Thursday, September 12, 2013

Home Stay Weekend Part One

Finally Homestay post, It has been a while and I am not sure myself why I put it off so much. Perhaps I was nervous and letting myself recover before posting? I don't know. As time got closer to the weekend the homestay was supposed to
happen I become more and more hesitant, to the point where I began to second guess my choice. It was too late I had to go through with it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

By myself- Text & Pic Heavy

During my stay in Hikone I went on various small sometimes large trips by myself, although I was told not to by my mother and a close friend of mine, of course I went by myself, how else am I supposed to fully enjoy a safer country than our
own?

This wasn't my first time to Japan and I knew that Japan was much more safe than that of United States, and so I was more bold to travel on my own which turned out to be really fun and gave me time to think about all the random thoughts that float around in my head.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tokyo, well more like Ginza (Final)

I was finally able to go to Ginza!
Higashi-Ginza= East Ginza
This is my second part of my trip to Tokyo, because we spent the entire day in Akiba. My friend, T-san and I drug the two guys to Ginza and met up with a friend who did a summer exchange at my college, M-san

In short it was:
Cold, short & Awesome

Of course we had a target, well I was there to meet my friend and to shop.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Navigating to Nagoya Chubu Airport Solo and the four problems

Last pic while riding on the train, Seikigahara station
It was the last time I would sit in the JCMU's cold dorm, also this day there was a lot of clamor from other students that were still cleaning or just lounging around because around 11am we had to be out of the dorms.

 I'm not sure if I'll miss it right away or not. Eventually we'll find out.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tokyo, Finally...well not exactly more like Akihabara

The first pic in Akihabara, our hotel

I finally made it to Tokyo~!

But then again I feel like there is certain things that make you realize that you are in Tokyo...I didn't get that feeling unfortunately.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Slight Hiatus

Since arriving back in the United States things have seem to go in a downward spiral, I just recently adjusted to the time zone. But now I am in overdrive!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Updates Finale


  • First Politics Paper due
  • Politics presentation
  • Tobira chapter test (1)
  • Packing 
  • Shipping stuff back to America
  • Hanami ( Sakura viewing )
  • Final Presentation for Japanese class
  • Graduation Ceremony
  • Navigating back to the Nagoya Chubu International Airport solo

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Two big days...

    This week I have two big days coming up, tomorrow is one of them for me.
    Tomorrow is the day all the students take the final test for Japanese class and for me the last day of politics class.

     I am excited but then not excited, maybe I'm finally realizing my adventure in Japan is coming to a close?

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Japanese Presentation Topic: Izumo no Okuni

    Sorry this post is going to be in Japanese~! But in a short explanation, it's about the first woman who started Kabuki. Kabuki is one of Japan's oldest traditions. I do like Kabuki and I do like Izumo no Okuni ( thanks to Samurai Deeper Kyo.)

    If you would like to learn more about Kabuki & Izumo no Okuni here is a link: http://www.axiommagazine.jp/2011/10/24/izumo-no-okuni-the-woman-behind-kabuki/







    I also heard that Kabuki is boring...I've never fully experienced it except for a few clips back in high school...but it still looks interesting to me...


    Saturday, April 13, 2013

    Packing is hard!

    Packing is hard! And it sucks!! 

    Well that was slightly unexpected....

    I think Japan was trying to tell me something this morning...
    This morning I woke up suddenly for a reason unknown I think since being here I've become a light sleeper. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I can practically hear everything inside of the dormitory.

    Sounds creepy doesn't it?

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Updates! Updates!

    Here's what's going on right now:

    • First Politics Paper due
    • Politics presentation
    • Tobira chapter test (1)
    • Packing 
    • Shipping stuff back to America
    • Hanami ( Sakura viewing )
    • Final Presentation for Japanese class
    • Graduation Ceremony
    • Navigating back to the Nagoya Chubu International Airport solo

    Saturday, April 6, 2013

    Solo Trip to Kyoto

    I recently took a solo trip to Kyoto, it was not planned I originally wanted to go to another place, but a lot students and even the student coordinator suggested that I go, because it was one stop away from where I originally wanted to go. So I gave in an took a trip to Kyoto. Also this was my first time going out by myself! I had a friend and my mom tell me not to go places solo, of course I told them I'd be fine, and beside going on an adventure is fun~



    Before & After- Room Shot

    When I first arrived at JCMU I decided to take a picture of my room after moving in kinda to show the feel of the room. A few students/friends of my said that my room was 'homey' and cool. I don't know what they were talking about, and I still don't, maybe it's normal for me?

