Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My last week in Japan (so far) -pictures till later

So, last week I finished actual classes, I had graduation ceremony on Saturday and that was pretty awesome. We got free food, which is every college student's raison d'etre. They actually also had free beer, which I don't think would fly in American Universities, but I don't actually like beer, so I did not join in the general rejoicing over that. They had cake which I did enjoy. Then most of the rest of the week I have just been hanging out and traveling a little, doing all the mini trips I didn't get in earlier. Like I went to Osaka Castle with some friends, which there will be pictures of later. I also had dinner with my friends and some of our Japanese friends, and that was fun. Monday I finally got to Nara, where I was attacked by deer, I bought deer cookies so it was my own fault, and we saw the giant Buddha. That was really fun, and we did last minute souvenir shopping which was also good. Other than that I've just been catching up on chores, like selling my bike and packing. I also met with one of the KG students who is going to my school next semester, and then hung out with some friends today and that was all nice and relaxing. I'm not sure what I 'm going to do tomorrow, but Friday I'm going to see Pirates3 with some friends and then dinner and a little shopping with even more friends, so that ought to be fun. I'll be sad to leave everybody though. It still hasn't really hit me that I'm going to be gone really soon yet. But I don't think it will be very fun when it does. Mainly I just want to enjoy my last few days here. I'll worry about everything else when I get back. I'll probably do my last post and put up pictures when I get back. I really am looking forward to seeing everyone, it's not that I don't miss being home, but I will also miss being here, so it's a little difficult. Anyways, Look for my last update in about a week.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Golden Week Adventures

Tokyo was awesome. I left on Thursdsay night and my roomate and I took the night bus, so we arrived at Tokyo Disney on friday morning. We took the monorail over to Disney Sea and spent a fun if busy day there. Basically everyone in Japan decided that they wanted to go to Disney too, so the lines were really long, but we got fast passes for the tower of terror and the indiana jones rides, and stood in line for the other ones forever. It was good. We were both kind of exhausted when we got to the hostel though so we went to bed early. Then we got up the next day and went to Harajuku, and Shibuya which are both really famous shopping and fashion areas, and that was a lot of fun. On Sunday we went to Ikebukuro and met up with one of my roomates friends who was an exchange student last year. And Sunday night we took the night bus back. It was really good, except me feet started killing me, and much like my London adventure I spent around twice what I thought I would, but since this was the only time I get to go to Tokyo during the semester and it was my last big trip really before I leave it's okay. Although I think in the future I will avoid night buses if I need to be coherent the next day for class. Luckily I didn't have any afternoon classes. So after my morning classes I went home and caught up on my sleep. Also if anyone is planning on going to either of the Tokyo Disneys I don't recommend Golden Week if you can pick another time. Although with the fast passes it wasn't to bad. The Tower of Terror ride was good, but as I have nightmares that run on similar lines, I don't think I enjoyed it as much as the other people. Oh well. On to the pictures.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Golden week

I spent the first half of golden week (With Monday, Thursday, and Friday being the holidays) sick with the flue which wasn't very fun, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow, since I'm heading to Tokyo, I'm going to Disney Sea, and then doing some other stuff until Sunday when I head back to Hirakata. Today's Spoken Japanese class was really fun since we learned some Kansai Ben, which I totally won't be able to use in class ever again. Oh well, we got candy:) Today was my friend Liz's 21st birthday so we went to Kyoto and saw Spiderman 3 (like 9 days before it gets out in the states mwahaha) and it was pretty good, don't want to give it away though. We also went to this store called Book Off and I got a browser for my DS Lite for only like $20 which considering they don't sell them in the states yet and to get them new or the European ones which are like twice that, I thought it was a pretty good deal. So that was fun, and then we went to an arcade to do puri kura and play the drum game. After that we headed back to Hirakata for dinner with some other friends at this 280 restraunt which was really fun, and then we watched a Tackey and Tsubasa concert DVD that Lucinda (Liz's roomate) had bought at Book off. So now I'm off to get some sleep so I can study tomorrow and do my Monday homework since I don't want to cart it with me. YAY! I finally get to go to Tokyo ^_^ so happy! I'll post picks of it when I get back so look forward to that, and maybe more posts as the semester is winding down, so I'll finally have the time to do stuff. I haven't gotten to see a lot of Kyoto yet, and that's where the souveneirs mostly live...If my funds hold out through my Tokyo shopping expedition;) I hear that electronics district calling my name.<^_^>I'm already starting to get to the I'm going to miss things stage though. Mostly my friends, and easy access to some of the things I've grown attached to like the crazy awesome arcades and really awesome shopping districts (most are fun to window shop in too) also some of the foods I especially like, like udon with kitsune, so yummy. And the vending machines everywhere, and the slightly bizzare commercials (not nearly as many car commercials) some so esoteric you can't even understand what they are selling, also the dramas on TV that I like, but those I can still get later. Not quite the same, as there aren't commercials that way, and it's not the moment they're aired, but still better than nothing. Oh well, mostly this post is for later to remind myself of what I loved and miss about Japan, since I really still want to come back here as a JET or in some other program. It's been a lot of fun, even with all the work for class and studying (the spoken class is kind of killer, but I've gotten a lot better than I was, so I don't mind so much) Oh well, I've still got 3 and a half more weeks to enjoy it. Forgive me if I get really soppy later. There are things that bug me, like the humidity, which is not nearly as bad as Ireland, except that with the heat it's killer. Also I kind of miss my bed futons are okay, but if I was going to have one on a permanent basis there would be lots more layers than my current one. Well, I'll write more when I get back about how Tokyo was, it ought to be awesome.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hanami and Earthquakes

