Yet another blog!

Ok, so this entry is probably just for my own sake, but if anyone happens to stumble upon this blog, I’d presume that it’ll be a good thing to let them know that there is a sequel!;)

My adventure in Japan is yet to be finished, and since I’ll be staying at least 4 years this time, I thought it would be a good idea to continue blogging. However, the reason I didn’t want to use the old blog is simply so that the people who want to know about my exchange experience won’t have to scroll through months of unrelated posts.

My new blog address is onceinalifetimeadventure.wordpress.com!

See ya there!

 

 

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京都へ迎える!

(Written during Shinkansen(bullet train) train ride to Kyoto)

 

One thing that I’ve learned today is: if possible, do not under any circumstances, take the metro to Tokyo station in the morning during rush hour, if you have luggage that is big and weight over 20kg!!! If you do, you will feel (and surely look like) you’ve been running a marathon in 30 minutes – your light gray tank top will not look so light anymore and you really wish that you’d remember to buy some food and water BEFORE you left home…

 

Anyway, even if it was one of the less comfortable moments, i surely enjoy it now when I’m finally on the train!:D 

Looking out the window and seeing Mt. Fuji makes me even more exited to climb it in a few days! 

 

The train left Tokyo station at 8.30 AM, so i should arrive in Kyoto around 10.30AM.

Sine Anna won’t be coming until somewhere after 9.00PM, I’ll have to explore Kyoto the first day myself!^^ I was thinking of leaving most of my things at the station and return later around 3.00PM when the check-in at the hotel begins. Hopefully it’s not too hard to find it. I’ve been told and read many times that due to Kyoto’s architecture or landscape organization, it’s really easy to navigate in town.

 

Since i thought that Anna would arrive a lot earlier, I’m not really sure what to do now when we both want to go to almost everything. But on the other hand, i guess it doesn’t hurt to go to the same place twice!^^

 

Since i’ve only gone by buss or airplane the few times i went somewhere while in japan, i haven’t seen so much of the surrounding areas. Sitting in the train and being able to see all the way from Tokyo to Kyoto, truly reminds me of why i love Japan. The high diversity is astonishing. It as everything, Tokyo with its enormous buildings and crowded areas everywhere, Nagano, where it feels like only weird insects live, and Kyoto, that has both the modern but also the very old part connecting to Japanese ancient history. 

 

Even though i’m very jet lagged still, i’m surprised that i haven’t been able to sleep more than 5-7 hours every day. Sure i’m always tired and dying towards the end of each day,but somehow i manage!XD It may be due to the jet lag but i think its mostly due to the fact that its really hot and that my mom always wakes up at 5 AM every morning, making noises in the kitchen and starts to talk to whoever happens to be awake at that hour!XD

 

One thing that has crossed my mind several times during the recent days is, now when I’m in Japan, i feel a lot more secure and confident than i did before, both in Japan and if i compare to being in Sweden. Speaking to friends and host family gives me a lot of energy and makes me determined to actually give it my all to be able to get into a Japanese university one way or the other. I ACTUALLY want to live here if possible…that i know for sure now. That was one of the things i wanted to confirm by coming back to japan; “Are my feelings true or is it just something that remains from three years ago?”.

日本に帰ってきました!XD

After a break of 3 years, I’m finally back in Japan!!XD Oh boy have I missed this place!T_T

Ill be staying for 16  days together with my friend Anna, who also went to Japan on exchange in the same year.  well be doing everything from shopping to climbing Fuji!XD

Day 1:

Anna and I both arrived at the same day, but Anna arrived 9 in the morning while i arrived 20 past 6 in the evening. She ended up waiting at the airport the whole day!XD

When i had found Anna we went searing for Kumiko since she had promised to pick us up, but i was surprised to see that my hostmother also had come!XD I was so happy that i ended up hugging both Kumiko and my hostmother!XD (This is not usual in Japan…)

After we had greeted each other, we took the bust to terminal 1 and from there we actually got to ride the car back home!! God did it feel nice to see my host dad again! I even hugged him too!XD everyone seemed like they were happy to see me so i was almost overwhelmed 😀

The surprises didn’t stop there. I thought we were going home, but noooo, we actually went to Kaiten-sushi, which could be translated as rullbandssushi in swedish!XD Its basically a restaurant where the sushi goes around on a long trail throughout the whole restaurant!XD

After being all full and satisfied, we returned home where I sat down and talked to host family while Anna went to bed, after having handed out the presents that I brought.

