Last Week in Japan

This post is long overdue. Now that I’m back in Canada I’m feeling particularly nostalgic about my time abroad and found a few moments to post about my last week in Japan.

I have to admit, I think I saw more new movies at the theatre in Japan than I do in a year in Canada. It’s so expensive in both places though so I’m not sure what my excuse is haha. Anyhow I love them so it was fun in my last week in Tokyo. On opening day I saw the Attack on Titan or Shingeki no Kyojin movie with my lovely friends. Afterwards we waited for H to get to the station from work I bought us peaches which we ate on a rooftop overlooking the city. On other days I also saw Jurassic World and Bakemono no Ko, or Monster’s Child. Really good.

On August 3 my friends invited me out for a night together. So until then H and I debated between going to a pool and the ocean. Of course we decided to go to the ocean while on the train. It turned out to be an awesome decision. The weather was incredibly nice and Kamakura has a great clean spot where you can swim. We left with the smell of salt and sea in our hair and that’s how we met up with friends for a night drinking at an Izakaya. No one complained. We had so much fun. I even saw a friend coming from Canada to live in Japan on our way home.

The next day was hot and sunny again and I just couldn’t stand the idea of staying indoors so I went to Yomiyuri Land. It’s quite far from Shinjuku and you can even take a gondola from the station once you get there! The place itself was huge and there was tons of people. Despite going by myself I actually had a really nice day. Although I have to say you’re better off going to the ocean than a pool if you can. It costs about the same to get to the ocean as to go in this pool haha. On the way home I had a nice watermelon ice, it’s so perfect for a hot day.

I think the on 5th I was packing I think? xD (Accidentally threw out my schedule pages)

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The last day in Japan was so lovely. Instead of just packing, a friend of mine invited me to go with her and another girl to visit the ocean again. It was so hot and nice out. Me and O ran to the ocean and swam out in deep waters. It was incredibly relaxing until.. ZAP! There are DEFS jellyfish in the ocean! I didn’t get zapped too badly but my friend O had red welts on her legs. Suntanning on the beach gave us time to relax but it wasn’t long before we were out in the ocean again. I heard some guys commenting that people shouldn’t suntan, ESPECIALLY girls. Well Japanese boys, kiss my sun tanned butt.

I had a great day and then looked for books with O in Shinjuku before heading home to meet up with my beloved H. It was our last night in Japan together.

The next day H took me to the airport (for a second time in knowing each other). We rode the bus to the airport and gathered my things on a trolley so I could complete last minute shopping. Note to self, buy WAY more candy and food on the way home next time. You never know who you could give it too haha. Then we had lunch together at a Japanese place. It seemed like we had a lot of time together but yet not. We stole a few moments to rest together and talk while he stroked me and said it would be alright. All too soon I had to head through security and see my beloved for the last time in Japan. As I headed out, we both smiled at each other, but I could feel that heavy sadness pressing on my chest. This time I didn’t cry in public at least. It took 22 hours to return home to Canada but I was super happy that on the longest flight I met a couple of very nice Japanese youth on their way to study English. We spoke in Japanese the whole way and I got a few hours of sleep.

When we landed in Vancouver the girl wanted to take a picture with me but I felt like death warmed over and declined. (I was so so sick) One more flight later I arrived in Calgary. Japan returned to the future.

End of Semester

July was a blur. One moment I was expecting so much to happen and quite overwhelmed. I was making plans and studying for finals. I also made time to hang out with friends and practice my final speech.

Then it was over.

Today is so hot I nearly melted on the way home. But that`s to be expected in August in Japan. A good thing about this super hot day is it makes a lovely break to write.

Rewind back to July.

10506901_939276976132578_1648770696427022002_oI spend many a day going on lovely dates with H. We met up in between my studies, after his work, on the weekends, or whenever we found spare time.

I was also lucky to meet up with friends again and went to my first firework show (花火大会)this year.

Then it was finals week. And I have to say it was definitely not as intense as last semester. One minute I was studying for exams and the next they were over. I finished my first semester of Korean and have no idea how it went. But I enjoyed it.

To finish off our semester, the university held a farewell party for the students.

We didn`t receive a fancy certificate or toast with wine, but played bingo and ate a buffet style of delicious food. Near the end I gave a speech as one of the representatives of the students. (Ironic since I find speeches boring haha)

My teachers and friends said they were very moved by it though, so I`m glad. I worked hard to summarize a year that can’t possibly fit into a two minute speech. At the end of the party there was a funny performance. Afterwards I went out with friends to drink at an Izakaya and finished off the night.

Two days after I headed to Osaka for vacation with H.

That was my July.

Festivals and Fun

April was a nice month that went by way too fast.

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I started the month going to see sakura blossoms at Baji Koen and Nakameguro. I also went to an African festival in Yokohama. The photo above is the beautiful flowers I saw there. There was music, dance and food

I also went to see another festival called Kanamara matsuri or penis festival by tourists.Yup that’s right. It’s a festival hosted by a shrine in Kawasaki. It was quite far from Tokyo but I had fun.

