Nē! I’ve spent the past week catching up on sleep, meeting fellow volunteers/roommates, and getting settled in. Here are some updates:
- My apartment is literally three buildings down the street from a Yakuza corporate building (no BS I swear). Considering the history of the Yakuza, I was nervous. My roommates brought me up to speed and I learned that these days, the Yakuza keep the streets safe by eliminating drug dealers and other related crime. I walk past them every day and they don’t bother looking at me; my first day here I even had some of my tattoos visible. I’ve read that Yakuza members don’t like being photographed so I found a street view of the building on Google Maps, take a look here. Every single day there is a new luxurious and expensive car parked outside of their building. There are security cameras all over the front and the men are always dressed in suits.
- All the roommates and other volunteers are awesome. There are two fellow Americans from Seattle along with people from England, France, Japan, and Australia.
- I haven’t had much time yet to explore Osaka on my own but I knew experiencing Dotonburi was a must. Tons of restaurants and other facilities to check out, and it’s a lively environment that sits along the Dotonburi Canal.
- For the next month I’ll be staying at a backpacker house in Osaka (NOT A BROTHEL, CHRISTIE) that’s a 15 min bike ride from the apartment I stay at. Mayumi – the owner – was kind enough to give me a bike for my commute, and it’ll definitely be of great use when exploring other parts of the city!
-Stephen <-Link to Profile