I was extremely happy of the fact that I can talk to my host brother so much more than i could and did during my exchange year. I’m surprised if we ever exchanged 100 words during the whole year—XD

Day 2:

Due to being very jet lagged i woke up at 5.00AM and couldn’t go back to bed. So i ended up with trying to sleep for another 2 hours, but then i decided to go up at 7.00AM. I was tired but yet i couldn’t sleep at all!XD

After having breakfast, we went to Tokyo Sky-tree. Its a new building that serves the same purpose as Tokyo Tower – being able to see all of Tokyo. After paying 2,000yen (150SEK) for entrance we went up an elevator that went so fast that my ears hurt. It probably didn’t take more than 30sec to reach the top which is somewhere over 600m.

When we where finished with looking at the view, we went down again and went to Kinchicho to buy  me Yukata for the firework festival we were going to in the evening. I already had one from my exchange year, but i wanted to have one with better quality and that looked nicer.

After having bought the Yukata, we went to change at my grandmothers house. It was really nice seeing her again, I’ve really missed her. She is just like my own grandmother- really cute and worries a lot!XD She told us we should be careful at the firework festival due to the recent incident in Kyoto where some fireworks exploded during a festival.

Anyway, we changed into our Yukatas and grandmother helped us to arrange the obi which is at the back of the yukata. Even though Kumiko was skeptic at first, I thought she did a really good job!^^

After hanging out a bit too long at grandmothers place, we finally went to the firework festival and met with Kumiko’s friends from university. They had already gone there at 4 in the afternoon to get a good place for us to watch the fireworks, and it turned out to be an AMAZING SPOT! The fireworks were literally in front of our eyes, so it was impossible to miss anything!O_O

It turned out to be a quiet famous festival when i asked Kumiko’s firends, and it sure did not disappoint me.

The festival and all the fireworks lasted for an hour (yes…an hour of non-stop fireworks). And afterwords we went right back home to sleep since we were dropping Anna off at Haneda airport the next day for her flight to Ehime.

Day 3:

We started by me waking up at 6 AM due to jetlag, but managed to sleep another 30min before going out of bed.

At 8.30AM my dad took us to Haneda Airport to drop Anna off. The day before Kumiko asked me if i wanted to come to a barbecue gathering with her friend, so after dropping Anna off, dad took us to the meeting place which wasn’t in Tokyo, but in Saitama, which is about 1h train ride from Tokyo.

The barbecue was amazing and we ended up being there for 5 hours and still had a lot of leftovers, even though we drank all the alcohol and tea!XD

When i thought we would be heading home, one of Kumiko’s friends proposed that we should go out to drink. Even though i’m a person who usually don’t like drinking with just anyone, it turned out to be a lot of fun and surprisingly controlled!XD We ended up drinking at a friends house since its hard to buy alcohol in Japan if you’re under 20. Among all the people who were there, only Kumiko was old enough to legally buy alcohol!XD When the owner of the house was tired enough to fall asleep on the floor, we decided to go back home. Kumiko and I ended up getting home at 2AM even though we went straight from her friends house home.

Day 4:

I thought that i should take it easy and just walk around town this day since I’d been so active the first days, but it turned out to be a very busy day anyway!XD

I left left the house at 10.30 in the morning and went to Ueno to cut and perm my hair. Unfortunatley they didnt have anything available until 16.00, so i took that time and decided to got Akihabara in the meantime. I had decided to meet with a friend from my school in Japan at  13.00, so due to there not being any available time at the hair salon, we only got three hours to hang out. It turned out to be enough though. First we met and ate lunch at a Thai restaurant. It was surprisingly cheap (700yen set with salad and dessert) and also very tasty. Afterwards we went to a game center to take purikura, sine i think those pictures are a lot more interesting than normal photos. We started talking about old times during high school and ended up going back to visit Jissen Girls High school. walking there was like old memories were reoccurring!XD It really felt as if i was walking to school again, even though its been 3 years already.

