Monday, December 14, 2015

November Update

Wow it's been a while! I can't believe it's been over a month since I've last posted. I'll work on posting some of the pictures I've gained over the past few weeks, but he's a basic run down on what happened in November.

Other than Auntie Carole and Uncle Paul's visit (which was a BLAST), I didn't get to go out and do much in terms of fun. November was midterm season, so I had test after test. I even had a midterm and a project due the day after I went to Disney Sea! There was a period of time where I had at least one test everyday for a week and a half. With no school holidays to speak of in our program, it was one day after the other, studying and then trying my best to function entirely in Japanese. It was really difficult for me; foreign language is usually the class I don't have to worry about, so I was even more stressed when performing much lower than my expectations were set. However, I think it's important to remind myself that I'm taking much more classes and at a higher difficulty than required, and have really learned a lot over the past few months. This just means I'll have to work harder towards finals.

Now that winter break is drawing close, me and my classmates are starting to perk up again (everyone was dead by the time midterms were finished). I've been having fun going out exploring and Christmas shopping for friends back home.

Anyway that's all for now! One of the teachers from the Japanese side of the college asked me to create a 20 minute presentation on America for his Japanese students by Wednesday. And just when I thought I didn't have anything else to worry about.....

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Shopping in Ikebukuro (Happy Halloween!)

Happy Halloween you guys! Halloween is over for me, but for you guys it's probably just starting. Today I went to Ikebukuro to do some shopping. What started out as a quest for Japanese textbooks turned into a walk down anime road.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Shinjuku and Movie Theaters!

On Wednesday I went to the movie theaters with my two friends, Undariya and Ga Kyou! We had a ton of fun together, even if it didn't go exactly as planned. I really enjoyed myself! (Click the link below to continue reading, it's kind of long...)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Adventures in Ikebana

On Tuesday, as a part of our culture class, we got to try ikebana! Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It's a lot more difficult than one may think.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mejiro School Festival

Today I went to our college's school festival with my friend Undariya (she's from Mongolia!). It was great seeing all the students' hard work paying off.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Studio Ghibli Museum

Today I went to the Studio Ghibli Museum with the N4 class! They were nice enough to let me tag along. We just barely made it in time after classes, and one of us had a ticket that wouldn't work, but in the end we all were able to enjoy the place! It was really lucky, and the workers were really nice.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Trip to Harajuku

At the beginning of October, me and my friend Evelyn went out shopping a bit. We didn't start out intending to go to Harajuku, but we ended up in that area. My friend Evelyn has been to Japan a couple of times, so she knows her way around very well, and she's always nice enough to invite me out when she feels like exploring. So that night, we went out just the two of us to do some shopping!

Long Time No See!

Hi everyone! Wow, I can't believe it's almost been a whole month since my last post... Time sure flies!

Lately, I haven't been doing much. The last few weeks have been me getting used to school, and living on my own. You know, figuring out which classes will be difficult, where to buy living supplies, and hardest of all--how to do laundry. (But no worries, I pulled it off!)

I'll talk about some of the trips I took a few weeks ago in a separate post, but for now, I'll leave you guys with a very important aspect of living in Japan: Divvying up one's trash.

In Japan, there are hardly any general trashcans--everything is divided into もえる (can be burned; so things like paper, cardboard, wood, etc.) and もえない (can't be burned; plastic, etc.) trash. In most cases, there is also a separate bin for leftover food and drink containers (cans, bottles). This is how trash cans are labeled just about anywhere, even on the street. In my dorm, I have to carefully think when taking out the trash, which is definitely a new experience--I never really dealt with anything other than basic recycling. But now that I'm getting used to it here, I may become even more conscientious when I go back home!

Anyway, that's my tidbit for the day. So if you're planning on coming to Japan anytime soon, remember: もえる = paper, もえない = plastic! Look at the labels carefully so you don't go around messing with the trash people's jobs. It's very frowned upon to carelessly through things in the wrong bin.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Soka High School Visit

On Saturday we were invited to visit Soka High School in Japan! My university was actually founded in Japan--hence the name Soka University of America. But here, there's an elementary school, a middle school, high school, and a college! So we gathered up some of the students who were studying abroad and went to visit the high school, where we would meet students considering attending SUA.

Monday, September 21, 2015

First Day of Class!

Today I got up bright and early to go take my first day of lessons. I was a bit worried about it but it turned out very well! Our teacher's name is Kido-sensei. She seems very down to earth and friendly, and her Japanese is very easy to understand. I held up fine in conversations and all the lessons were relatively easy!

I assume that we're still just doing review right now, but so far I knew all of the grammar points in the lessons. It's actually the easiest Japanese class I've had in quite some time! This may all change come the next few days but right now I'm feeling very underwhelmed in terms of difficulty, which is a good thing. We had class from 9 AM  to 12 PM, but that will change Tuesday through Thursday depending on the electives we picked.

To celebrate me and some of my classmates went out for some ramen! It was super tasty!

For now I get to rest until tomorrow. We were assigned some homework but it's not much at all, thankfully!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I've accumulated quite a few pictures of food I've eaten in Japan, so instead of breaking them up in days (...that I no longer remember well), I thought I'd just post them all at once. So here, my proof that I'm eating! Since I usually just go buy meals at the コンビニ, the meal pictured above was a bit fancier than I usually eat. It was udon and tuna sashimi with rice. Despite it being a pretty big meal, it was really affordable!

Placement Results Are in!

Hey everyone! I'm just gonna talk about today, even though I know I missed a lot. I'll go back and recount those stories later.

Today I got the results of my placement test, and I ended up in N3, which is basically intermediate. The N levels go from 1 to 5, with N5 students knowing next to no Japanese and N1 students being able to take Japanese college level courses.  Most of my friends were placed into N4, but since I've arrived here I've made new friends as well, so thankfully I'm not alone in my struggle! But that means no convenient English translations for me anymore...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Arrival and First Day!

Here is the tale of my long trek to Japan. We arrived at the airport pretty early, but it worked out well since we were one of the first in line at the baggage check. Then we were able to grab breakfast together. From this meal the custom of the CBN was born (aka, the Celebratory Burrito Nub). 


Hello everyone--as promised, I have made a blog specifically for my travels in Japan. I leave tomorrow bright and early, but I wanted to thank everyone who came to our little going away party! I had expected it to be very small so I was surprised at all the people who came to hang out with us. It was tons of fun! It reminded me of a birthday party, something I haven't had in a few years. It was great to see everyone and I hope you guys enjoyed yourselves! I know I did.

The above picture is the only one I took on Friday, which probably surprises no one. That cake was excellent! I would've had a second slice if it didn't go so quickly. Parting is such sweet sorrow... (See what I did there)

Anyway, I'll try my best to update this blog as frequently as I can. I have no idea what to expect, it'll definitely be an adventure over there.