This is basically two weekends in one. The weekend before this one I went to see the sakura (cherry blossoms) with my friend Kimberly. It was really fun, we took some snacks and got sakura ice cream there. It was kind of like a fair. There's a ton of people, even when it rained like on the day we went. The trees were all in bloom too, so it was really pretty. I took a lot of pictures so here are those.

This weekend I went to this arcade called round 1 where you pay about 10 dollars and then get to play all the games you want for 4 hours. It was awesome. I played this drum game, and beat 2 versions of Time Crisis, along with some other stuff. Then on Sunday there was an earthquake in the morning, and another one at night. They were only little ones, and I don't think there was any property damage or anything. It was kind of freaky though.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Comic City

The convention was fun, but I didn't get any pictures, as basically it was just 3 buildings full of people selling doujin, and while it's fun to walk through (although tiring) it is not that exciting visually. Well unless you buy them and stuff. Anyways, we got up way to early to go, and then it took about an hour to get there, and we walked around for about 4 hours before heading back. And then we were kind of tired, so naps all around. And that was my exciting last day of break. I am happy that it finally warmed up though. It's all warm and sunny now. And I'm going to go cherry blossom viewing this weekend, as they are supposed to finally be out (late). So I'll get pictures of that. And there's a chance that I might do something interesting during golden week at the end of April, so I'll probably get some pictures then.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Break

Mainly I just went to Hiroshima, but I also went to the Japanese student's graduation on Saturday, and got some pictures of Hirakata, so there's that too. And Sunday I'm going to a doujin con, but I'm not sure how many pictures I'll get there. So Saturday we went to the graduation, and then did all night karaoke. And then we took the train to Hiroshima, which actually involved 4 trains and about an hour standing up that was not very fun, but eventually we made it, and we went to drop our stuff off at the hostel. We went to the Peace museum and looked at memorials and had okonomiyaki (yummy and hard to describe) which was really good. Then we went back to the hostel and went to bed, since we had to get up early the next day. We went to Miyajima (jima=island) and saw a lot of shrines and deer, and that was fun, and we tried to go to the children's museum, but it was closed, so we went to Hiroshima castle instead. Which had way to many stairs, but we made it anyway. And then we had to catch the train back. But we were both tired by then anyway. So it was good. Now onto the pictures.(I'll caption the rest later, but currently the web page keeps crashing)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nothing interesting,

but as my TV is being held as a hostage against this post...
So, I went to pick up my Alien Registration card, and there is a guy who works there who's hair is a cross between Elvis and Flock of Seagulls, my friend Sarah was with me and got a picture, which I'm going to try to get from her later. I only have one more test left tomorrow. So after that I am officially on Spring Break. The weather has turned cold again, so my trip to Kyoto for cherry blossom viewing has been postponed. But tomorrow is the last episode of this drama I've been watching, and then on Saturday there's the graduation ceremony for the Japanese students, so I might be going to that, as apparently the girls all wear kimono, so I want to see that. Then I will probably be doing all night karaoke. I'm not sure what I'm doing Sunday, probably just sleeping and packing for Hiroshima on Monday. I was going to go to Tokyo, but I never got my plans together, so it'll probably just be Hiroshima and Nara. I am excited about the crazy Nara deer though, and then on Next Saturday there are Anime and Doujinshi conventions, so I might go to one of those. My friend is going to the Doujinshi one with her class, and my roomate wants to go the anime one, so I haven't decided which. Mainly I just wish it would warm up and stay that way. Oh well. So I'll post pictures of my trips next week, hopefully we'll get some sunshine and good weather so they'll turn out okay.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I keep meaning to post, but I've been busy with school so much that I never seem to get around to it. I'm going to Hiroshima for part of Spring break, so I'll talk about that and post some pictures when I get back. This week I have midterms, so I'll probably be really busy then. The weather here is really weird, it keeps getting nice and then going back to cold. Next Saturday I'm going to Kyoto to see the sakura, so I'll post some pics of that. Hopefully the weather will be good there when we go. Anyway, everything here is going good, just busy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Okay, I'm totally not keeping up, but I'll try to get some pics over the weekend, and I'm going to Hiroshima for sure in March. So there's that to look forward too. Mostly I'm just doing schoolwork right now though, school everyday ack! I am doing the Japanese Sign Language club on Wedensdays though, and that's really fun. And the Japanese Students start back in March, so I might join a club then too. Maybe when I get some free time I'll post about my classes, some of them are really fun. Like in my Body Comm. class today we did interrogations to see whether you can tell if someone is lying by Body Language. Anyway, today's Japan fun fact is: The 3 main American Candies they have in Japan are Snickers, M and M's and Kit Kat, and the Kit Kats come in tons more flavors here, like strawberry, cherry (in honor of the cherry blossoms) and oddly enough Melon (lots of things come in Melon here that I don't understand)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm updating the main slide