Since it’s summer break during this time of the summer, there were not many teachers present, but i managed to meet my bandminton coach (Which i became really good friends with during the year) and also some other teachers who actually recognized me but which i had no clue about what they were teaching!XD

After being there for a while, i realized that it was already 15.30, and i had an appointment at the hairdresser at 16.00!! I had my friend call them and re-book to 16.30 instead, so it turned out ok.

Going to the hairdresser alone was a first-timer for me. Someone always went together with me so this time i was almost dying of anxiety. I ended up having a male stylist, which is never good in Japan, it gets kinda stale—which it actually did. I guess he wasn’t used to having foreign customers, and especially not young girls…XD

It turned out pretty ok anyway. Since the perm and cut would take 2h, we had already starting talking quiet a lot at the end. Mostly about me and Sweden though!XD He game me a lot of advice regarding my hair and actually did a really good job even though the perm turned out to be kinda weak.

That’s all for now! Tomorrow i have to go to Tokyo station to exchange my e-voucher for a real ticket to Kyoto. Otherwise i don’t plan on doing anything special. Dad and mom told me they were going to Yakiniku in the evening so i should be home at 6. YAKINIKU!!! I ‘ve only eaten that once when my high school teacher was kind enough to treat me to both Yakiniku and the famous musical Takarazuka. Kumiko goes with her school to Nagano tomorrow for some schoolwork, so i wont be seeing her until i come back from Kyoto.

So far everything is amazing! I can’t believe that i’m in Japan right now. It just feels as if I never went home…

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Top of laziness—>

Omg, you have no idea what anguish i have right know for this blog. I was supposed to finish this blog when i came home….but well…7 months have past…O__O; (That went fast…)

But i WILL DO IT!!! (sometime….) I mean, all of you that Actually read my blog, are not doing it anymore…i presume?

But i really have to finish this, since i want to get a clear end to this blog. Fortunatley if everything is going as I want it to do….I’m going back to Japan again to study in 2 years, so then i think a new blog will be created!^^

Anyway, look forward to the end of THIS blog!=^_^=

 

See ya!(Sometime…)

2010 in review – Not bad for the first time, right?^^

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 34 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 804 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 145mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 20th with 81 views. The most popular post that day was A time when the rain never stops….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, utbytesstudent.se, bloglovin.com, obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc, and extranet.ybc-nacka.se.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for from the heart of japan tussan, always keep the faith bracelet, yfu camp, fromtheheartofjapan, and tvxq hood.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

A time when the rain never stops… December 2010
2 comments

2

About Me And This Blog January 2010

3

Am i dreaming!!?? February 2010
10 comments

4

Frustration vs. Happiness January 2010
6 comments

5

Hongo’s Bunkasai (School Festival)本後学院の文化祭!!(Making up for lost time part 3) October 2010
1 comment

A time when the rain never stops…

Yeah…that’s how it feels right now…

With the rain referring to my tears…

It is just getting harder and harder trying to understand that i have to leave this place in less than a month now. My last day in school is on Monday, and already now, I’ve had a lot of goodbyes from other classes that i attend…

And i would never imagine that i had so many friends who care about me.

Ok, but before i tell you about that, let’s go back in time and see how everything went after the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

The place i took the test in was a pretty unknown university called “Takachiho Daigaku” that was as worn out as an old elementary school in Sweden…^^” guess it’s a public university…

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All the people outside the building are those who took the test that day^^

 

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So the test was Language Knowledge(Vocabulary)〈30min〉, Language Knowledge(Grammar)・Reading 〈70min〉and Listening〈40min〉. So the whole test was; with 2 30-minutes pauses, 140min or 2h and 20 min.

