Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Post

So I really haven't updated this in about a month, but the thing is, not much really has happened this month since the last time I updated this. Sure, I've had classes, and finally found a place to practice, but those are the most exciting things that have gone on in the past couple of weeks. While I did get my bank card, I don't get any of the scholarship money until Monday, which is fine. Once I get that, I'm going to start getting souvenirs and whatnot for people, since I will have money. Also, on Sunday (tomorrow), I'm going to meet up with someone in Kyoto, and possibly work it out to get Shakuhachi lessons while I am here. I really hope that works out for me, I really would love to learn the instrument.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Started putting pictures up on photobucket, since the internet is alright for right now.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Forgot about this

I forgot to mention that today, while it was very sunny, there were snowflakes falling nearly all day, on and off. What the hell Japan? I don't understand you.

First week of School

So I'm done with my first week of school here, and figured that I should update this blog. So I'm in four classes: Spoken Japanese 1, Reading and Writing Japanese 1, Body and Communication, and Basic Ceramics Techniques. So far, they're all really fun. We're learning the basics in Spoken 1, and right now, we have a crash course in Hiragana, with a test on monday. I'm pretty good recognizing them, but having to write them not so much, so I'm working on that. With Body and Communication, we're looking at non-verbal forms of communication. We learned some Japanese Sign Language in the Osaka dialect, which is pretty cool. Then in Ceramics, I learned some wedging techniques, as well as the slab technique and the wheel. While I can't make anything on the wheel yet, I can at least say that I know how to use the wheel.

Also this week, I got a bicycle, which is cool. But the thing about a bicycle is that they're serious business. In Japan, they are considered Light Vehicles, and as any vehicle, are bound by the laws of traffic. You can also be arrested for riding your bike drunk (BAC of .03 as opposed to .08). There are also not a whole bunch of sidewalks in Hirakata, so you're going to have to ride on the street next to the cars, which is kinda scary.

And as for food in Japan, it's just so delicious. While I've been eating mostly Ramen while eating in, I've gone to get some Indian food (really spicy, and really good), Conveyor Belt sushi, and Okonomiyaki (egg and cabbage pancake with meat and various other things in it). So far, I've like just about everything I've tried. I also bought some Tofu today, so I can cook for cheap, but still have some kind of meat-like food when eating. I've just got to figure out how to cook the stuff now.

I've also likely found a place for me to practice, so hopefully this week I can practice somewhere on campus.

That's it for this post, if you have any questions, just leave a comment or something.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The second days

Well, I've had a busy couple of days since I got here.The first day I was here, I got a tour of a couple of the markets here. I went to the 99 Yen store, and then went to a supermaket, Top World. I got some food, and some water, and then came back. Then went out again another hour or so later to get some slippers from around the Seminar House. I ended up getting some hilarious slippers, which are just super comfortable. I ended up getting a rather good nights sleep that night, which was great.

The next day, I woke up and registered for classes. Then I finally went out and headed to Campus, where I tried to pay my fees. I say try, since I couldn't find the office at first. I eventually found it, so that's nice. I then went and got some lunch with Sam and Mei Mei. Originally the plan was to go to the McDonalds on campus, but when we went there, there was no food available, so we went to the cafeteria. The cafeteria was amazingly good. I got some Curry Rice, an Onigiri, and a sweet roll, and it still cost 10 Yen less than what I was probably going to get at the McDonalds. I was just blown away by how good the fod tasted, and how cheap it all was.

After that, I had some campus tours, and then I went to the 7-11 across from campus to get a prepaid phone card. I also found some Melon Fanta, which is great, and some BlackBlack gum, which is good, but the taste is something like a cough drop. It's not bad, but it just seems weird. After I got that prepaid card, I went and finaly picked up my phone. So I've got a cool phone now, and I'm going to go pick up the charger later today.

That's about it for now, so I'm going to go do stuff, since it's only 7 AM now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The arrival

So here's the story. I wake up 7:30 AM in Atlanta, on January 23rd. I get in to KIX at 8:30 PM (local time, 6:30 AM ATL) January 24th. Not having slept, since I can't sleep on planes.

The plane ride from Atlanta to Tokyo was pretty terrible. It was crowded, the seats were very close together, and also it was probably a thirteen hour flight. Little did I know that the real fun was about to begin.

The moment I get off the plane, I'm confused. When asking people, I was first shoved off to the International Departure section, probably because my boarding pass said Kansai "International". But I was there for an hour before someone pointed me back out to where I just was. So then I went through immigration and customs, and guess what? I was on the South side, when my flight was on the North side. So I get there, go to where I need to go. When I go to go through to my plane, I'm stopped, along with a guy from New Zealand, and we're both told that we have to fill out some form, which was weird, but oh well. The plane finally left at 6:40 PM, but got off the ground at 7:20 ish. So I get to KIX, and go through the same stuff about forms and lines and whatnot at Tokyo/Narita. I get my one giant bag easy enough, and head off to the hotel. But wait, where's the hotel? I finally found it after walking around for a couple of minutes, since KIX is MUCH less confusing than Tokyo.

So now here I am, 2:30 AM, writing a blog about how much I hate Tokyo Narita airport. There's also the fact that there are tons and tons of forms, even almost going so far as to have to fill out one form to fill out this other form. I guess the Japanese love their paperwork.

Well, time to try and get back to sleep, and I'll try to have some pictures up tomorrow of some of the stuff I've seen.

P.S. There s a vending machine that sells beer right next to my room, literally the next door over.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Money has been ordered. Should be here sometime tomorrow afternoon. So close to leaving, less than two weeks away.