So after being in Yamagata City, Japan for a little bit, I think I have developed enough of an opinion to write about it. First off, I would like to say that the comments I heard about it being a small city were exaggerated. It might indeed be small by Japan standards, but compared to Norman its a veritable metropolis. There is a movie theater across from the dorm, a variety of stores, karaoke bars, and easy (if a little expensive) travel to the larger city of Sendai. Oh, and buildings taller than 2 stories that aren’t on campus. The natural environment is also much more interesting: the mountains are a constant backdrop and the sky has the interesting quality of hardly ever moving. This last bit gives everything a very picturesque quality to it. One thing has remained constant: college involves a lot of walking. However, unlike at OU where the walking generally took place in getting from class to class on the huge campus, here at Yamagata the campus is quite small. The necessity of walking arises from the distance of the dorm from the university, and the lack of a car. This makes any type of trip-entertainment, grocery, food-a more involved affair. For example, you may have to wonder if your backpack is big enough to hold the amount of groceries you bought, not to mention what that’s going to do to your back on the 15 minute walk back.
Still, I can safely say that I appreciate the change of scenery, and am not looking forward to my inevitable return to OK.