be honest, I am a little relieved. Still, I have a few interesting experiences under my belt…and some cracking views!

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