First day of school was very interesting. We got to school by car, Ryu’s dad drove us to the train station and we trained to Chigasaki. We met up with Yu, Kantaro along the way. They are Ryu’s good friend. We then bussed from Chigasaki station to Jishukan. On the fifth floor, was our classroom.
Walking in to the classroom, i just see everyone staring at me. I didn’t really care much, that they were all staring at me, it’s just the thought that are they staring at me because they like me or that they dislike me. Mitsuki (one of my friends now) approached me and introduced himself to me. He was very kind. He was really interested in my likes and dislikes and there are a lot of things we can relate and talk about. Other boys started coming over, and after a few minutes, everyone ended up crowding over me. It felt great, that everyone was interested in me. There were a lot of students that introduced themselves to me. It's also hard to keep track of their names because i met so many students, and it’s hard to remember which names go with the right faces. Most times I feel bad that i can’t remember their names.
Me and the other girls were introduced to the school and got taken on a school tour. As i walked around the school, there were a lot of students and teachers coming over to meet me. At this point, i felt pretty famous! Being famous is one of my biggest goals, so it feels good to get a glimpse of that. The school is very big. There are a lot of rooms for students, there are different floors, for different grades, for example. Grade 1 is on the 1st floor, etc.
As my first day went past, I had made a lot of friends, and got familiar with the school, on my way back home, we took a bus to the train station and trained back to our station, where I was picked up and taken home.
Again, I would like to thank you for reading and the support!
My homestay family is very welcoming and kind. When I arrived at jishukan my homestay family was there. I was excited and a bit nervous just because i wouldn’t know how to communicate effectively with them. It turned out, Ryunosuke (my buddy) knew how to speak a bit of english. He made communication 2x easier for me because he could translate most of the words.
Ryu’s mum is very kind and helpful. She does everything she can to make sure that i'm alright. Ryu's father is very kind and very curious about our culture. Ryu has 2 younger brothers one is 5 years old. He is very energetic and funny. The other is shy but i’ll get to know him soon! Ryu himself is kind and helpful. He tries his best to translate words that i can't understand. I am very grateful to them for making me feel welcome and for being very helpful.
I am also very thankful to Aorere and Novotel for blessing me with this opportunity to experience Japan! Thank you!
Kamakura is a famous spot on Japan where there are a lot of shrines and statues of Buddha. Ono sensei took our group over to Kamakura to have a look. It was very interesting to see the different buildings, shrines, nature, and statues.
On our way to the shrines, we came across the Torii gate, which is the gate that you enter to get to the shrines. Through the gate was a long walk to actually get to the shrine, but it was surrounded by nice trees.
Before going up into the shrines, We had to wash our hands with a certain set of instructions. It was fairly easy, mostly because i already learnt what we needed to do, but Ono sensei reminded us what to do.
Entering the shrines where a lot of people were praying, There were more set of instructions that we needed to follow. First, we needed to give offering, which is throwing a coin into a box. I gave 1 yen because i had too much 1 yens in my wallet, and because the 1 yen was very light and plastic, when i threw the coin, the coin barely made it into the box. After throwing the coin, we had to bow twice, clap twice, pray for a couple seconds, then bow again.
After looking around the place, we saw a lot of nice scenery and nature. Everything were just “in the right places” and it was nice to look at.
After that we went to see the giant Buddha statue. We were able to go in the statue, but all that was inside was the statues history.
My trip to Kamakura was again, very interesting and different to what i’ve seen. I enjoyed it! Thank you to the people who made this happen!
Although I was very excited, it hadn't hit me yet, that I was going to Japan. I was curious about all the things that will happen on our trip. The bag limit was 23kgs, luckily my bag was under the limit. After checking our bags in, we went upstairs to say our goodbyes to our families, our goodbyes were said and it was off to the plane.
Luckily, i had window seat so it was very easy and nice to get videos of the takeoff. Next to me was Tina and Gabby, the rest were seated in the middle. I had a fun experience on the plane basically because i got to see the others reaction to the flight and having funny chats. I had salmon and beef casserole on the plane, it was very nice.
As a long 12 hours went past, it felt good to get out of the plane, except it was very humid and hot. After grabbing our bags and getting through customs we caught a couple trains and walked up a couple stairs with 20+kg bags. After a couple train stops and stairs, we finally reached “our airbnb" only to be greeted with an old man saying “NANI?!?” in confusion 😂. The place wasn’t “the place". We made a wrong turn and ended up at a motel type place. After a lot of detective work, we found the place to also be greeted with a pinned lock. The owner sent us the pin. It was about 9pm and about 20 mins later of trying to get the pin open, because it just wouldnt open, we telling the owner that we needed some help, she barely communicated and when she did, she realised he gave the wrong pin. Us being frustrated already, we got into the house finding that it was barely anything like the pictures. It was very tight. We just dealt with it and bought dinner. I had a shower, chilled out for a second to take in what just happened, and went to sleep. That was the end of my hectic day on my way to Japan. Thank you for reading!
Step aside, VIP coming through
Going to dinner at Novotel was an interesting experience. On the way there, i already had high expectations, i knew it was a fancy and expensive place. When we got there, we got directed to a table that was on its own side, and was separated from public tables. At that moment, i felt like a VIP! We sat at this huge table that was separated from the others and a wall between us. The table was so big that sometimes I couldn’t hear what the others were talking about on the other side! There were some things that i experienced for the first time, like placing a handkerchief on my lap, and washing my hands in a bowl. The food was very nice and got me very full. I’m very thankful to the people who prepared the food, to Mr Ali, Mr Pierce, and Novotel for letting us experience these activities.
During term 2, I've been going to Japanese language classes, were we obviously learn the Japanese language. In my opinion, the language is really complicated to learn, for example , there are different ways of counting. Counting numbers, people, money, there are different ways of saying these. Numbers for example is like ichi, ni, san, whereas counting people is hitori, futari, sannin. So learning them was a bit confusing. Besides those, learning a couple phrases wasn't as hard as remembering the numbers. Japanese class was very interesting as i learnt about Japanese customs.
We also had exchange prep were Mr Ali would explain the details of what would be happening while we’re there. The information that I heard was also interesting. I got to talk to my partner, his name is Ryunosuke. He likes to play baseball and basketball, and also exercise. He also walks/bikes to the train, catches the train, then buses to school, despite having to get up early, I’m excited to bike or walk early in the morning, it would be really refreshing. I’ll make sure to talk about my experience with that. I’m looking forward to meeting his family which is, his dad, mum, and 2 brothers.
As the lessons go by, the more exciting it gets to go to Japan. Hopefully I will remember to blog all my experiences in Japan! Thank you for reading!s