at the bottom of the pae to just Japan Pics, but it might take a while. I was in class all day today and then in Language Lab, so not a lot of fun stuff to report. Today's Japan Fact is courtesy of my roomate. Apparently Japanese puzzles have a form included with them, so if you are missing a piece, you can just fill it out and send it in, and they will send you that piece.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This Weekend

So far I have done karaoke, seen a Japanese freeway, found another Bookoff and bought a gameboy color for approx. $8. Also watched this really good Korean drama "Princess Hours". It did rain on Friday, so I couldn't get any campus pics, but it's supposed to be clear Tuesday. Here are some random pictures, and I'll upload the rest of them tomorrow after I've taken some of my dorm.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Class all day, but only one class tomorrow (at noon mom, so try not to call before 10 please). And apparently we have Monday off for foundation day (I think it's like fourth of July, but no fireworks) So that ought to be fun. And I'll have time to get all the stuff I've been needing to do done. So yay. And I've decided that as I'm time deprived so I can't really do a lot of lengthy post I will try to make up for it a little by posting a Japan fun fact when I do post, so for today, something I learned in body and comm. class, apparently the onomatopoeia for eating in Japan is pacu pacu, so that's where pacman's name came from. Now go forth and spread this rather useless/geeky knowledge. Or not. I wonder if those guys who did the real life pacman game in NY for a film project know? Ah well, I'm going to bed now. It might be raining tomorrow,but if it's not I'll post some pictures of campus too.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Today was a class day,

I had Japanese in the morning and then both of my other classes in the afternoon. After that I came home to drop off my stuff and then me and some friends went out to eat. Yummy omuraisu (rice omellete) I also had to get my bike lock changed as I lost my key, so I did that. And then a fun hour of homework, followed by an actually fun half hour of DS Lite. Oh and I also did some laundry. The dryers here DO NOT work, so everyone hangs there laundry on the balcony on these poles. I ran out of space on mine and since I didn't have any clothesline I hung up my socks and stuff on some dental floss. Which is working suprisingly well. I think I will buy a clothesline next time I go to the store however, as I am slightly worried about the floss breaking and my underwear falling off my balcony into the courtyard below. Anyways, I never got around to talking about my Osaka trip last night, so I'll do that now and post pictures later. I'll probably link in some friend's pics too. So we went to Osaka at 1 since we were waiting for Josh and hadn't wanted to get up really early anyways. We took the Train (like the RER in France, kind of a subway, but above ground) and then we walked to DenDen town once we got to Osaka. It takes a while to get there walking, but we went past all these really big designers, like Tiffany and Co, and Gucci and stuff. My mission of finding a DS Lite was harder than I expected, all the stores where sold out. I finally got on at this place called Media Recycle, but it was an American import and so it was a little more expensive. Still less expensive than in the US though. Josh also got one, but he got the black instead of the pink like I got. I also got a couple games for it at Sofmap, that are in Japanese, but are kind of kids games, so I can handle 1 of them and almost handle the other. And Josh and I both got Kanji Dictionaries which are awesome, since they have input where you can write the kanji on the screen and it recognizes it. It also has some other cool features, but most of them require a higher level of Japanese profeciency than I have. So we took the train home and I got off at Hirakata shi with Trevor and Josh and had dinner with them at this restraunt that had this amazing asparagus tempura (fried and breaded). Then I took the bus back with some other girls I met from my dorm since the boys had their bikes. And then I studied. And that's about it. Tomorrow I have to go to the city to do Alien Registration. So that ought to be fun (sarcasm due to hatred of bureaucracy, which since I don't have a kanji name I can't get a name stamp and therefor my signature/all letters ever have to look EXACTLY the same) I'm not exaggerating, and I can get witnesses from the banking session. Filled out the paperwork so many times.... But after that I'm going to shop so that will be good.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Technical Difficulties

