As a small kid I would spend the best part of my winter afternoons watching TV. Correction: watching Japanese cartoons on TV. And most of them were about huge robots fighting an alien invasion. Mazinger Z, Grendizer (for the Italians: Goldrake) are the first obvious names that come to mind. But there was also Gundam. Now, it’s not like I was particularly fond of Gundam, but little I knew that one day I would have moved to Tokyo and would have had the actual robot in front of me.
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Even though there are still two months to go until the big move, preparations are already running and providing us with our first Japanese experiences.
Getting the visas was surprisingly unproblematic. We filled a form and mailed it electronically to IPMU and received a month later our certificates of eligibility. With these we had to go to the embassy in Den Haag, where we spent 2 minutes to drop them off and 4 hours later another 2 minutes to pick up our visas.
Accommodation in Japan is a different matter. We were again promised the help of the international relations office of the University of Tokyo.
Yesterday, we received the following e-mail:
I have another question for you, please let me know
how tall you and Sunsanne are. These are needed to arrange
accommodation for you.
Imagine our puzzlement. We really wondered what they could need this for, maybe the rooms were so small that when you lie flat on the floor, you can’t stretch your feet anymore?
Today we learned the answer:
The room of Leopalace where I have visit yesterday
is not suitable for you, because the doors there
have only 180cm heights!
As an aside, Leopalace is a hotel providing fully furnished apartments especially for foreigners. Seems they did not take foreign proportions into account…..