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Showing posts from May, 2014

The Sun'll Come Out...

Since we arrived in Kanazawa bright and early in the morning (and mostly awake, no guarantees on THAT accord), Ryo and I had an entire day to explore the city. Ryo's friend who goes to Kanazawa University and has a car picked us up from the station and drove us to his apartment, where we dropped off luggage before taking a bus back to the main part of the city. It was a scorching 90 degrees without a cloud in sight, so after grabbing a quick bite at Starbucks of COURSE we decided to do the outdoor activities. We walked a good mile and a half from the Starbucks to Kanazawa Castle and the neighboring Kenrokuen Garden, which is one of the "three great gardens" in Japan.

Kanazawa Castle is built up on a hill and according to my pamphlet dates back to 1546. Apparently it also functioned as the campus for Kanzawa University until 1995--wouldn't THAT have been an inspiring place to study! The grounds were mostly deserted, except for a group of women sitting under some trees…

That School Life

(These past two days have been a whirlwind; here's part 1 of 2).

After spending the night in the original Sayama apartment, I took a train to my old high school. I surprised myself by remembering the twenty-minute route from Tanashi station to the high school itself. I guess things like that get ingrained in your body when you do them everyday for six months. Either way, I didn't get lost like my host mother feared.

When I arrived I met up with some of my old teachers, and we went to the cafeteria together to eat lunch. Everyone was surprised that I'd A. bothered to return, and B. could still speak Japanese with some degree of proficiency.  I was again oggled at by the students, who also seem to assume I don't understand them when they say "look at that girl over there etc etc etc". But it does wonders for my ego.



Then in the afternoon I went with my host mom to see Ryo's university, Sophia University. It specializes in international relations, so it has …

Days 1 and 2: The Battle of the Jet Lag

Yesterday after a grueling 13 hour flight (and I mean it; that was probably the longest flight straight I've ever taken without a layover SOMEWHERE) I landed at Narita Airport and after collecting my belongings and safely making it out of the immigration/customs nightmare I was instantly cornered (yeah that's the right word) by three people who were doing TV interviews. So I, looking absolutely gorgeous after my flight, answered some questions (in Japanese, surprising them) about why I was coming to Japan and what I liked about it yadda yadda. So. Maybe I'll see myself on TV.

Eventually I was collected by Ryo and made the 1.5 hour trip from the airport to their second apartment, which they bought in downtown Tokyo instead of Sayama. It's a super convenient location: literally two minutes from the train station, restaurants, shops, library, and it's right next to a very extensive, historic park called Rikugien.

We went out for dinner at a Spanish restaurant. Authent…

And you thought this blog was dead...

Hello my friends, family, and folks of the internet. Once again, こんにちは! I am returning to Japan after two and a half years for the summer through a program called Princeton in Ishikawa. (What is Princeton in Ishikawa, or PII for short? Glad you should ask. Kindly follow this link for more information: http://www.princeton.edu/pii/index.xml ) I'll be learning an academic year of Japanese in eight weeks and hopefully making some new friends. Those of you who know me should find it no surprise that I'm trying to go back to Japan, to the extent that I'd agree to suffer school in the summer. The things I do for love of a language/food/culture/country I tell ya...

This is just a small note to remind you that this blog is ALIVEEEE. Expect more posts as soon as the action begins, so put this on your bookmarks page and be prepared to be amazed...

All the best,
Claire