Time is moving faster than expected. It felt serial packing my bags and walking out of my empty room. It still feels like I just got here. Dragging my heavy bag down the stairs and saying goodbye to Junnas brother was difficult. Saying I cried a little would be an understatement. I didn't have to say goodbye to my host mother just yet as I'd be seeing her later on at my farewell ceremony.
Throughout the school day, we made thank you letters to gift to our buddies at the farewell ceremony. I nearly cried while writing mine. Also throughout the day, we were suddenly surprised by Mr Ali who came back ready to take us home.
Then the time came for the farewell ceremony and honestly, I'd been dreading this all day. Not just because of the goodbyes but also because the Aorere students have to sing he honore in front of everyone and I'm doing a goodbye speech in Japanese. However, when the time came I think we all did ok...right? Not long after that, I'm hugging Junna for the last time while my bag is being placed on the bus.
Soon later we were in Tokyo. Even though my tears were still drying, I started to feel really excited. I knew that soon I'd be sleeping in a capsule hotel, which is something I've always wanted to try. Booking into the hotel was...interesting. I don't know if it was our heavy bags, but we got stuck in an elevator while being around the top floor. I thought I was going to die. Although, after being saved by a very friendly man, who couldn't speak much English, we made it to the capsules. I loved staying here as it was so cosy and clean.
Later on, we were all starving so we had showers and headed out. We went to a popular halal restaurant were we had to wait outside for 1 hour before going in. This was my first time eating halal meat and honestly, I couldn't taste the difference. But overall, I really enjoyed my last dinner in Japan.
In Japan, karaoke is very popular. To see why it's so popular we decided to try it out for ourselves. I'm not much of a singer but I enjoyed watching the other Aorere students and Ali sensei sing... or just scream.
The next day we went to see the biggest lantern in the world. Here I bought more souvenirs for my family. I'm happy with the things I bought. It wasn't until I was on the plane coming back to New Zealand when I realised that I didn't get anything for myself. But its ok, as the memories I made are better than any gift.
Seeing New Zealand from the plane was bittersweet but I was excited to talk to my family about the experience. Everyone parents were waiting at arrivals and when I saw my dad I was so relieved and happy. Going home and seeing my room was when it hit me that I was actually home.
Even though I will miss my Japanese family very much, I'm happy to be home...kind of.
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Konnichiwa my name is Tina. I am a year 13 at Aorere College and have been selected to travel to Kanagawa, Japan as an exchange student. Throughout this trip I will blog my experiences everyday. I hope you join me as I travel Japan :)