By KAZUMA NAKANO
Komaba Lodge B Dorm: The boys dorm | Photo by author
Settling into a foreign country is no easy task. Here are some tips of what and what not to do when you first arrive at Komaba International Lodge as an international student.
Do get a bicycle
Although Japan has some of the most efficient train systems in the world, for those small errands that are a tad too far on foot, a bicycle is the perfect companion. The basket-wielding Mamacharis are great when shopping, though a road bike or cross bike will make your travels a tad faster. I recommend purchasing a bicycle secondhand, at Yoyogi Recycle Garden (7 minutes from Yoyogi Station). Having a bicycle may be just what you need to get to class on time.
2. Do Not dispose everything in the same bin
Japan is very particular when it comes to sorting garbage. There are two standard groupings, Moeru Gomi (combustible) and Moenai Gomi (non combustible), on top of other classifications designated by the local ward. Here in the Komaba Lodge we also dispose of glass bottles, cans, and cardboard boxes separately.
3. Do purchase some furnishing
The rooms at the Komaba Lodge, or most Tokyo apartments to be fair, are by no means large and spacious. To make the most out of your space, it is wise to purchase a few shelves and cupboards to store your belongings. Additionally, an extension pole will be handy for hanging your laundry, and a rug will make the tiled floor easier for your feet.
4. Do Not rely completely on your credit card
Although credit cards are accepted at most large supermarkets and shops, Japan is still a cash-based society. Do not fall into the trap of bringing just your credit card, and be sure to exchange more cash than you think you will need.
5. Do explore the neighborhood
It is important to venture out of the comfort of your room, and explore the surrounding neighborhood of Komaba. As well as the essentials such as locating your nearest Konbini, Supermarket, or Post Office, you may find some quirky shops or cafes that might become your new favourite! There is also Komaba Park, located 5 minutes from the dorms, which offers a breath of fresh air, surrounded by the green wilderness.
6. Do get to know your senpais
Last but not least, do make an effort to get to know your senpais! Some of the best perks about living in Komaba lodge is that your senpais will be readily available to help you settle in. From subject selection, dining, and cool places to hang, don’t be afraid to reach out to ask for assistance.