I was all set to do my big post and the internet broke, so I'll try again sometime later this week. But I've got class all day tomorrow and Thursday, and the first meeting of the Japanese sign language club (run by one of my professors, and one of the few clubs that continues when the Japanese students aren't here) on Wedensday. So I'm not exactly sure when I'll have a lot of time again before Friday. Hmmm. Well if not before then, I'll definitely do it then. Osaka was cool. I got my DS Lite, although it was difficult to find, more on that later. I'm going to bed now as it's almost 1 my time.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I'm going to Osaka today,

so tomorrow, I'll post all the pictures of that and Kyoto. I'd post them tonight, but I've got a test in my Japanese class. Mostly review, but I need to study for it. On the bright side I have all afternoon tomorrow off, so I can update all my slide stuff and work on this lots. Kyoto yesterday was fun. We went to this place called the Book Off and I got some manga and some Gameboy games that were only 250 yen a piece. Unfortunatley my gameboy is at home, but I can play them when I get back. Then we went looking for lunch and ended up at the McDonalds, which we went to because Trevor wanted to try the supermac that was only going to be around till today. It's a crazy giant burger. I've got pics of that, which I'll post later. We went to an arcade and did photobooth pics which are beyond awesome. We also went shopping, there are all these crazy corridors with tons of shops in them. Anyway, I found apple cider in one of the vending machines at the kyoto subway station, so that was awesome, along with all the other fun stuff we did yesterday. Today I'm out to find my DS Lite and Kanji dictionary, along with some other stuff. So I'm gonna go do that now.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Class all day

Blah. But tomorrow I'm free most of the day, and Saturday and Sunday I'm journeying out to Kyoto and Osaka, so more pics and stuff. And a DS Lite (hey they make a kanji dictionary for it which I'm getting, it's school related). Anyways just wanted to say hi. and that I'm still around. And give hope for a longer post one of these days.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Okay, I've got my final class schedule.

And plans for this weekend, and too much homework. So I need to get a jump on that. So this post is going to be short. I got back early, but nap seemed more important. Tomorrow I have class all day, but on Friday I only have one class so I should be able to do a more thorough update, and yes I know I keep saying that, but this time I mean it. :)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

First Day of Classes

Tuesdays I get to get up early for a nine O'clock Japanese class. But I had a big break in between that and my other 2 classes, so I went down to the city on the bus and changed my money over. Yay for yen. Then I went back to my other two classes which seem like they are going to be fun. One is Asian Psychologies and the other is The Body and Communication in Japan. I got my books for them too, so I'm all set. I just need to get my schedule for the semester together. I'm probably going to Tokyo for at least a couple days of Spring Break and I want to get to Nara where the crazy deer live. Other than that I'm just traveling around in my area, but there are two major cities near by : Osaka and Kyoto, so that's alright. Thanks for comments on my last post. I'm still working on the picture thing. I'm really busy getting set up, but I'm trying to make a set time to update this and get all my other stuff done. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I'll have some spare time since I only have morning classes I think.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Catch up

Okay, I know I've been here a week without really posting. I'll try to make up for that with this post. So to catch up I flew from Dallas to San Fransisco and then from San Fransisco to Kansai International. It was a long, but fairly uneventful flight. I got a window seat which was good, but they ran out of vegetarian meals, so that was rather unhappy. At the airport I met some other girls who are going to Kansai Gaidai as well 2 of them actually live on my floor, so I had people to talk to on the hour and a half bus ride to the dorms. We checked in and I went out to dinner at this restraunt that serves Okonomiyaki and got a mochi filled one (kind of like a Japanese pizza with rice paste filling) It was really yummy, but I was kind of sick from jet lag, so I didn't eat very much and went to my room to sleep. I got up fairly early the next morning, and me and some of the other students went out to get lunch at this ramen store and then to a store that sells electrical stuff where I got a LAN cable for my computer. I hung out with the girls I met at the airport after that. On Monday orientation started and I was on campus doing all the stuff that involved most of the day. On Tuesday I had my language placement exam and then me and 3 other girls went to Hirakata City where the mall is and got some things we needed and took pictures in these really cool photo booths. Lucinda is going to try to scan them, so maybe I will post some of them later. The rest of the week was mostly orientation stuff, and in the evenings we either got stuff from the grocery store and came back to the dorm to watch TV or went out to eat. On Friday we went to Kyoto with a Japanese student as a guide. We went to this really cool temple there. I've got some pictures of that which I'll post later in a slide. Saturday a big group of us went to DenDen town which is where all these electronic stores are in Osaka. We also did some exploring of the rest of Osaka, and then yesterday I moved into my permanent room and got all organized. Today i don't have any classes, since Japanese doesn't start till tomorrow, but after today I have classes every weekday, except for holidays. I'll post my schedule of that later also. Anyway that's what I've been doing this last week, and why I've been to busy to keep up with this (also I didn't have internet in my room till Friday). I'll try to do better from now on though.