Arriving at Tsukuba

May 2, 2008

OK, so here’s the beginning of my kinda blog of Tsukuba. Well, I won’t bore you with details about the flight (12 hours are quite something). Instead, on with the slightly more interesting part (though there’s not much to tell yet), about dorm & university, since I can’t talk much about the city itself yet:

My apartment is located in the Ninomiya House, a “residence for researchers” (sic.), and is totally great. Pretty spacious, fully equipped, which is very unusual here, “highly electrical” (a shredder in the sink, video showing who’s ringing the door bell, dimmable lights, light in the closet, digital setting of the water temperature for shower/bath, etc. My first action, however, was to set the heating of the toilet seat to “low”  to save energy ^^) Check out the pictures at the end of this entry. The way to university is also surprisingly good: There’s a so-called “pedestrian way” for … well, pedestrians (duh!), but also bicycles, which in Japan normally have to fight against cars for their right to exist. By the way, yes, I already got a bicycle! So, given the weather is good, it’s a really really nice path to university, crossing Tsukuba Center, with lots of shopping possibilities, … and then, through university. The campus is beautiful and huge, several km in length. And unfortunately, I have to cross most of this space to reach my lab, so the whole way takes about 20 min by bicycle. I’ll take some representative photos in the near future, so stay tuned.

On a side note, it’s amazing how much organizational work this exchange is. Theoretically speaking, I’m just temporarily transferring my workspace from Osnabrück to Japan, nothing more. In practice, however, lots of paperwork is inevitable, including masses of documents for the JSPS (Japanese Society for Promoting Science, the organization I’m getting the funding from), the alien registration, opening a bank account, and the like.

Well, besides that, my work so far consisted of setting up my desk/computer here, installing & customizing Linux, going to a mandatory stuff meeting (1 hour in Japanese, really fun. NOT!) … stuff like that. So, again, I’ll spare you the details. Instead, let me end my first entry with two tips: The link in the upper right corner leads you to a GoogleEarth map of Tsukuba, and of the places I’ve talked about so far (being updated as the blog continues). Check out the 3D view of the town, too. Second, you may subscribe to this blog via RSS feed, if you don’t feel like checking for updates manually. Oh, and comments are always welcome, too (I’ll delete the non-welcomed ones ^^).

(All pictures taken in and around my apartment at Ninomiya House. Hovering with your mouse over a pic should give you a short description; get a longer one by clicking on it, and the pic in full size after clicking again.)



  1. Hello! when I saw the word “Tsukuba”, I thought I had to leave a comment :). I currently study at Tsukuba, too. I didn’t know this university had such nice apartments for researchers!! 🙂 Enjoy your stay!

  2. Hi brave0angel, thanks for your nice comment (in fact, the very first at this blog). Yeah, the Ninomiya House is grand. And it’s even near enough to university. My next entry will be about the uni itself, so stay tuned and check whether the pictures reflect your image of the campus, too. 😉

    Have a nice Golden Week,

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