I was planning on taking a bunch of pictures to show you guys where I lived, but then I figured why bother when I can get google street view to do that for me?

1. Go to http://maps.google.com
2. Copy and paste the following line into the search field:
日本東京都中野区上鷺宮3丁目10−13
Even if it looks like a bunch of squares it should still work.
3. Click on Street View.

The initial location is a bit off, so you have to go North once, then West once. Turn left until you’re looking at the buildings, and you’re right in front of my apartment. No, not the one with the two dudes, to the left of them. Yes, oh yes, what an amazing apartment. I’m on the third floor. I have three largish windows, however as you can see, less than a meter away is another building from all of them.

Let’s take a little trip, shall we? The station is pretty close, actually I was there about five minutes ago.

Go west 14 steps. Then go north. On step 3, look to your left. The vending machine on the far left sells 550ml coke cans for 120yen, and 550ml coke bottles for 150 yen. The cans are huge, I’m sure there’s a pornographic series that revolves soley around where those cans can fit.

Go North another 5 steps, and look to your right.
I go here pretty frequently. Food is pretty cheap in Japan, so I can get a decent meal for 500 yen, about five bucks. The name of the place is “Gyouza no Manshuu”. Gyouza is like dumplings… I had no idea what they were until I had some. Nice with Soy Sauce.

Go North until you hit a junction, and look North-West. That place with all the bikes in front of it is a pachinko parlour, “Lucky Seven”. Think slots, except you watch little ball bearings fall randomly though the machine, THEN the slots trigger. I don’t get why it’s so popular. There’s another two of these places around here. Apparently, each day, particular machines are rigged to give out huge winnings.

Go North West + West for another 5 steps. On your left is a construction yard… when I was going to my Japanese course last month, every day at 8 am you’d see all the workers doing exercises together to tapes. Kinda lol.

Go West another two steps, and look to your left (and a little behind you) to the store with the yellow sign with the name 松屋. I eat there often too. One of the fist times I was there I ordered a beef rice bowl, and got a raw, uncracked egg in a bowl with it. I was all “Um, sorry, but I’ve got no idea what I do with this!” and the store clerk had to explain that you crack the egg in the empty bowl, mix it up, and then pour it on the rice. I didn’t like it initially, but now I get it every time.

Go west once more, look to your right and you’re right in front of 富士見台駅南口, or Fujimidai Station South Entrance. It’s not on the famous JR line, but the… the… what was it? Oh yeah, the Seibu-Ikebukuro line. I think the rail system is privatised. You’ve got the main JR rail system, then all these other little off shoots you need to transfer to and from to get to some places. I catch this line to Ikebukuro, which is on the JR line, then go wherever I want to from there. There’s a subway system too, but it tends to be more expensive.

When I first arrived, I got a Suica card, which is basically a card with an RF chip than you can apply money too, and then swipe that card to spend said money. The main place it’s used on is the train system. I don’t buy tickets, I just swipe my wallet when I enter, and exit. Works for all rail and subway systems. They have vending machines in the stations that you can use these swipe cards on to get drinks too. Very handy.

Anyway, so there you go. I’ve got some study to do so it’s time to get back to the Japanese vocab flashcards. Try not to think about me naked, okay?