3/18/19–3/24/19

Long Weekend, Wahoo!

Geeze, image what you could do with a four day weekend in a foreign country just waiting to be discovered. You could book an AirBnB or a hostel prefectures away and explore an unknown city. You could go explore a very remote set of hiking trails taking you too many hidden shrines, temples, and waterfalls. You could go wild and spend 3 whole nights going out on the town (this already sounds like the worst of the ideas so far; talk about hangover). Or you could stay at home, rest, do laundry, clean, and code on a project you’ve…


3/11/19–3/17/19

Some Self Reflection

This week was more on the quiet side. At work, I am winding down projects with one team to switch to another in the coming weeks. I’m feeling a lot even more comfortable. I’ve figured out how to use the self-checkout at the grocery and am trying to eat different foods when I go out or cook for myself. I only get lost or miss a train about once a week now. Seems normal.

Actually, this week I met someone new, Bryan. We ran into each other walking to work and he somehow knew me even though we hadn’t…


3/4/19–3/10/19

Betsubara (別腹)

Terazawa-san invited me and my mentor over for a gyoza (potstickers to use Americans) party after work. I figured cool, he’ll probably prep it the night before and just cook it when we arrive and we will hang out (kind of the America dinner party way). I was super wrong. We went to the store after work, bought all the ingredients, bought the alcohol and walked to his place and started prepping. About two hours of hanging out and prepping. 90% of that is rolling the meat & vegetable mixture in paper-like dough and folding the edges. Honestly, this…


2/25/19–3/3/19

Welcome Party Pt. II

Really Tyler you spilled a beer on the manager of your whole department. I’m pretty sure that came up in like the second lesson of etiquette in our Japanese classes. Okay, maybe it’s just common sense. Either way, yes, the most embarrassing thing. I’m pretty uncoordinated, hence why I run instead of play a sport with a ball. Luckily, he was pretty forgiving.

To go back a few steps, I had a second welcome party. This one was put on by my team at work. …


2/18/19-2/24/19

Things are Feeling More Normal

So I’ve lived in Japan for 4 weeks now. I don’t feel like a local or anything, but I don’t feel out of place. I feel comfortable and confident in almost all my day-to-day tasks. I mean its the little things like learning how to ask to buy a bag at the grocery store that make me feel like I’m not just a tourist.

I started walking to and from work everyday instead of taking the train. Found a really beautiful view while crossing over the river (かわ or kanji is 川 —pronounced kawa; kind of looks like a…


2/11/19–2/17/19

Be a Yes Man

I’ve been slackin’ so let me catch you up. I had a pretty stellar night out in Osaka and I think that’s my main takeaway from this week. Sometimes you just have to be open for some adventure. I’m not talking about going hiking in the wilderness, although that’s one of my favorites, I’m talking about being a “yes man” (sorry Elyse).

Sometimes movies are relevant you know.

Through the recommendation of some of the previous international coops in my program, I downloaded an app called Meetup. It’s mainly just a social app. People create groups and do activities. You can join the groups and…


2/4/19–2/10/19

Work

I mentioned in the first week that I am not able to talk to much about what I’m doing at work because I’m under a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Most of my work content will be about social interactions or facts I noticed about the Japanese work life.

Self Intro

With saying that, my first project at Omron Healthcare was to do a self-intoduction presentation. I was to cover my birth through current life hometowns and education, my research if applicable, my hobbies and interests, why I chose Omron, and what I hoped to learn from this co-op. I had a couple…


1/29/19–2/3/19

And we’re back. I’m going to pick back up right where I left off.

On the Job

Local Train Stations

I woke up the next morning feeling pretty good despite not sleeping much that night. I was to meet Terazawa-san at the Katsuragawa Station at 8:30am since the standard start time for work in Japan is 9am (bless up). I remembered the way to Nishioji Station from my backstreet apartment and tried my best to remember which train to get on. Luckily, there are only two choices: Kyoto or Osaka. I was feeling pretty confident that the my destination was one stop away on the…


1/29/19–2/3/19

Since I want to get in the habit of doing a weekly update, I wanted to cover the first few days as my week one blog. I figure those days alone will have enough content to fill a post. After writing this first post, I realize pictures would really have helped visualize some of the struggles and experiences I went through. For future posts, I will try to incorporate more of this.

Travel

Photo by Emiel Molenaar on Unsplash

Having heard stories from my sister about the struggles of international travel, I felt I was mentally prepared for what was to come. …

Tyler Estes

Mechanical Engineering student

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