Lunes, Marso 27, 2017

My FIRST 6 MONTHS in Osaka, PART ONE: The Arrival

March 28, 2017

Happy 6th Monthsary JAPAN!
September 28, 2016 - March 28, 2017

        It has been a long time since I posted my last entry here. I have been preoccupied with all laboratory works, academics, paper works, adjustment in my dorm and transferring to an apartment. As half-a-year celebration, I will try to sum up my past 6 months stay here in Osaka, Japan. This entry will mainly focus on my preparation and arrival.

My brother and my Mom +NAIA Terminal 3 

            My UPLB thesis adviser, who was once a recepient of MEXT scholarship before told me that during his term, they were given pocket money as soon as they arrived in Japan airport terminal, but mine was different ( 😣  ). I was advised to carry with me atleast 150,000 Yen to 200,000 Yen. I think my Mom was able to come up with 150,000 Yen also with the help of my relatives, and I can say it was more than enough. For the preparation for my flight, my mom and I did a last minute shopping day before my flight (Filipinos are always like this 😜 ) We went to +Southmall Shopping centre  and bought there my 2 luggages that can carry 20-25 kilos. I think one luggage cost around 5,000 php. To give you an idea, here are the things my mom and I thought that were necessary to buy and bring with me in Japan
1. 2 luggages came with free 1 carry on bag each
2. Backpack (there's a buy 1 take 1 backpack in SM department store, 999php)
3. 2 sets of undergarment, socks
4. 4 pants/jeans
5. semi-formal top (I think we bought 4 pcs as well)
6. flats/shoes/sneakers since here in Japan you walk most of the time (3 flats, 1 sneakers).
7. hygiene stuff like deodorant, feminine wash (seriously buy it in the Philippines, it's very expensive here in Japan), napkins, shampoo, conditioner, lotion
8. Datu Puti soysauce, vinegar.
9. Meds: Biogesic, Solmux, Diatabs, Bioflu (seriously, it will be very hard to buy medicine here in Japan. for just a paracetamol, you need doctor's prescription hahahahaha)
10. Belt (but I forgot to bring it with me)
I would like to thank my mom, my boyfriend, mami zeny, tita Gina, ate Razel, tita Phing for your financial help during this preparation time. 😘

        I was given Philippine Airlines economy flight ticket (FREE!) that has baggage allowance of 2 luggages (20 kilos each maximum, and 2 carry on things: (I chose 1 hand bag: where my travel documents, jacket, and scarf were stored; and 1 travel bag: shoes/flats). I think my flight's schedule was 7:50 A.M., so I had to be at the airport 3 hours before. Thanks to Tita Lanie, Tito Rolly, and Tatay Rod (tatay Rod, I can never forget your advices during our travel together, thank you for waking up really early and driving us to airport safely. May you rest in peace 😰😢 . 

        My flight was a connecting flight (Philippines - Taiwan- Osaka), and it took me, around 7 hours to reach Kansai Ariport, instead of 3 hours (direct flight). Take note that as soon as you landed at Kansai Airport, you have to ride this train (FREE) that will transfer you to the area where you can ride train/limousine bus going to your designated dorm. Don't worry, just follow your batch hahahahaha! you will never get lost as Japan is very friendly to directionally challenged person like me. They have many signs and instructions posted almost everywhere! 

My tutor, fellow Filipina MEXT scholar, and me
        Before my flight, my laboratory assigned me one tutor (who can speak both english and Japanese) to fetch me at the airport and guide me with all the registration processes and what's not). So my worries (to get lost and never be found) were lessened 😜 . P.S. please try to go to JR booth (near ticket booth) and buy your ICOCA card (convenient for your travel, will talk about this soon). I wasn't able to buy mine during this time hoho. 

Monorail Fare Table

     I think my fare from airport to my dorm cost me 3,400 Yen. (2000+ Yen for the limousine going to Senrichuo; Monorail for Senrichuo to Saitonishi station: 400 Yen; Taxi from Saitonishi station to my dorm: 1000 Yen). Riding the train is cheaper, but since I have 2 luggages and 2 bags with me it will really be hard to travel by train. So we chose limousine bus. There were staffs at the airport that will help you put your luggages at the storage section of the bus. They will give you ticket to claim it at the bus stop. Plus my tutor was kind enough to help me stroll my one luggage. Actually Saitonishi station to my dorm is just a 15-minute walk, but we chose to ride a taxi since there's a huge stairs at the North entrance going to my dorm, so we have to take the South entrance and take the longer route. The taxi fare cost us around 2,000 Yen, my fellow Filipina scholar and I split the bill, so yeah 1000 Yen each.

My Dorm: Day One
        As soon as we arrived at the dormitory, my fellow Filipina laboratory secretary welcomed us and showed us our room. It was around 8 P.M. at this time, so instead of the dorm manager showing us our rooms and discussing the rules, the secretary did it for us). I was assigned to live for 5 month at Momiji dormitory. Monthly rental cost me 13,500 Yen including electricity, water, gas. This is really cheap compare to my monthly rental now which is 36,000 Yen excluding electric, water and gas bills! I wish to make another entry also for this. I was told by my supervisor that as soon as I stay here I have to pay for 3 months which will cover my stay for October, November and February as my last month. So for my December and January bill they would automatically deduct it to my bank account here). So from my 150,000 Yen, I had to deduct 40,500 Yen from it for my Dorm rental. Lastly, my dorm is located at the Minoh Campus of Osaka University (OU). OU has 3 campuses: Minoh, Suita, Toyonaka. So every day (Monday to Friday), I have to take the shuttle bus (FREE) to go to my laboratory which is located at Suita Campus. Shuttle service has a fixed schedule, travel time is just 15 to 20 minutes (will talk about this soon).

 10 Quick info about my dorm (exclusive for women students):
1. 5 storey building
2. My Unit is at the 4th floor
3. 6 private rooms inside my unit
4. First floor has CCTV
5. Has keypad lock at the main door of my unit
6. 3 keys for (private room, locker outside: too narrow to store my clothes, shower room)
7. Locker room (located adjacent to my room's door where I just store my jacket, coat, shoes)
8. Private room (has complete bed stuff: matress, sheets, pillow, blanket; study table with drawers; individual Wi-Fi router connection: really very fast!; carpeted)
9. Shower room (in a separate building: IKR! very troublesome!; has private shower room and public bath (Japanese usually take a bath here, but I never dared; lock system secured)
10. Unit (has common kitchen, 1 sink for washing dishes, 2 refrigerators, 1 microwave, 1 oven, 1 IC multi purpose stove for cooking, baking, roasting etc., 1 panasonic washing machine, 1 comfort room (no shower room), 1 wide sink for washing faces/hands, dining table, chairs, 3 compartment box for installed for storage of cooking stuffs).

That's it for today. Until next blog entry folks! 😘

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