Introduction and Arrival

Hey all!

First and foremost, I’d like to welcome you to my blog.

Before I start describing my first couple of days in Japan, I’d like to spend a bit of time outlining the format and function of this blog.

Suffice it to say that this blog has two primary purposes:

1. This blog is designed to keep friends and family up to date regarding my research and travel.

2. This blog is designed to serve as a personal archive for research materials I discover throughout my yearlong excursion.

My entries in this blog will often take the form of a bulleted list with media attachments for at-a-glance viewing. I’ve found that narrative blogs take a lot out of me and tend to discourage me from posting regularly. As such, I’m trying something new. While I may occasionally embellish on points of ill-clarity or particular importance, entries will be kept short. They will be made on a weekly basis for the sake of convenience.

With the preliminaries out of the way, allow me to begin:

1. I arrived in Japan on Friday afternoon after a relatively uneventful flight. After settling in at my hotel (Marriott Tokyo Station), I walked around a bit and grabbed a bite to eat before retiring. I’d been up for 27 hours.

2. I traveled to Odaiba on Saturday to visit my apartment and determine what kinds of accommodations I would need. The office was closed, but I was still able to get a feel for the area. Most importantly, I noticed that Odaiba is a hotspot for developments re: the Paralympics. The Nippon Foundation just opened up a new Para Arena nearby, and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is also within walking distance.

3. While I was walking around Odaiba, I happened to stumble into a one-day exhibit on the Paralympics hosted by Toyota and NHK. The event showcased Toyota’s ongoing efforts to create accessible vehicles and media coverage of the Paralympics, including an interesting AnixPara (Anime and Paralympics) crossover. Photos below:

Final Thoughts:

I’ve only been here a few days, but I’ve already encountered an outpouring of exciting developments re: accessibility in Japan. With constant news coverage of the Paralympics and the ongoing scandal re: employment statistics of PWD’s (Persons with Disabilities) in Japan, there’s plenty of stuff for me to think about. I’ll be moving into my apartment this week, with a caregiver flying over from the US to assist me for the first month. I’ll also be applying for national health insurance and disability insurance in addition to the usual settling-in process (i.e. getting a phone, bank account, etc.) and meeting with the Japan Foundation/Fulbright.

I’ll let you all know where things stand next week!

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