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.

Final Day in Osaka

Day 5

The final day in Osaka started very relaxed. Me and H checked out of the hotel and as we were walking along we spotted the Umeda Sky Building.

Since it was our last day me and H decided to check it out. The glass elevator that took us from the ground floor up was a bit scary and spread out the Osaka landscape beneath us. But that wasn’t even the highest part. We got off the elevator and took an escalator even higher up.

My favourite part was drinking some coffee with H and watching the lightening storm that built up outside. The weather made it so that we couldn’t go up to the sky garden but I was more than happy to just chill where we were. There’s a lot of interesting history we read that influenced the Umeda Sky Building and plenty of pictures to take like the one above.

With only a short time left in Osaka, me and H went to the trains and returned to Tokyo. It was such a good vacation that left such good memories in my mind and heart.

But it wasn’t the end of my time in Japan.

On with Japan!

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So a beautiful miracle happened. I have access to a computer again which means my Japan stories can continue!

Day 3 of the Osaka Trip

I woke up fine but then had a metaphorical thorn in my side for most of the morning. Even so me and H went to Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine in Osaka. There weren’t many people to my surprise and the area was very quiet in the heat. I loved a small portion that was sectioned off so you could get no more than your hands into a pile of rocks. Why? Power stones. If you found all three it was.. well pretty awesome. On our way out I took a nice snapshot of the bridge above.

But my favourite part of the day was yet to come.

Osaka Spa World is absolutely amazing and was probably one of my favourite parts of the trip next to the coffee museum and waterfalls. I swam in a lazy river and went down a slide that was currently themed with Shingeki no Kyojin which made me unbelievably happy and all of a sudden I felt better. Then it got better. The spa part of it had themed baths! I took a tour in Greece and Finland to name a few. I wish I had more time because it was so beautiful and relaxing. And yes, you’re naked in there but with same sex only. (The pool was co-ed so I wore a bathing suit. ) I must also mention that you had to take an elevator to the co-ed pool from your genders changing room. I was amazed to no end that a pool could be situated on the rooftop.

We left the spa and went down to get kushi-katsu. (Kush meaning stick like a skewer and katsu refers to the meat) I had been to the area 2 years prior and claimed to remember a very famous restaurant that my friends took me too. With our stomachs rumbling incessantly we gave up quickly and went into a place called Daikichi ( 大吉 ) that was next to empty. And I couldn’t believe it. Our food was delicious!! There should have been way more people. We left so happy. I really recommend it. 5/5

The end of the night was quiet shopping and then made our way back to the hotel.

Every day in Osaka was wonderful.

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.

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