    Meanwhile at JCMU: Kimonos, well Yukatas

    For Friday's cultural project a hand full of girls and a few guys were able to try on Yukatas. It says Kimono on the schedule, but Kimonos are only for large and very important events ( Weddings, Graduation ceremonies etc. ) So we were able to wear Yukatas, which led everyone into a furry to buy one including me! During this session we learned how to wrap ourselves into a Yukata and also how to tie a bow with our Obi. Somehow I became the model for that part and I swear the professor that was teaching us how to do everything squeezed the breath out of me.


    Deputy Chief of Mission from Tokyo & Consulate Members from Osaka

    This was a huge opportunity for me seeing how I'm not exactly a political science major and have anything to do with politics except for the fact that I am studying about Contemporary Issues in Japanese Politics and my future career involves politics...how does that work? I don't know, I'll find out soon enough.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Trip To Nara

    At JCMU there was a group trip to the city of Nara, specifically two Buddhist temples, Hyoru-ji and Todai-ji temple. I was super excited for this because I knew that I was going to see Japanese history in person! I love history especially Japanese history with hints of Korean and Chinese. You know they all are connected in some way... Either way I was totally ready for this trip even though we had to wake up earlier than our class starts!


    Saturday, March 16, 2013

    Meanwhile at JCMU: Aikido

    Here's another one of the awesome opportunities for the JCMU students: Aikido! It's another martial art used mainly for self defense, so I've been told. I was really excited but then also worried/nervous about this cultural event. I was excited because I love martial arts and I haven't done anything martial art-y in a very long time, besides from Naginata last week. I was nervous because it was obviously a hands on activity. I'm a big softy, I bruise & mark easily, poking or grabbing hurts and I probably have fragile bones, but I do have a lot of strength ironically enough.

    Meanwhile at JCMU: Naginata

    At JCMU the students are able to participate in different activities that are apart of Japanese culture. I've been here for three months now and this was one of the few that has caught my interest. I know I should be out absorbing everything about Japan, but the activity takes place after we have our big chapter test and dealing with the grueling week of the dual teachers/sensei.

    Pretty much I'm exhausted.

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Short Internship


    At JCMU ( Japan Center for Michigan Universities) they offer students with the right language requirements and also approval from their Japanese sensei (teacher) various kinds of internships. Jumping at the chance I applied for it, it's also a requirement for me in order to graduate.



    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Meanwhile at Viva City...

    Viva City is Hikone's mall that's located a little south of Hikone itself. While a friend and I were exploring (which is the same day Puri Kura happened) we noticed that there was a performance that was going to take place. We didn't know what it was about, but it was all female and their outfits looked cool, so we decided to watch. This video was taken back in January.

    video

    This is how you make Coffee in Japan

    Coffee~!!!

    Since being in Japan I started drinking more Coffee and Tea because it's plentiful here. I discovered this awesome shop that has Coffee that you can brew instantly.

    No it's not powder, it's cool and convenient especially if you don't want to wait for the coffee to brew.

    Check it out!

    video

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    Mandatory, but fun!

    A few weeks a go all the students found out that there is a mandatory Friday activity where all of the students would be split up into groups of three or four and sent to different schools in Hikone. I wasn't too excited because we had to be up earlier than we normally would have to be, I was almost late that day but some how I made it.

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Trip to Otsu!

    First I want to apologize for the quality pictures, I forgot my camera, but I was able to remember my cell phone.

    One of my forgetful moments...I've been having a lot of those lately...anyways trip to Otsu, Shiga Prefecture's capital!

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Trip to Osaka: Shinsaibashi

    During the first week of being at JCMU (Japan Center For Michigan Universities) I somehow found myself going to Osaka and going on a small shopping spree...well it was more like buying one thing...ok...maybe a couple of things! Two students wanted to go to Osaka to find a specific shop called Bodyline, go to Den-Den Town, and also do some general shopping.

    FYI: This might be a long post.

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    City Hall Adventure

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/Hikone_City_Hall.jpg
    There's no sign that says it's the City Hall...so weird....


    For some strange reason I was terrified of going to the Hikone City hall, and I'm not entirely for sure why I was. Either way I still had to go, being a international student has it's perks! I have national Japanese health insurance! Along with many other insurances. (Right now this is the most health insurance I've had for several years...it's like what do I do with it?)

    Friday, January 18, 2013

    First Class: Contemporary Issues in Japanese Politics

    In an epic rush to get to the Shiga University campus before class started and to find where the classroom was, a classmate named Kelly ( picture might come later) got our bike helmets and hopped on to our bikes and pedaled through the windy town. It was so cold! and it was the day that I happened to forget my gloves...I was not a happy camper. Also it was my first time being at the campus because I wasn't able to go for the bike tour and Kelly didn't know where she was going ( but knew how to get there) so it was a small adventure.

