Home in Canada

After the longest flight ever I am back in Canada! I’ve been back for a little over a week and I fully intend to finish my Japan series. I may even blog about some side stories or differences between Japan and Canada. Who knows.

In any case I haven’t been posting because my computer finally bit the dust. It was a used purchase and lasted three years bless it’s little hard drive. I can post by phone but it’s not as convenient.

The biggest question I’ve had so far is are you sad? And then how is the reverse culture shock?

I’m not really sad because I had an amazing year in Japan. There are friends and family supporting me and I keep in regular contact with my sweetheart in Japan. Also I keep memories of Japan in my heart so it doesn’t feel so far away. I will definitely visit again one day.

As to reverse culture shock, I think I’m adjusting well. There are a lot of amazing friends here in Canada that surrounded me with  friendship and questions as soon as I got back. My family picked me up at the airport and the very next day I was at a small surprise party that S organized.

So it’s good here. I will post something a little less scattered next time but for now I’ll end with a positive note.

Being independent and adventuring in Japan was just what my spirit needed. I can’t wait to visit new places now and I’m excited for what is to come.

-K

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Universal Studios Japan (USJ)

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Second day of vacation was also fantastic. Me and H spent the day at USJ, a theme park in Osaka.

It`s a decent theme park filled with a myriad of attractions, but I have to say Fuji Q Highland near Tokyo is still my all time favorite. Especially since USJ only has one roller coaster.  But that coaster is super fun (in faux Hollywood) and plays music as you ride! I chose the same song twice because it was perfect for the rush. (Amazing by SMAP)

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There was multiple themed areas like Jurassic Park, Water World, Jaws and Harry Potter! The best part of Harry Potter was the scenery, shops and BUTTER BEER. I hath tasted it! Its like a mix of cream soda and deliciousness. But I bet it was so amazing so they could cover up how terrifying the ride is inside the castle. Why scary? I do not like spiders. I felt better afterwards though when I had a super delicious shepards pie TuT

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Favorite ride was Space Fantasy. Its not even a scary coaster but its really well done to look like space inside. You float and speed around through what looks like stars. I loved it. Rode it three times for good measure haha.

Recommendation is to definitely make sure you have fast pass if thats an additional feature. Front of the line is worth it because the wait there is long.

All in all it was a good day at USJ.

Final Adventure! Osaka Bound!

I`m so happy. The vacation in Osaka was a blast.

Day 1
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The first day we got to Osaka we resolved to do as much as we could. We dropped off our bags at our hotel in Osaka and then went to go and visit Kitano street in Kobe.

Its a lovely area with old European houses and cafes galore. After lunch, H and I went into one that had a gallery and it was a welcome rest from the hot heat. A word of caution, the area itself sits up on a hill so its quite a trek in the heat. Also it`s very expensive to enter the houses. Just so you know 😉 Other than that there are restaurants and cafes in the area that I quite enjoyed.

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After that we went off to a coffee museum that is just a short way off. I love coffee and the little museum was actually really great. It had tons of facts about coffee and interactive stations.
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Next we decided to go and trek to Nunobiki Falls. It was a long ways to get to but once we were there, the waterfall was really nice to see. It was also much cooler under the trees and had places to sit and enjoy the waterfall. I was surprised that the waterfall was so close to the urban neighborhood and really enjoyed the scenery. Nature rocks.

That night, I am proud to say that I ate real Kobe beef! (My dads been raving about it for years, and hes right it is delicious) It was amazing, tender, delicious and just omg. It was also expensive but super worth it. When I go to Kobe next Im totally hitting up some Kobe beef.

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.

Fuji Q!

Its now the end of my study abroad in Japan. I cannot believe how fast it went by.
But I know that haven
t posted in ages. My bad. The next few posts are going to be catch up so expect new things to read!

Just to backtrack a bit, the end of June in Japan was amazing because I visited Fuji Q Highland (amusement park) for the second time! (The first was two years ago with friends and it was rainy) I woke up early in the morning and took a bus with my beloved from Shinjuku station. It went straight to the park.

When we got there the day was warm and sunny and the park was full of people. I`m not a fan of huge crowds in Tokyo but Fuji Q was well worth it. They have at AMAZING roller coasters. I went on every single one. The most famous is probably the Fuji Yama roller coaster because it was the tallest in the world in 1996 at 79m. But my favorite roller coaster at the park by far is ええじゃないか (ee ja naika) because you take off your shoes and then fly through the air. You don’t sit in a traditional seat like most coasters, instead your feet hang and it gives you a feeling of being weightless at times.

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This coaster above was pretty stellar as well. It`s called Takabisha and has the steepest drop in the world at 121degrees.

If you get a chance, I really recommend this park. You could even combine it with a hotel stay and Mount Fuji climb like some of my friends did.