7. Exploring the culture (15/9/2019)


I filled out my Learning Agreement’s “During” section and sent it forward and got my courses approved. A lot of weight dropped from my shoulders, it was causing some stress as I had to remove a course that would’ve helped my studies back home, but you have to be in Intermediate or Advanced Japanese level to attend so there was no way that I could’ve done that. But I’ll figure something out after my exchange, I will still have at least a full-year of studies left.

On Monday evening I was talking to many of my friends and relatives back home. I haven’t had that much free-time to do so, but it was really nice. It seems people back home are more worried about the typhoons than me haha. There was another one in Tokyo area on 8th and 9th, but I’ve heard that it’s not common, this unusally long heatwave might be the cause of them.


My first(and only) class started at 15:10 so I had a great opportunity to sleep in! After that I joined other students again to play some beach volleyball. Even though the weather is so humid, it’s really fun to play at the beach while the sun is setting. We usually play until it gets dark, so around 18-19. At night I just studied for a Japanese test. The beginning level is still so easy for me, but I’ve enjoyed revising the stuff I know.


Definitely one of the days I’ve felt extremely tired, well of course my day is from 9:00-16:40.  I mean, not too bad but with the heat and all it’s more exhausting. After school I went to buy better gym clothing, as I will start going to the school’s gym next week. But yeah, that was pretty much it, I visited the beach again so here’s some pictures of it haha.


My Japanese friend Chihiro came to visit my apartment after school after we bought some snacks from the store. We bought some weird stuff, but it was fun trying things I wouldn’t normally buy or try. We talked for so many hours that she accidentally missed her doctor’s appointment haha. She was luckily able to reschedule it pretty quickly. The rest of my evening I talked with my friends at the dormy at dinner. Culture shock is still a thing for some of them, but they felt happy that we can openly talk about stuff. I believe they’re going to be alright.


My tutor Chika met me after my classes to have some lunch at the “Japanese Cafeteria”. So there’s two cafeterias at the school, one is mostly popular with exchange students and the other one is always filled with just Japanese students. They have less options on the menu, but the food was really good. We went together to Tenjin to do some shopping, as I really wanted to find some new shirts and shoes. I did find one pair of both, the clothing (especially shoes) fit me so much better here! Of course there are size differences, in Europe size small can be a medium or large here and so on.

We had some coffee and tea in the beginning, and after we were done, we went to a kaitensushi restaurant (conveyor belt sushi). Even though it was cheap, the quality of the fish was so much better than what I’ve experienced! I did try natto (fermented soy beans) there, and what a surprise, it was disgusting. But at least I tried! Eel was actually really good, but I really liked the raw tuna and salmon.


I woke up to a feverish feeling and I guess I caught a cold somehow. So most of my day I just stayed in my apartment watching TV shows and such. So yeah, nothing much to share about this day haha.


I was still feeling pretty crappy in the morning and afternoon, but I really wanted to go out to experience the festivals that were happening this weekend. The festival was quite far away from where I live, I went there with friends from the I-house. The event was so crouded! But the location was so pretty and the smell of food from food stands were amazing. We tried some frozen fruits and skewered beef, it was all so delicious. We came back to our dormies pretty late so before that we stopped by the Japanese burger place called Mos Burger. I think my feverish feeling has gone down a lot, but I still did feel quite sick at the festival.


– Emma