9. Going to an island (29/9/2019)

Monday

It was another day off from school as Japan had another national holiday, so I decided to sleep in a bit again. I decided to go on a walk to see some shrines in the city center area, and in the evening I watched an old b&w Japanese film called Rashomon for my cinema class. It was very different to western films I’ve seen, but it was pretty interesting.

Tuesday

In cinema class we talked about the movie we just had watched and we did our analysis for it. This class is probably one of the most interesting ones, even though it takes a lot of time from my week. After classes I went to the gym again, didn’t get weird looks anymore haha. The school does have sport clubs and some full-year students have joined them, but personally I can’t join the ones I’m interested in because I’m here such short amount of time. Or they require attendance for every practice, which can be held 4 times a week or more. Going to the gym has been really fun though, the school has a good, free gym.

Wednesday

Today was a really full day, from 9-17, and we had a big vocab quiz on Japanese. It was a really tiring school day so I decided to take a nap, which ended up being a couple of hours haha. Didn’t have much time to do else as I started preparing for the next day. I did talk with some friends from home on Whatsapp for a few hours, which was really nice.

Thursday

After my short day of school I went shopping and to a kaitensushi in Tenjin with a Japanese student, who had been on exchange in JAMK from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019. We had a lot of fun talking about the differences and similarities between Finnish and Japanese cultures, surprisingly there are a lot of similarities, in our opinion. Maybe that’s why she didn’t really have a culture shock in Finland, she really enjoyed her time there and wants to come back. We spent a lot of time talking about everything in the kaitensushi restaurant, and I tried conger eel and fried cartilage there. I’ve been trying to eat adventurously, and I think I’ve succeeded pretty well! The texture of the cartilage was a bit nasty though.

Friday

Today we had some Japanese students join our Japanese class to practice the language with us. Well, we practiced our Japanese skills with them. It came apparent that some of the students really thought I was American for some reason. Us exchange students were paired up and I was with one American girl and our Japanese partner asked where in America are we from! The next one we talked to also assumed I was American, we found it to be really funny. And it wasn’t really the first time this has happened, people from the States have also thought that. Pretty weird haha. But it was really helpful to practice our speaking with them, it was a lot of fun.

Saturday

Early in the morning me, Ying and a couple of Japanese girls went off to Nokonoshima Island, which is pretty close to us. We got there by a ferry and a bus took us on top of the mountain. Usually in the spring and early August there’s a lot of blooming flowers, but as the autumn is approaching there wasn’t a huge amount of them, even though the weather is still crazy hot. There was still lots to see, pretty cafés, a small zoo, swings and beautiful scenery. We ended up staying there until late evening, after arriving back to shore we went to have some burgers. The fast food here is so different too, burgers and pizza are nothing like back home. They’re pretty good though.

Sunday

After doing my weekly groceries I watched another film (Ugetsu) for the cinema class. This was in my opinion way better than the one before. After I watched it and made an analysis of the films I went on a small walk around the neighborhood again. And now around 11pm I’m writing this blog. It was a pretty tough week physically, I walk a lot during the days when going to places and when I exercise, so I’ve noticed that I’m very tired during the days. Other exchange students have noticed this too, I did walk a lot back home but now I have so many places to see so my step counter easily reaches 10,000 steps everyday. But I’ve gotten more time now to relax and take naps, which is good.

Mata raishuu! See you next week!

– Emma