-->March 11, 2014 was an extraordinary day. This is the day that I received notice of my Fulbright award in Japan. I could not (and cannot) imagine a more significant professional triumph. Now, eight months later, the Fulbright has dramatically influenced my perspective and daily life. Here, I describe my family's early adventures settling in and my Tsuda College Fulbright faculty liaison, Professor Hisae Orui.
|Popular shopping destination near Kichijoji Station.|
Greeted by a friendly Japanese graduate student, my husband, children, and I arrived bright-eyed at the Tsuda College campus on August 5. Our restless bambinos – Julian and Coletta – had their fair share of disruption and transition, traveling from their grandparents’ seaside house in Los Angeles to airport accommodations in bustling Tokyo, all within 24 hours. From there, our family was transferred to temporary housing and then finally, permanent housing in Japan. But the struggle was worth the effort. We are now living about one hour from downtown Tokyo in a quaint pedestrian-friendly neighborhood equipped with everything we need as a family, including playgrounds and parks, grocery stores, restaurants, a post office, banks, and several stops along the Japan Railway. In an effort to learn more about the greater Tokyo metropolitan area - the largest city in the world - we have also explored Harajuku, Inokashira Zoo Park, Meiji Jingu, Port of Tokyo, Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo Tower, and Ueno Park.
Initially, the move to Japan was all so overwhelming and my brain was in constant overdrive – the sounds, smells, and scenery of Tokyo amaze me. But my family and I are settling in now and enjoying our new day-to-day experiences, even ones as simple as greeting the bus driver every morning. For this, I feel a deep sense of peacefulness. I am so incredibly grateful for this experience, and look forward to all the stimulating adventures ahead.