Hiraku’s Guide to Living at JCMU

Hi there, Hiraku here! I’ve been keeping busy lately working on my New Year’s resolution, learning how to fly, but I have other obligations, too!

Lately I’ve been helping the new Spring Semester students get comfortable at JCMU. I helped with move-in, showed them how to unlock their bikes, and hung out at the first snack party of the year!

So many sweets!!

They’ve pretty much settled in, but I’ve noticed some things that a lot of students have in common. They all like Sushiro, they all study really hard on Thursdays, and they all care a lot about their dorm rooms! They love decorating, cooking meals there together with friends, and unwinding after a long day of studying. But before they arrive, a lot of students don’t know what to expect for where they’ll be living! So I wanted to make a quick guide.

Here’re the most important things you need to know about living in the JCMU dorms:

1. You’ll get your very own bedroom!

No more bunk beds! Students who are used to on-campus housing meaning sharing a tiny room with one or two other people are in for a treat. You get your own space with a super cool sliding glass door that almost looks like a paper one. Inside there’re all the necessities for sleeping and studying, plus a space heater and a fan! Though I keep comfortable enough with the built-in AC. There’s also a big window in each bedroom, and since Hikone is one of the prettiest places in Japan, you’re guaranteed to have a nice view!

2. The microwave has super powers!

Just like most Japanese kitchens, there’re no ovens in the dorms. Instead, there’s a big fancy microwave! It’s larger than most American microwaves, and has all sorts of settings for time, wattage, and function. Although it’s not quite the same, you can use it to make a lot of baked goods you’re used to from home, like cakes and breads and stuff. Just get creative! And believe me, you don’t want to try and bake cookies in the fish fryer.

It may not look like much… But it’s got powers!

3. Cooking can be fun!

Although there’s a CoCo’s Restaurant just next door, there’s no actual cafeteria at JCMU. And even with a student discount, eating out can be pricey! So don’t be afraid to bust out the pots and pans and whip up a meal for yourself. Students always enjoy going grocery shopping, and cooking with Japanese food is a great way to experience the culture. Plus it’s delicious! So whether you’re a trained chef or only make cup noodles, try something new in your very own kitchen! Here’re a couple of student-approved recipes that are perfect for Fall, or any other time of year!

Tiny kitchen, big potential!

4. Your new friends are just down the hall!

When I visit JCMU, I love how easy it is to get to know my neighbors! Someone’s always ready to go to the convenience store with you, to cook a meal, or play a board game. If you need a study buddy, your whole class is in the same building! If you don’t wanna kill that cockroach yourself, you might have a brave bug warrior living right next door! It can be a really tight-knit community if you let it.

My friends are (literally) always beside me at the dorms

Remember, home is where the heart is! And the microwave, and the space heater, and the homemade noodles… If you want to learn more about the furnishings and rules in the residence halls, check out the Student handbook. The more you use your space and make it your own, the more you’ll feel like a member of the JCMU community and part of Hikone itself. So make yourself at home!

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