The first part was hell…every Kanji(Chinese character) i had studied, did NOT show up on the test…but i guess i can only blame myself for not studying more Kanji…

The second part was better, not 100% good though, but a lot better. But after a while i was getting pretty irritated because of all the reading parts!! When i thought that i was finished with the reading, i turn page and see another reading TWICE as long as the one before! And it didn’t help that i didn’t have a clock to look at. They wrote in the description to bring a watch, but i thought that since it was a University, that they would have clocks in the room. But not with this old school no…

The third part was easiest since it was listening. I mean, i haven’t done anything else the past 9 month that listen to Japanese people talking!XD

I am not sure whether i will pass the exam or not, everything depends on how well it went in the first part. Cause if i fail that part – i fail the whole test.

———————————————————–

Next up was the last exam for the year, this time, i didn’t want to, or didn’t have the time to study so i just took English and had 2 days off as the other did the other tests. But for me it was not so much having the day off. I had to write a speech to my host family and present it at the upcoming Sunday. So i had that to concentrate on. And then i cleaned my room and threw away some of the clothes that i won’t be taking back to Sweden.

At the same day i had the last YFU meeting, i also had an interview with “Koukousei Shinbun”, or “The High school newspaper”, which is a big newspaper that is published to all High Schools around Japan.

I came 20 minutes late because of my teacher that had marked the map i was supposed to follow, wrong!!!>___<; That’s so like him…

The whole idea with the meeting was that Japanese high school students and foreign exchange student would discuss things regarding the world and so on.

It was really interesting actually. The 4 Japanese students came from an international school, where almost all the students who go there, has lived abroad somehow.

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I was the only exchange student who didn’t go in the same school as the other Japanese Students.  But it was interesting to hear how well informed the students were comparing to my schools students.

If you look two seats to the right from me, look what we find, A SWEDISH STUDENT!!XD FROM UMEÅ!!!XD

Well, well, that was a funny thing^^!

After that, i went with him to Todai (Tokyo Univerisity)s’ Campus because I’ve always wanted to see how the best university in Japan looked like.

And it was quite impressive actually;

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Not bad if you ask me!XD

————————————-

And now to the big moment!!!!!

Since this was my last week, as a final thank you to everyone i sang in the aula to everyone in Japanese.  That was a quite nerve wrecking moment considering that in front of me stood 1000 students…^^;

The whole idea to begin with was not to sing in front of everyone. It all started with a music lesson. Everyone were supposed to make groups or just by oneself, present 2 songs after the winter break. but since i didn’t have any to work with, i decided to sing with my teacher while se played piano. Then after a lesson, she suggested that i present in front of a little larger group, not only the class. So i asked if it was possible to do it in the aula, and after a little bit struggling with other teachers it was ok to do it – IN FRONT OF HALF THE SCHOOL!!!!O______O; that was not really expected…

And it was really short on time. When she told me that i was going to sing in front of everyone, and only one song, it was only 3 days until the performance…

and i hadn’t trained anything…

So she and i decided that it would be best to sing the one in Japanese that i chose since i am an exchange student. So after practicing about 30 minutes including everything, i stood in front of the whole high school – roughly 1000 people.

 

Please don’t scold me for dropping in tone in some places, cause you don’t want to know how it felt to stand up there with pressure of not knowing the text 100% in front of 1000 people !!O____O; I had a real hard time controlling my voice because of the nervousness…

Here is the lyrics for those of you who don’t understand Japanese;

TURN UP THE VOLUME REALLY MUCH!!

I have loved this song ever since i saw the movie and i would rewind and rewind the movie just to hear it again^^”!

