Ashlee Mantione

First Week: January 7th-14th (Introduction Week)

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Since this is my first semester here, I chose to stay in the Kitazono Women’s Dorm. Here’s their lobby, and they are currently undergoing construction on the 11th floor.

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The lobby is where you can receive male guests, as only women are allowed further into the building. There is a TV there, as well as wifi.
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Kitazono has a cafeteria! They set up their meals here everyday, and explain what will be served.
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Kitazono from the Southwest exit.
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Kitazono’s main entrance, which is right across the street from Teikyo University Hospital.
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Here is Kitazono from across the street.
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This is only a few meters form Kitazono’s Northeast exit, which means this will be bright and colorful in the spring!
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Bikes here, bikes there, bikes everywhere (legal… and not).
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On the way to the station, many people are also making their commute and pick up things for the day. Many stores open about the time they leave for work.
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A store had just opened, and began to pull its shelves out to the sidewalk.
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The view from Kitazono is breathtaking to say the least. I have the best view of Tokyo from my balcony!
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After 8:30pm (20:30) the streets become incredibly quiet in Itabashi, and most stores will be closing.
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A convenient map of Itabashi, just across the street from Kitazono.
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These quiet tiny streets are common in Itabashi.
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Recycling is taken very seriously. Everyone knows where to throw away each thing, where to put its wrapper, where to put the can, etc. Everything can be recycled.
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Itabashi has had a vending machine on every corner I have seen so far, just like the rest of the city of Tokyo.
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When waiting for the train, people tend to form lines to get on the trains. This is usually when the trains are busier, during rush hour. Thankfully, it was not rush hour, so the station looks very empty.
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Short people, get ready to Google methods for how to grow faster. Handle bars are a bit out of reach sometimes, and you get to really use your arm muscles on busier trains.
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A city is no match for a river. Even through Minato-ku, a river winds its away around busy streets near TUJ.
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TUJ’s entrance for their building, also shared by other companies on higher floors.
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Plenty of bike parking is available… depending on the time of day.
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On the weekend, I managed to visit Akihabara. This photo was taken after 8:30pm, showing that even busy places start to get quieter at this time.
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Crepes have taken over most of the city, with this location in Harajuku. Although the pastry originates in France, Japan manages to put its own spin on it, with over 45 different flavors!
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Harajuku at night.
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Most station signs, like this one in Harajuku, will have English on them, but this isn’t always the case. It’s helpful to remember your way around, and make a breadcrumb trail of sorts.
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Harajuku Street.

After being here only a week, I can’t believe how much I’ve gotten to see. I’m excited to see what’s next!

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