    After finding our way and the main gate we parked our bikes and started exploring with a very terrible map that they gave us. On our map the buildings were numbers, on the signs outside of the buildings they had kanji...the numbers did not help us at all.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Lack of posts

    Hi everyone,

    Just want to say that I am still here, but I have caught a cold...which really sucks! when I get sick I get REALLY sick. My head hurts, my face hurts, my joints, hurt, chest, hands, everything hurts!  Not to mention I have no appetite to eat...

    Then again there are a few students that are sick so I'm not too surprised  that I caught it too, especially the weather difference! The dormitory that I stay in is colder than it is outside! and normally it is around 40-50 degree F! Then again most Japanese homes and buildings do not have insulation in them...so it will be cold a lot. So while I try to combat this absolutely terrible disastrous cold here are some upcoming posts!


    • Trip to Osaka
    • Shiga Prefecture City Hall adventure
    • First day of: Contemporary Issues in Japanese Politics
    • How I'm feeling generally ( maybe a video??)

    Until then, I'm going to bed!









    -A

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    First...well second problem...


    It was more of an adventure actually!

    Yesterday after class, and avoiding going to the City Hall (which I am going to do today) I went back to the grocery store to pick up somethings that I decided not to bring with me. While there I picked up some extra things, like a hat because I lost mine when arriving in Los Angeles. I don't even know how that happened, I touched my head and it was gone. I also got a thicker scarf, because the wind from the lake Biwa is crazy strong and my scarf isn't strong enough. I feel like it's colder here than in Wisconsin. I don't live that far away from the lake, but here WE ARE ON THE LAKE. It's behind our dorms. The dorms are colder than it is outside too...I don't understand that, but the good thing is that we have heat!


    Monday, January 7, 2013

    First post in Japan!

    I made it!!!

    I can actually say that I am in Japan! There's been a lack of updating due to a lot of movement via changing the planes, riding the train, moving in etc. There was another post I was supposed to finish, but I never got around to doing it because of all of the moving. Well to begin...

    I had two layovers, one in Los Angeles, and the other in Seoul Korea. The layover in Los Angeles was terrible, I was already exhausted because the trip was in the evening and I had to wait three hours and I arrived at the airport around 9:35pm so that's around midnight.

    The trip to Seoul wasn't any better, but the food was delish! They offered two Korean dishes, and I tried both because I figured having an open mind to food would create a mindset to try new things in Japan(mind you I already decided to eat a lot healhtier in Japan, because of all the dishes with the various vegetables and it's tasty-ness...anyways...)  The dishes they offered was Bibimbop and Sole Fish. I've never had any, but I definitely ate it!



    Bibimap
     




    Sole Fish


    On the way to Japan...
    I met someone who was going to the same program as I, and we decided to become buddies. I was actually a little excited to have someone to travel with. When we got to Japan the lines through immigration was terrible and then we had to go to another line because we had certificates. It was such a bummer!  We didn't come from the airport until 12pm. From there my new buddy and I traveled from the Nagoya Chubu airport to Hikone all by ourselves!! 

    I can also say that I am proud of myself because I did most of communicating to get us where we needed to go!

    I haven't taken Japanese for a semester, and most of the information I did learn I mostly forgot, but having to ask for directions, get my ticket back from the machine, and tell the taxi driver where to take us, I think I can say that I did pretty good! I got us to where we needed to go way before the other students arrived( my buddy and I already ate, unpacked, showered and were in bed. The rest of the students didn't get to campus till around 10pm. 10 points for us!)

    I will post pictures in another post, but I just wanted to share some details to update the blog!

    -Aki

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Two days!

    I have been meaning to start posting earlier, but I was postponed by things in life. But now I'm able to start posting!

    Two days!!

    I have two days before I leave, it's coming up really quick! Just a few days ago I was hanging out with my friends at a Japanese super market, to celebrating New years, to working again! I feel like time is flying pass faster than it was before. A friend and I already did my packing, and we fit everything into one suitcase, but it seems really heavy...I hope I won't be charged for it being overweight (I have no clue how much it weighs at the moment)Of course there are still things that I need to do before actually leaving:

    • Compile a binder full of information for my family
    • Make sure I have the essentials (The rest I can buy in Japan)
    • Don't freak out!
    Right now, in a general sense, a lot of people would be excited to study abroad in a country for four months, but I'm waiting til I get there to let my excitement explode. I hold back my excitement, because I as soon as I step on to Japanese soil, and wake up the next day I can say that I am in Japan.

    I made it to Japan and I am going to live here for four months.


    Next Post: Hikone, Japan