a The Transit Lounge: International Japan

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Tuesday, April 20

International Japan

I had a reason to visit the local Shin-U International Centre this week. This is the place foreign residents are encouraged to go if they have any queries above living in Japan or the local area. The Centre even has "welcome" written on the front door in about 15 different languages and other paraphernalia about the place suggests staff there do speak English and several other languages.

So I approached the counter and judging by the scared/horrified/"I hope I don't have to talk to this foreigner" looks of the 4 Japanese people behind sitting behind it, I already knew the answer to my first question.

I asked in my best Japanese if anybody spoke English. They said no. Out of curiosity, I asked which languages they did speak. I was not surprised to be told Japanese only.

So I asked for directions to the place I was headed. They staffer helping me happily obliged by pulling out a map, circling the place in question and handing it to me. Here is what I got:


Thankfully, I am not new to the area, am able to read some Japanese and can figure out roughly where it is I need to go...

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