Hajimemashou. APU wa Beppu ni daigaku no… ah. Suimasen? Ah, EIGO. Sou desu ne. You want English, huh? Fiiiine. This is the picture tour of APU that I promised. Are you ready? Let’s go! (the point of this is to introduce everyone to APU and to maybe help any new students find their way, as I was looost when I first got here) Anyway, it’s looong, folks, so fasten your safety belts and please keep all hands, arms, feet, legs, and tentacles down and inside the blog at all times.

First off, here is the “iconic” APU, the picture everyone takes. Seriously, they’ve even put little painted footprints where you should stand for this picture:

The feet look kind of like paws and are bright yellow. Stand, point, click. Easy-peasy.

These two buildings here make up the administrative section (left) and classrooms (right). They were the first to be built. The fountain is not on in this photo because it is only on from 11-4, and this was taken at 5, but it is pretty. Anyway, if you go right from this spot and then turn left, you will be here:

This is the bus stop, really nothing special. Bus fare to Beppu is 300 JPY one-way.

The bus stop, which is constantly busy with buses going everywhere from downtown Beppu (300 JPY for one-way with a CO-OP membership) to Oita City (fare varies based on day/sales). Now, from this picture, you turn left and see this:

This courtyard is behind the bus stop. You can see Millenium Hall in the background.

One of the courtyards. This courtyard in particular is in front of Millenium Hall, which you can see in the upper left corner of this picture. Millenium Hall is like an auditorium. Guest speakers come and presentations are given there. Now, if you go back to the first picture’s spot, the yellow feet, and turn left directly, you will see one of the most interesting buildings on campus:

A classroom building where Alien Registration took place and where the placement tests were held in 2012.

This is the classroom building known as “F Building.” Though the front is rather striking, the inside is just row after row of classrooms. Back at that same spot, turn around 180 degrees and you see the tiny rural town of Beppu:

Just a tiny little town, huh? Sleepy. Yes indeed. For Japan, anyway.

Also, if you look down from this spot, you see the amphitheatre and the sports field. Now then. Turn back around and walk to your right for about a minute, and you’ll see the cafeteria and money-exchange station:

This is just the cafeteria, not much to say here.

The cafeteria is behind this little shed where you can withdraw money from the ATM. I’ve checked, folks, and it accepts all major international credit cards. So, Visa, Mastercard, et cetera. Just check before you leave that your credit company is on the Visa or Mastercard network and you’ll be fine. Continue to your left from where this picture was taken and you will see the gymnasium, on your right-hand side:

The lighter building in the back is a basketball court.

Keep going and you’ll find the footbridge, from which this blog gets its header:

Following the footbridge, there are five flights of steep stairs. Be very careful, when it rains, the steps are extremely slippery. So be sure to either use the elevator or go slowly when the stairs are wet. Those stairs lead you directly to my home, AP House 1:

Ahh, home sweet home. In the bottom there you can see the AP House Fresh Market, which comes every Friday and some Wednesdays, and it offers all sorts of fresh produce, from bananas to broccoli to bok choy. All at very good prices too (about 80 JPY to 240 JPY). Highly recommended for convenience’ sake. Just be sure to say Arigatou Gozaimasu to the nice person selling you this food at such a great price!

Head inside and flash your ID Card or pink slip to the door guards, and they’ll buzz you in. You’ll immediately see the lobby, a pretty standard one at that, and if you turn right upon entering the doors you will find long hallways. And surprise surprise (we ARE in Japan, folks), a long line of vending machines:

Okay, so these aren’t really necessary for the tour. I just think they’re so cool. I highly recommend the Forever 17 products and the Milk Chocolate Salty Pocky. Yum, yum, yum. Now then. Ahem. Moving on. Proceed through the twisty hallway and up the stairs to the second floor, then turn right and keep going until you see the shared kitchens:

The APU shared kitchens are a little strange. A warning to the wise: The cooktops are IH, so they need special pans or you won’t be able to cook anything as the hotplates will refuse to get hot. Also, APU kitchens are not stocked with any supplies whatsoever, so if you have tools you really like to use at home (whisk, spatula, ladle et cetera), bring them with you. Also, always clean up the kitchen after you cook or the RA will give you that long, boring lecture about being responsible for one’s self and blah blah blah… (you get this ANYWAY even before you make a mess or even start cooking, but a repetition will occur and I imagine that it’s worse the second time around)

Dorm rooms line the hallways, and there are shower rooms and bathrooms on each floor (usually two rooms per floor). The laundry machines on my floor are in the shower room, and the machines can hold about four days’ worth of clothes, so they’re very small compared to American machines. Also, the washer takes twenty minutes but the dryer takes two hours, so plan accordingly (if you leave your laundry, it gets sent to Security, and I’m sure you don’t want them rifling through your delicates). The showers are pretty self-explanatory, right knob controls the pressure, left controls temperature. Don’t turn it up all the way or you’ll scorch your skin off. And the bathrooms are ‘normal,’ so don’t worry about that. Now then, a typical dorm room in APU looks like this:

Few things. One, the room key is needed to turn the lights on. Two, the chest of drawers tips over really easily, so put your heaviest clothes in the bottom drawer. Three, the shoebox that you can’t see, that is next to the desk, that’s for SHOES. Looks like a narrow bookcase but it’s for shoes only. The actual bookcase is to the left of the shoebox. While it’s not compulsory it’s recommended that you take off your shoes while in your room. Four, penultimately, the refrigerator has a small freezer and will stay on whether or not your key is in the slot next to the door… but things on the door of the fridge do not stay chilled as well as things inside the fridge, so keep this in mind. Lastly, and most importantly, the bed. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH. The beds at APU are Traditional Japanese Futons. They are lower to the ground and the mattress is 2″-3″ thick. That pillow you see? That’s mine. I’d STRONGLY recommend you bring a pillow from home, as the one given to you at APU is a buckwheat shell pillow, and that can be difficult to get used to for newcomers to Japan. You will also get a comforter with a duvet (the duvet has a hole in the middle rather than the top, so you wrap it around the comforter) and a heavy quilt to keep you warm. Most new students use the comforter as extra padding at first, until you get used to the new sleeping surface. You will get used to it, I promise, but it may take up to a week.

So that’s APU. If you have any questions or if you want to see more pictures, comment below and I will gladly answer you.

But not now. Now, I’m going to bed. Oyasumi!