Tall Black Japan 9: Arrival in Matsumoto

by Joseph Bonney (@JoeBones21)

The Monster I took is starting to wear off but my adrenaline is still keeping me excited for Matsumoto.  I get off the train to meet the guy I’m replacing at Aeon, a future co-worker, and the head manager. They all greeted me  with open arms and were excited to get me settled in. I was overwhelmed by the new location and new co-workers, but I kept my cool.  We walked to the building I’d be working at, not too far from the train station.

  A street scene in Matsumoto, by Joseph Bonney (2018).

A street scene in Matsumoto, by Joseph Bonney (2018).

  "Please do not litter in the river." Photo J. Bonney (2018).

"Please do not litter in the river." Photo J. Bonney (2018).

Something that I always noticed was how everything from the outside looked so massive, but the interior made me feel slightly claustrophobic.  Obviously people like myself were not taken into consideration when building these stores. But I digress. I meet a few more co-workers who assist me in getting to downtown Matsumoto for paper.  The moment I walked in, all eyes were on me. People were whispering, chatting, and snickering about. I pretended to not notice while my managers handled my residency business with the clerks. The city was a lot bigger than I was expecting, but it wasn’t anywhere near to Tokyo size.  It felt like it wanted to like Tokyo, but it just wasn’t there. As my managers converse with the clerks, I’m realizing how rusty my Japanese is. I should probably practice.

We zoomed around town a bit: getting groceries, goods, and toiletry that were paid for by Aeon (something I wasn’t expecting).  The local supermarket had a variety of food, a lot more than in Toda Koen. I looked at the wide array of treats and goods getting what I need before I go to my apartment.

  The Roses of Matsumoto. Photo by J. Bonney (2018).

The Roses of Matsumoto. Photo by J. Bonney (2018).

After a long car rides and conversing, my co-workers drop me off at my place.  The one I’m replacing gives me a quick run through of the utilities and how bills were handled before they all left.  

At this moment, I stood in my living room/bedroom and realized,

I’m here.


Joseph Bonney is an English teacher and a contributing writer to Human Influence. Originally from Central Texas, he moved to Matsumoto, Japan, where he teaches English. Follow him on Twitter (@joebones21) and Instagram (@joebonesart).