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  • Maria Nightingale

The First Week

Before I start, I apologise for the lack of originality of the title.

People say the first week is the hardest, I can definitely see where they are coming from but I don\’t totally agree. It definitely has it ups and downs, but that\’s not like any other week. So my mum goes to work in the morning, leaving me to explore by myself.

What did I do on the first week? Well during the day if you\’ve been reading the time stamps on my blog, that was the week I started my blog and I\’ve been playing catch up because I thought it was important to do before and the introduction. I\’m nearly present day, yay. Apart from watching a ridiculous amount of YouTube videos seeing as I only have one channel on the hotel TV which is CNN and the same news stories on repeat, come on I can be intellectual and listen to what\’s going on in the world but once you\’ve watched the same thing 3 time you want to kill yourself.

At the start of the week the weather was pretty bad which encouraged the half of me that wanted to stay in the hotel suite for the next 4 week, however by about Wednesday we had dry weather and towards the end sun. So I was forced to go out. I motivated myself by making it my mission to go to as many of the shopping centres in town. There is about 7/8 so I obliviously didn\’t achieve it in the first week but I plan to keep going. This week I accomplished 5, I think that is pretty impressive.

  1. JR Train Shopping centre – Unlike UK stations most stations have proper shops where you can buy; food, clothes, accessories, kimonos, toiletries , most things actually. Its not very big and it closes early but it does the job.

  2. Lala Square – I would say this is the main department store in the centre of Utsunomiya, it sells anything you could ever want. It has Clothes, food, restaurants and a electrical store that sells everything from headphones to washing machines. It also has a Gap so it means normal/western styled clothes are available. (the one with the eyes)

  3. Parco – Department store mostly for clothes and cosmetics, as well as a beer garden which would be nice in the evenings. It also has a store which is called GU which I would say is New Look style and quality but Primark prices which I think is going to become very useful. It also has a Starbucks 😉

  4. Orion Square Store  – I stumbled on this by accident, while trying to make my way from Parco to Tobu. Its a small covered street, one behind the main road. It is a nice street to walk through and there were a few restaurants that I want to try but I wouldn\’t say it has a lot of shopping possibilities 

  5. Tobu Train Department store – Above the Tobu line train station, which is not as useful as the JR line. It is the luxury store of Utsunomiya. I found another Tiffany\’s and Louis Vuitton, they are everywhere!


This week I also went out to dinner with many of my mums work colleagues/friends, which was lots of fun and quite interesting. Either trying to work out what was on the menu or translating it. 2 Nights in particular stay in my mind, one where we went to a French restaurant and they had a Menu in Japanese and In English. Its a shame the English Menu was a completely different very bland interpretation so in the end we just guessed. The other, we went out with a Group and food just didn\’t stop coming and some of the food was interesting; in the weird/I don\’t want to try that way. 


Overall I am happy with the first week and I cant wait to explore more. 

Maria xx

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