Today was yet an another interesting day. I had planned to wake up at 9 am but overslept until after 10 am, which left me less than an hour to repack and get ready to leave my beloved suite and jacuzzi :'(
I had to leave by 11 pm to get to a meeting point in Shinjuku station where other YES participants will meet up to go to the university. I had to lug my luggage through the rainy streets of Tokyo and the crowded train stations... no easy feat I tell you. I got there exactly on time (maybe with just 5 mins to spare) and we were 7 participants: one Japanese (our guide), 2 Swiss, 1 German, 1 Nepalese, 1 Indian, and 1 Egyptian (me!). We set out to Hosei University, Tama campus by taking another JR train and then a bus... we were on campus at about 1 pm. We had to walk with our luggage for about 15 mins in the rain and uphill through the campus until we got to our building. I would have taken pictures of the campus - it's beautiful, spacious and with already cherry trees blossoming - but the rain and luggage wasn't exactly helping out. Insha'Allah I'm sure there will be more opportunities to take pictures and discover the campus more.
After we put our bags in our rooms, we went to the convenience store on campus to buy something to eat since the cafeteria had already served lunch. I got this snack called onigiri which reminds me of the elven bread Sam and Frodo ate... it is basically rice cake (favored with tuna and soy sauce) wrapped in nori (seaweed) and in a triangular shape. I had it before on my last trip to Japan, so I knew what to expect... actually it is a rather good snack!
(Don't mind the image that much... I forgot to take a picture so I got this one off google... I didn't not have a beer with it!)
I am sharing my room with two of the guys I met at Shinjuku, the Japanese guy and a Swiss. For far we're getting along and split the room without any problems. Here is a picture of the view outside our room window and another of our room with the tatami mats, futon beds, and tea table.
It was getting a little boring, because all the other participants that had arrived the day before were in Tokyo site seeing, and dinner was going to be at 7 pm. So, I invited the people to my room to have a tea party :) It was pretty fun... we talked about ourselves and got to know each other pretty well. We then had dinner and I stayed until 11 pm chatting with more of the 36 participants. Dinner was pretty good with a good amount of food that I could eat: miso soup (!), fried shrimp, yaki soba, rice, and pasta salad.
Anyways, I got to go... hopefully I can write more tomorrow... have an early start tomorrow isA - 7 am for breakfast!