Hello! My name is Amber, and I will be living at the Miyakojima Share house for the next two months! I am an American university student, and this is my first time living in a foreign country, but I am very excited!
Although share houses are becoming more popular around the world, especially in Japan, I was not familiar with the concept until recently. At the share house, I have my own private room, but share other spaces, like the kitchen and living room, with the other people living here. It is a great way to get to know people, especially as a foreigner. There is a strong community at each share house, which is good, because travelling alone and being a foreigner in Japan can be a bit isolating sometimes.
What is it like being a foreigner in Japan? I am living in Osaka, one of the biggest cities in Japan, so it is very crowded at busy intersections and stations. I am from Chicago, one of the biggest cities in America, so I am used to being in a busy area. Compared to Chicago, the system of public transportation in Osaka is very efficient. The subway, trains, and buses are very punctual and arrive at regular intervals. The seats are also very comfortable. When I first arrived, I was overwhelmed by all the different train and bus routes at the station, and I had some trouble finding my way around. The people around me were very helpful. I probably looked confused, and strangers were very kind to me when they asked if I needed help. Some of them even spoke English, which was very impressive to me. I am now much more comfortable with my daily commute and using the train system in Japan. A lot of signs, but not all of them, have English translations. Everyday, I have many opportunities to practice my Japanese speaking, listening, and reading. By the end of my stay here, I believe I will be much more comfortable with the language.