Jerii no bouken – Jerry's adventure

My adventures during my 5 month student exchange in Japan.

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Time flies when you’re having fun

Hi, I completely forgot about writing my blog so I will write a few posts about past events. The rest of September was filled with interesting things to do and see, I explored Fukuoka more and found many beautiful hidden places. I tasted a lot of great local foods and met many new friends and Fukuoka started to feel like home.

One weekend there was a jazz music festival in town, which I enjoyed to the fullest visiting as many stages and shows as possible. After the shows I got hungry and tried eating in a Japanese food stall called yatai for the first time. Other activities I did outside studying were visiting shrines, taking a swim in the Japan Sea and visiting a local flea market event. I bumped into a Japanese motorcycle meetup with a friend and we chatted with the people there for a while which was really interesting. One night in the city center me and my friend got interviewed for a TV program for the second time, a funny coincidence.

I started meeting Japanese friends more than my international student friends, which boosted my Japanese speaking skills to whole new heights. I finally started to feel like I knew how to get by with my Japanese even though it wasn’t even close to being perfect. At school my grades were getting better as well even though grammar never was my strong point. These weeks were very exciting and I was clearly starting to settle in.

Studies started

My, studies at Seinan Gakuin University have started and my Japanese skill is increasing rapidly. I’m learning so many new things I can’t even keep count of all of them. Every week flies by so quickly and I’m having a ton of fun. I’ve explored more of the city now and it’s starting to feel like home.

Every weekend I drink and hang out with my new friends and get into some of the weirdest situations, thanks to my Japanese that isn’t that good yet. I’ve stumbled upon a motorcycle meeting in  the middle of the night, partied until morning with a 43 year old Japanese businessman and many more peculiar situations. Every experience has been very fun and enlightening, but there is always a bit of frustration with the language. I am improving every day, it feels exciting but I always hope to learn more and learn faster.

I made a trip to Kumamoto prefecture to enjoy looking at the Japanese countryside and it absolutely blew me away. The people outside the city are so helpful, kind and interesting that it was hard to leave. I traveled alone and got by only using Japanese. It was very interesting to talk to the locals while having delicious and very affordable local food. In Kumamoto I visited a volcano and stayed for 2 nights at a local family’s house and I really hope to go back one day.

I’ll try to keep posting more in the coming weeks but for now, It’s back to studying for me!

-Jerry

Takachiho Gorge

First weeks in Japan

Hello! I came to Japan almost two weeks ago and now my orientation at Seinan Gakuin University has started. I first flew in to Osaka Kansai International Airport and started my adventure as a confused but excited traveler. Immediately after exiting the customs I was interviewed for a Japanese TV show, which really caught me by surprise. After figuring out the local public transport system I slowly made my way to my first accommodation in Osaka. I spent four amazing days in Osaka meeting my Japanese friends and partying and the time to leave came very quickly. The day of my departure from Osaka I went to the train station to buy a Seishun 18 ticket which allowed me to travel by local and rapid trains on five days for very cheap. I got my ticket and on very slow trains I made my way to Hiroshima where my Couchsurfing host was waiting.  I spent three nights in Higashi-Hiroshima and made a daytrip to Miyajima island and Hiroshima city. In every city I visited there was so much to see that in such a short time it was impossible to go and see everything. After Hiroshima I made my way to Oita, where I spent three nights with the most friendly people on planet earth. My hosts in Oita were a man originally from Alaska and his Japanese wife. They had a beautiful house in the forest near the city and we did some crazy things, like swimming under a waterfall. From Oita I visited the famous hot spring town of Beppu and also Yufuin where I got to experience a Japanese summer festival in all of it’s crazy glory. Oita was so nice that I would have hoped to stay there longer, but my arrival date for my dorm in Fukuoka arrived and I had to get back on the trains again. After 10 fun days traveling around Japan and trying all the tasty foods I arrived at my dorm, unpacked my things and without resting went out to explore the surroundings. The past few days have been full of getting to know new people, hanging out with said new people and going to orientation events. I will write more about my time here after the real classes start.

 

-JerryYufuin