On the 17th I went for a date with H to go the batting cages at Shimanomachi station. It cost 1000Y for three rounds but me and H split it between us and ended up buying a second ticket it was so fun. Afterwards when we left the batting cages there were a lot of people in sports shirts so we followed them and ended up at Meiji Jingu stadium.

It turned out that even though there was heavy rain there was going to be a baseball match! Since I’ve never seen a professional match live, we went in and watched the game. I didn’t know the seating was separated by which team you were cheering for though, so we ended up sitting on Yokohama Baystar’s side. haha. They were playing against the Tokyo Swallows and I think they got creamed. We left just a bit before the game ended but I enjoyed the fans cheering even more than the game haha.

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Just the next day I made a random new friend and we went to Shinjuku Gyoen together which was a weird coincidence since I was looking for someone to eat lunch with. So fun. She was meeting a club that was having intro activities there. I learned a new game I can’t remember the name of .

Then on Saturday I acted as tour guide and showed a friend around Harajuku. Even though it was crowded, Meiji Jingu is definitely a sight to see. Combine it with crepes in the area and the day is perfect haha.

In April I also explored a new area around a station called Tsukishima with H. Moon island! Haha. I tried Manju for the first time and it was delicious. The place that we went to had great atmosphere and the Manju cooked on a big grill inside the table we sat at.

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The street lined with good food at Tsukishima station.

Other than that, I ‘m enjoyed the start of school and am slowly got back into the study mode. Oh, also went bowling with a circle at my university. All the people are really nice and so I ended up joining it.

Time goes by so fast! See you!

  • K

Limitless

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”
Mary K Ash

I really agree with this.

I’m going to try hard to continue to push myself to go further from this point on. To enjoy as much as I can and learn as I go. Study abroad is a great experience and one of the best parts is the people I’ve met along the way.

This is not a plant, but a latte.

This is not a plant, but a latte.

Even failure is a good learning experience. Better to try something than regret never doing it at all.

A teacher of mine said something along the lines of, You are all very smart students to make it here [university etc], and so you’re not used to failing. But sometimes you need to make mistakes because it’s how you learn. We (as students) have played it safe, studied hard and got into university so we are used to success. But we need to try new things to grow and sometimes that means making mistakes along the way.
Time to grow.

April has been such a good month I feel like my spirit is being restored. It will be sad to leave after this semester but I’m glad I’ve met so many wonderful people. We push and inspire each other to do better. I’m stoked that even after this semester ends, there will be more friends all over the world.

This post is a memo. I’m going to keep going forward. I hope you do too.

– K

It’s April

Live from Japan.

My two month long winter break is finally over. That means it’s back to school in Japan where the semester starts in April and ends in July. I’m happy to be studying again because this time my class selection and schedule is MUCH better. I didn’t write much about it, but last semester I felt overwhelmed at times with the workload. Even though I passed everything, I think more balance and less stress is key. So yeah, I’m excited for this semester.

I’m even taking Korean (in Japanese) so that’s something.

But anyways March, I didn’t post at all haha. I was enjoying Tokyo and was able to meet with good friends including people that came all the way from Canada!

Then, at the end of March, one of my dreams finally came true. I saw sakura flowers for the first time! (When the sakura bloom, it’s popular to break out the picnic blanket and cozy under some sakura trees with your friends. And alcohol/food if you are so inclined. This is called hanami, or flower viewing.) I am so happy I finally saw sakura at so many different places like;Showa Kinen Koen in Tachikawa (riding bikes with H <3), Nakameguro, Inokashira Koen and Chiyoda. My favorite place though was Baji Koen. There were horses, a Japanese style garden with a pond, swans and beautiful cherry trees all around.

These pictures don’t do justice (I took waayyyy more than this), but enjoy (Nakameguro, Baji Koenx3, park)

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I also re-united with my host family (from a couple years back). They were so sweet and not only took me around but we made tempura together.

Ahh, what else.

I watched a Japanese movie called Strobe Edge with a hot lead male. I love practicing my Japanese haha and the movie was actually fantastic. Oh, and I finally visited Japan Ikea! (It’s fantastic TuT) I also went to an English conversation circle with some pretty cool people. Me and H visited the National Art Centre of Tokyo again to see the Louvre exhibit. And then I topped it all off with skype and Night at the Museum 3.

I have class again tomorrow so I should bounce, but I’ll say I’m really lucky and happy to be in Japan. I’ll try and procrastinate a bit less with my posting. Maybe short stories are better than cramming my life into blobs of text desperately trying to remember what all happened haha. I shall be less lazy! But that means I have to go and experience the world too. If my laptop survives this trip I’ll be posting again soon.

Hope everyone back home in Canada is doing well. Take care.

  • K