Compared to the fast pace of Tokyo, AIU is located in a small town close to the mountains. The closest store to the school is called Aeon Mall and it's about a ten minute bus ride away. I think Boulder has spoiled me because the bus pass gets you on any bus
. Here the bus comes every hour and a half and you have to pay a fare each way. There are rice fields near the campus and the woods surround one side of the school. To reach downtown Akita City, we have to take the one bus and one train ride. I have not tried this yet, but tomorrow I will have to to attend mass. It will be adventure for sure with my lack of Japanese.
I really enjoy the calmness of this place. I have been able to sit outside and listen to the birds in the morning. Akita is the perfect place to practice mindfulness and to rest your mind. I can't wait for the cherry blossoms. They say we have about another week!
After arriving in Akita on Wednesday (13th), things have slowed down a lot. Since school have not started, I have a lot of free time to just hang out and talk to the other students. So far, I have met students from all over the U.S., Australia, Mongolia, Zambia, England, Denmark, Romania and probably more that I have forgotten. It's amazing being able to share stories with so many people from all over the world. About half of the Japanese students really like socializing with international students and to practice their English with us, but the other half are a bit shy so they mostly hang out with their friends. I hope to talk with them more once we start classes.