Lifeupdate: I went to Hong Kong over Golden Week and it was wonderfullllllllllllll.

It unfortunately rained almost the entire time but I still got to do many fun things and experience lots of HK charm.  Hope I can go back some day and see it all again in the sun.

In case you didn’t know, it’s been really hot in Japan lately— around 90 degrees all week! 

Anyway, here are some things I did this past week:

iPhone!:  Went to SoftBank with my supervisor.  Nothing special really, except I had to pay for the phone in full because I didn’t have some Japanese document.  Ouch!

Junior High school visit:  My supervisor and I went to the JHS I will be teaching at so I could introduce myself to the staff.  Well, I got super nervous and blew my introduction (in Japanese).  Embarassing -_-‘

Kindergarten visit:  I went to the kindergarten for a half day to play with the kids in the river and generally hang out.  One little girl was scared of me and started crying when I tried to talk to her.  The kids were soooo cute though!  I can’t wait to go back.

Local TV station:  filmed a self introduction to be aired on the local news (probably over and over, considering they’re still playing clips from the previous ALT weeks after she left…eek!).  After we recorded it, a couple of the people who worked at the TV station wanted me to stay and hang out so they could practice English.  We went over some scenarios like going through customs and making a reservation at a restaurant.  It was fun ^^

Raided the old ALT house:  A couple of my coworkers and I went to the house formerly used by the ALTs in my town…and well…it was a mess!  However, there was a good amount of stuff I took back with me like some cooking pots and shelves.

Maebashi Fireworks:  Met up with my friend Hayami in Maebashi to see the fireworks and go to the festival!  I ate a buttery baked potato, shaved ice, and a chocolate covered banana.  Mmmm!

Village library:  Went to the small village library with a coworker.  There aren’t many books, but there are definitely enough to keep me busy for a while.

I also found 100% buckwheat soba this week! Yayyy

I was basically at the office all week Just studying Japanese and trying to keep busy.  One afternoon a coworker, who is in charge of school lunches, spend some time showing me pictures of different school lunches and explaining each one (one for every day of the month).  It was kind of cute…I was thinking like…”wow, this woman really likes school lunch!”  She seems very proud of and happy with her job, and I think that’s kind of great.

I also ran into another foreigner in the supermarket this week.  He was middle aged and came up to talk to me.  He talked about his career teaching musicology or something.  He was nice, and everything he was talking about was interesting, but he was talking to me in the hot hot hot parking lot and I really just wanted to return to my air conditioned car… 

Aaaaaand let’s see.  There was a really great TV show on about “beautiful overeating ladies.”  Basically a 2 day long eating contest between these four young, beautiful women who can shovel down more food that I can ever dream of.  Now that’s entertainment.  (Search “oogui” on YouTube if you’re interested)

This week is my village’s festival on the 14th and 15th, and I have more ALT orientation on the 15th and 16th in Maebashi.  Hopefully then I will FINALLY be able to go to karaoke!  It’s been so long!  I’m so excited!

Anyway that’s about it for my past week.  Until next time!

constardpudding said: Woooowww really ESID! I pay 52,000 per month on rent, 25,000 for car (includes shaken, insurance, wheel and oil changes, etc.), and other miscellaneous items. I'm jealous but at the same time I'm in the second biggest city in Akita so I guess I can't complain. You're also so close to Tokyo. You've gotta visit the Capcom bar in Shinjuku and the Ghibli Museum in Kichijoji!

Oh I will ^^ hopefully…. while Tokyo is pretty close, it still takes about 3 hours by regular train, 2 by shinkansen (expensive x_x) and 2 by car (yeaaaah not doing that haha)

constardpudding said: Your apartment is huuuuuge!! How much do you pay a month? Mine is pretty small compared to yours I guess.

I only pay ¥10,000 a month for rent :x Then my car is ¥18,000 a month (includes shaken, snow tires, routine maintenance), and then there’s utilities for my place but that varies.

I know my rent is crazy cheap but I also live in the suuuuuuuper inaka.  No conbini or train station for 15 minutes by car.

It has been about one week since I flew out of the US.  Since then a lot has happened!  Let’s see if I can summarize…

7/28 - Our flight was delayed almost 6 hours, so instead of arriving in Tokyo in the the afternoon, we arrived about 11 at night Tokyo time.  Straight to sleep!

7/29 - Orientation all day (the non-mandatory seminars were not very useful or interesting, unfortunately).  After orientation I ventured out by myself (new friends were too sleepy) to go see the full scale Gundam in Odaiba.  Needless to day, it was awesome and totally worth it.

7/30 - More orientation, this time the seminars were a little more useful (more stuff actually about teaching methods).  Once again at night I ventured out to Shibuya for a much-needed trip to Mandarake and Animate (anime/manga goods stores).

7/31 - Off to our prefectures!  We met our contracting organizations in Gunma’s capital,  Maebashi City.  Next,  the people from my village brought me to my new home (but not without a quick trip to Gusto for parfaits…haha).  That day is kind of a blur, but we went out for sushi and sake with a couple people from the village board of education.  It was of course delicious, but I was so exhausted and overheated at that point that my brain was having some trouble with both enjoying myself and not sucking at Japanese.

8/1 - Paperwork, paperwork paperwork.  Also a bit of shopping.  Mostly paperwork.

8/2 - More paperwork, more shopping, and I got my car!  I also went to Japanese Denny’s for the first time.  The only thing that was gluten free on the menu was this pesto ham rice salad thing.  It was actually really delicious.  Dessert was a matcha/red bean/vanilla parfait.  I basically died and went to heaven.  It was so good.

8/3 - Drove to the station 15 minutes away and checked out the Takasaki festival.  Just your average festival, but it was so hot I could feel the sweat streaming down by back so I left.  The drive and the train ride were really pretty.  I also found an Animate in Takasaki!  Yayyyy

8/4 - Today I went for a run and did my laundry.  That’s it!  Haha

In general…  everyone here is really nice and the village is really peaceful.  There are slightly more urban places relatively close so I think I can be happy here with that balance.

Hopefully next week things will calm down and I can get back into running and my studying.  I’ll keep y’all updated!

I was going to try to switch over to Blogspot completely, but I guess it won’t kill me to just paste my entry here too.

Well all, it’s about 2 weeks until I depart.

I’ve learned a lot about my living situation and have spoken with people from my town’s board of education, but I think I’ll just save those details for when they come up in future weeks.  For now, here’s a quick list of some of my goals while I’m in Japan.

  1. Go to Comiket
  2. Hiking and onsens galore in Gunma
  3. Climb Mount Fuji
  4. Learn shamisen
  5. Learn to make soba
  6. Pass JLPT N2 (December) and N1 (July)
  7. Visit… 
  • Nikko
  • Nara 
  • Nagano (Jigokudani Monkey Park!)
  • Tokyo (Odaiba, Sky Tree),
  • Kamakura (Great Buddha) 
  • Saitama (railway museum!) 
  • Hiroshima
  • Hokkaido (snow festival)
  • Nagoya (of course)
  • Taiwan with Takeshi

I’ll surely be adding to this, but that’s it for now!


photo by 雨月 ametsuki(kagiananoniwa)



photo by 雨月 ametsuki(kagiananoniwa)

(via ginzuna)

Quick update on my Blogger~ ^^