Day two was another jam-packed day. Unfortunately jet lag hit me pretty hard throughout the day. At least there were some interesting sessions! I especially enjoyed the session on what an average day at school would look like. For example, a former JET talked about how to navigate your relationships with not only your students, but also teachers. Also, there was a session on phonetics activities in the grade specific workshop. It made me remember that English can be so strange sometimes.
As a final thought on orientation, I think one of the things that stood out to me the most was the diversity. For example, I expected a large amount of American speakers but most were from the U.K., Australia, Canada, and Jamaica. Also, I got to meet incoming ALTs whom were from Singapore, the Philippines, and China. I hope I’ll have the same opportunity to meet many different people while I am in Hita.
After waiting literally 30 minutes for the elevator I went out with some new friends to Akihabara, the center of electronics and anime. We started out in a building with different kinds of anime goods where I decided to buy a plushie from one of my favorite shows.
Next, Kathryn (a fellow JET) and I went to the Love Live cafe in the Sega arcade building. The week before we had to enter into a lottery system to get a reservation and we won! After we checked in at the front, we had to wait 10 minutes before entering because you are only allowed a certain amount of time in the cafe. After the servers opened the doors, we headed towards our designated tables. The servers then explained the rules of the cafe, but it was hard to understand since it was in fast Japanese. Thankfully we read the rules beforehand through Google translate. I think the waitress could tell we couldn’t understand because she turned to us at the end and gave us a thumbs up with an apologetic look. Kathryn and I just smiled and nodded. I will probably be doing a lot of that in Japan.
There were a lot of fun times! First, there were so many guys there. I knew that the Love Live fan base was primarily men, but it was interesting to see this play out in cafe attendance. Other than Kathryn and I, there were only two other women. Initially, I felt uncomfortable but then I noticed the guys getting together and showing off their merchandise. It was cool to see the cafe as this hub for fans to geek out together!
Next is the coaster story. When you order an item the staff give you a random free coaster. Some customers ordered multiple drinks and desserts to try to get their favorite character. With our orders, Kathryn got Hanamaru (her favorite character) and I got Ruby. Ruby is not my favorite, but she is still super cute! At one point, a guy approached me asking if we could trade coasters. I asked if he had one of Kanan, who is my favorite character from the show. Afterwards, he walked away without saying a word. I felt really bad because I thought he took that as a no. A few minutes later, he started heading in the direction of our table. I was about to see if he wanted to trade when he placed a Kanan coaster on our table!! I couldn’t speak. I barely muttered a thank you in Japanese as I handed him my Ruby coaster. That guy was a wizard.
After finishing our fruity drinks and parfaits, I headed back to the hotel and prepared for my trip to my new home.