 

Everything ended pretty well, i got flowers from the school which my best friend brought me on  to the stage. And even a tear fell…^^”

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DSC04202Not bad those flowers!!XD

———————————————————

Then two days later, i sang again. But this time not in front of half the school, but only in front of my class and two other classes, so about 100 people. So i was not nervous at all, which is also why the singing went so much better this time^^

This time i sang two songs, the remaining two songs from the 3 i decided to sing. But this was the ACTUAL music presentation^^ 

I sang Josh Grobans’ Believe from the child movie “The Polar Express”, which is a pretty hard song to sing, especially if you have only practiced about 30 minutes with the teacher…>___>;

(It’s really high AND low in tone…)

AND THE TEACHER PLAYED WRONG AGAIN ON THE PIANO!!!!XD SHE DID IT THE LAST TIME TOO…

OMG…i so missed the tone in the end…that sucks!!!

Well…done is done…^^”

When i sang i saw my friend sitting and just crying her out!!XD And when we listened to the recording once again in the classroom, she started crying again!!XD

———

The second song was the famous Hallelujah, i think that everybody knows it. It’s a really beautiful song, and it has somewhat been a dream for me to sing it in front of people some day.

This went best out of all the songs! unfortunately, Japanese people doesn’t get English, so the meaning of the song was somewhat ruined…—___—;

Here you go!

CAN YOU SPARE ME TEACHER!!!! LEARN THE SCORE WILL YA!!XD

Well that was it!^^ Really fun and i feel like i have made a great deed to everyone. Now there is no chance that they won’t remember me!!!XD

——————————–

The last P.E lesson i had with my “other” class, they did something really sweet for me. When the lesson in the classroom was over, the teacher told everyone to sit down, and to me to come up to the front. I came up to the front and the the teacher said that the class president had some words to say to me. Which was about;

“This 2 year that you have been with us has been really fun, and we will all miss you really much” then she came forward and gave me a big “card” with comments from the whole class and the teacher, and a printed photo that the teacher took at the last P.E lesson in the gym. On it said”THank you for a gret memory!” yeah, he actually spelled great wrong!XD He had also written something like;

“It was a really fun year together with you. I am really happy that you took P.E with my class. We will all miss you very much. The class is always in a good mood when you are there. Good luck with you studies in Sweden and i know for sure that we will meet again sometime. Take care”

I cried again when i saw this since it was from the teacher personally!!<3 i so love Matsumoto, he is the coolest, handsomest teacher ever!!!XD

DSC04205These are letters from my friends. The bear is a card i got from the 3rd years at the last art lesson!^^ So cute!! The two things under the bear are presents from my teachers^^!

DSC04206 I’m in the middle. Do you notice what letter everyone is doing with their hands? That’s right, T…for Tussan! T________T*sniffle*

When i had taken the things from the class president she said;

“Since you made us moved by your singing this Tuesday, we want to give you the same feeling, therefore everyone is now going to sing to you!”

I thought i was going to die!!  And the song…if i had known the lyrics before that, i guess i would have cried my heart out!

Here it is:

I would never have thought that i had so many good friends…T____T

——————–

And since it was the day before the last day in school, my homeroom teacher said that for my sake, “let’s take a photo!!!!” So we did!^^

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omg, i don’t want to know how it’s going to be tomorrow…the last day. I know that they will do something for me, but not what…

I got to prepare some tissue boxes…

That’s “all” for now! See ya!

 

On my way to hell…

Hi everyone!

Just want to say that i won´t update in a while since this week is the ultimate study week for me!

Why? Because i´m  taking a test that will determine how good i´ve been working on my Japanese these 10 months, and by that finishing all the Japanese Studying!!!O______O;

For the moment, i’m studying my ass of everyday, aprox. 5 hours a day, including going up at 5 in the morning to study one hour before eating breakfast and going to school…yes, i’m not being told to do this.

I just want to do everything i can since this is the reason i came here, not the test, but to do my best through the whole year.

And thanks to Japan Educational Exhanges and Services (JEES), the test has been made more difficult, starting from THIS year!!

Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) here i come!

This is really the ultimate hell…I have never studied as much as this before. But at least, when i come back to Sweden, i will then how hard i actually CAN study^^!

But as Winston Churchill said;

“When going through hell – KEEP GOING!!!”

And that’s what i’m going to do! HWAITING!!

See ya!

p.s I update when it’s over, if i survive…ds.

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