Mar. 28 2012

I made it to Yamaguchi! With power!

This is the clever system of plugs I’m using to run power to my laptop in my new home in Japan. 

Conveniently (unlike Cuba) the voltage in Japan is actually lower than in Canada, so if you plug something in you don’t have to worry about it blowing up without a power converter. On the downside, things like laptops and cell phone take a little bit longer to charge, and your hairdryer probably won’t get as hot as it would in Canada. Japanese plug sizes are juuuuuust different enough to make plugging thing in a bit tricky. In this case, my mac laptop’s cable has a grounding prong that Japanese outlets aren’t built for (Japanese outlets are just two small, straight rectangles, which would fit most small-sized Canadian plugs without grounders).

My solution was to sort of squeeze my two prongs into a thin outlet adaptor that lets my grounding prong hang outside the actual outlet. Convenient? You betcha. Safe? … yet to be seen. Let’s just say I won’t be leaving my mac plugged in during any electrical storms.  Tetris skill level: master.

I’ve arrived in the city of Yamaguchi after taking the JR train line from Tokyo Station.

The neighbourhood that I’m staying in is called Miyano, and my school (Yamaguchi Prefectural University) is just around the corner, about a five-minute walk.  Yamaguchi is a relatively small city with about 197,000 inhabitants.  Miyano is on the northeastern outskirts and was actually its own village until it amalgamated with the city of Yamaguchi in 1941.  It’s nice to be in a more rural area – much different than busy Tokyo! My neighbour grows radishes. Here’s the room I’ll be staying in, and the view from my deck.

I’m happy to report that cherry blossoms have already begun to bloom, despite the fact that it’s still pretty chilly at night.