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)
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.
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.
I`m so happy. The vacation in Osaka was a blast.
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.
s 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.
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.
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 he
s 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.
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.
I 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.
Even though I’m back to the normal, busy pace of international living I thought I would write a small post for those looking to study abroad.
1. You should challenge yourself. Above all things, you only get one chance to try this out, in this particular place, right now. So make the most of it. What’s the worst that could happen? Well you will never know if you don’t try anything. I watched a video the other day about someone searching for rejection and found it very interesting. The more comfortable you become with things that don’t work out the way you expect, the more you may reach out. Try new things!
2. Have good health. And/or be ready to deal with unexpected situations. Study abroad is stressful at times! You really don’t want to have an emergency on top of your already busy life because you can’t get medicine or care in the place you go to. Bring a good supply of things you need and take note if the country you go to has what you need or if it has a different name there.
3. Be Adaptable. Things will not always turn out the way you imagined. But it’s really not the end of the world! Depending on how you look at it your situation, it could be making you a better listener or more patient because of how you chose to deal with it. There’s going to be more things to experience than people can tell you about, so be open.
And look, you can find cheap clothes too if you know where to go!
4. Learn to cook. Or at least have interest in food! In Japan not everything is expensive. I have found more than decent food often comes for really cheap prices compared to going for dinner in Canada. But with that said it can definitely be cheaper if you can make your own food, and sometimes more delicious! While on the subject of food however, the prices in Japan for vegetables and especially fruit is outrageous so get your fill before you leave home, just so you know. P.s. If you try the countries local foods your palate will open and you might find something delicious you didn’t know existed before!
5. Make connections. I love studying. I really do. It’s a good expenditure of time and you learn something new. But even though grades are important, making connections is more important. I mean meet people, do things, experience stuff! If you’re going to go all the way to a new country I hope it counts outside the classroom just as much as your studies.
I spent way too much time studying last semester. So my advice is not to throw the books away, but remember why you went to that country in the first place. Especially language study. It’s so important to go out and see how the language really works in that place.
I don’t know if this helps because everyone’s study abroad experience is so unique. But maybe if you read this you’ll have a little insight before you go abroad.