Kawauchi, where I was staying, is one of the residential neighbourhoods surrounding Sendai.
To reach it you must take the bridge to cross the river Hirosegawa. The view from the bridge is really beautiful and I was really happy crossing it everyday too and from work.
Hirose gawa and the bridge that leads to Kawauchi
During festivals these river banks are filled with people seeing the sakura, practicing outdoors sports or having barbecues.
On my way to the dorm through the main road
In 2013/2014 Winter, Sendai saw the biggest snowfall in 30 years. It was a unique experience for me since I had never experienced living with snow. Doing normal work while not being able to use my bicycle and slipping every time I walked really made me put things in perspective. Despite this everything was really beautiful and silent covered in snow.
Kawauchi with the winter snow viwed from my room
Tohoku University and Japanese Lessons
I went to Kawauchi campus for a while to have some Japanese lessons. Every day I would grab my books and notebooks and take my bycicle to classes.
At that time the Kawauchi metro station had not been built yet. So students would take buses, motorbikes or cycle all the way uphill to the campuses. For me it was a challenge I was not used to cycling at all but I needed the bike to return to work faster in the afternoon.
This didn’t last long however because I was not able to muster the courage everyday to get up early to go to classes. I felt that my days of studying had already finished. I don’t regret this but maybe it was an opportunity that I didnt take, after all, these were free language lessons that I could have taken.
Japanese classrooms in Kawauchi campus
The best thing about this is that I was able to experience the Japanese class feeling. I sat at those desks we see in the anime and heard the same bell. For anime lovers, this would be quite the experience!
The Dormitory was located in a green area behind a Japanese high school. I cycled and walked through this street so many times. It’s interesting how such a simple task can have so much meaning.
As there were many students staying in the dormitory, there was a specially large number of bicycles parked around it.
Bicycle parking near the dorm
In the dorm we had to take off our shoes at the entrance and properly store them. Ideally we were also asked to mark in the board whether we were in or out.
North from the dormitory we had two big super markets where we did our regular groceries shopping. They were relatively expensive so we would check them both first and then shop the cheapest products in both. It seems a little ridiculous, but we were on a tight budget from the University. we were receiving around 700euros per month and half of it was going to the dorm rent
Whichever market you choose, the single most expensive articles will always be fruit. In the picture you can see melons costing 1580Yen which rounds to 13/14 euros.
As you can imagine I did not eat too much fruit in Japan, however, unlike in my country where fruit is often bland, in Japan every single piece of fruit tasted incredibly. I had the most amazing watermelons, strawberries and peaches.
There is a trick, however, to buying fruit in Japan, yes they will be very expensive in the supermarkets, but that is when they are the freshest, if you don’t want to spend to much money and don’t mind, just wait a couple of days and the fruit will be slightly cheaper and still delicious.
We would always cycle to the markets, despite having to go up hill, it was much easier to bring the heavy groceries cycling down.
Groceries were always a fun thing to show friends
In general Kawauchi is a residential area however there are some places that you might find interesting during your stay in Sendai such as the Date Masamune statue and the Sendai city museum.
If you are interested in Samurai you should learn more about Date Masamune the one eyed dragon local hero who founded Sendai city.
Click to find more about how to get to the statue
To get there you can take the metro from Sendai station to Kokusai center, walk from the Sendai city center and cross the Hirsegawa bridge or take the Sendai loople, a tourist bus that takes you to the most important places in Sendai.