２０１６年１月１２日 ➖ ２０１６年１月１７日
Total Spent this Week: 9,335 yen
Hello everyone! I can't believe it's already Sunday here in Japan! I experienced my first 'week' of Study Abroad (more like 5 days) and so far it's been an interesting experience. I'm still really scared and excited for everything that will come to me during these next 5 months, so without further ado here's how my first week went! Enjoy!
Day 0 - Jan 12 | Departure and Arrival
I left my beautiful island of O'ahu on January 11, 2016 at around 2:00pm. The plane ride was pretty decent. I ended up watching 4 and 1/2 movies: Her, Everything Before Us, Aladdin, The Scorch Trials, and 1/2 of Tangled, before we landed into Kansai International Airport (KIX). It was already 8:00pm on January 12th when I arrived and there was an incredible wait time going through customs. >< By the time I got to the Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport, it was 9:30pm.
Hotel Nikko is the only hotel in KIX. I was supposed to meet my Study Abroad program coordinators on the 13th between 3 and 5pm but since I couldn't book any flights that landed during that time, I had an extra night to myself before I met with the others. I would definitely recommend Hotel Nikko. The single rooms are super spacious, and it was just nice to relax and unwind from a long flight.
My first purchase in Japan ended up being at the Lawson's store right outside Hotel Nikko. I was slightly hungry from the flight, so I bought some onigiri and karamucho hot chili sticks. I knew I wasn't going to wake up in time for an actual breakfast, so I also bought some strawberry + margarine bread and my favorite Milk Tea~ I wasn't able to bring my toothpaste and face wash, so I bought those essentials as well from Lawson's. After eating, showering, social media-ing, and blogging, I finally went to sleep at around 3:00am.
Day 1 - Jan 13 | Meeting with the CET Osaka Study Abroad Program
Spent: 2070 yen
I'm a part of the Study Abroad program called, CET Intensive Japanese Language and Cultural Studies in Osaka Japan, CET Osaka for short. It is a small academically rigorous 4 and 1/2 month program that allows students to be immersed completely into the foreign language. You're paired with a Japanese roommate who knows Osaka like the back of their hand, and you're placed into a Japanese Language course at Osaka Gakuin University (OGU) that challenges and teaches you the Japanese you'll need to survive in the country.
At 3:00pm I met with one of the staff members and 2 other CET students. Because the bus to OGU was scheduled to come at 3:50pm, the girls and I went up to the 3rd floor of KIX and grabbed a quick bite of kaarage curry. We went back down to the 1st floor and I met 2 other CET members before we went outside and purchased a 2050 yen ticket to Hankyu Ibaraki station. The bus ride was about 70 minutes, from KIX to Hankyu station.
Once we reached Hankyu Ibaraki, we then proceeded to purchase a 190 yen ticket to Hankyu Shoujyaku Station, where OGU is located.
The train stations in Japan has always been my favorite because they are always on time! The ride to Hankyu Shoujyaku was about 5 minutes. Once we got off, we then proceeded to walk about 5 minutes until we got to OGU. There we signed a few papers and waited until our Japanese roommate came to pick us up!
Shihori is the name of my roomie! She's super beautiful! You'll see a picture of her as you read on! The walk to our apartment from the school takes about another 5 minutes. I like how everything is in walking distant. It's seriously perfect.
Here is the apartment I am staying in during my time here at CET! I find it to be super cozy. It has a kitchen, a small bathroom and shower, a closet and a small dining table. Because it's currently winter, I'm freezing all day long, but hopefully I'll get used to it. :)
Selfie with my college friend Natsuko who is also in the CET program with me! She came a bit later than me because she missed the 3:50pm bus to Hankyu Ibaraki Station!
When it was around 8:00pm and after everyone in the CET program has settled into their apartments, the people in my apartment and the people who lived close to my apartment all gathered in Shihori and I's room (we are on the first floor, so it's the most convenient), and we had a little pizza welcoming party! It was rather strange to see a lot of people I don't know gathered in my room, but eh. It was okay!
By the time the pizza party was over, it was around 10:00pm. I was exhausted after hauling my suitcases all around and being surrounded by a lot of noisiness, but some of the girls wanted to go to onsen nearby to bathe and relax. I never pass an onsen gathering, so me and around 8 other girls went and bathed at the onsen.
It was ladies night, so it was only 600 yen to bathe there. I really enjoyed myself and it was incredibly relaxing after the long day I had. We went back to our rooms after and I knocked out as soon as my head hit my pillow.
Day 2 - Jan 14 | Orientation Day
Spent: 977 yen
We had an entire day full of orientation. The first thing on the list was Language placement testing. Now, I've taken Japanese for about 2 and 1/2 years, but honestly my Japanese is really bad. I ended up leaving most of the placement test blank so I got into Japanese 213. The class uses Genki 2 (A Japanese Language workbook), which I already learned during my Sophomore Year in college, so I think I'll be okay in this class. :) After the placement testing, we had orientations galore. By the time it was lunch we were all exhausted.
For lunch we ate here. The food was okay. I definitely chose the wrong Japanese food to try out. I had some sort of teriyaki-like fish, and I think tiny, sweet anchovies mixed with onions...Yeah...what was I thinking? I ate everything though and we then went back for even more orientations and a short ice-breaker activity with the CET students and their Japanese roommates.
By the time it was 6:00pm, Natsuko and I were hungry. So we asked a few other students if they'd want to eat dinner with us. We ended up wandering around our neighborhood until we stumbled across a tiny mama and papa restaurant.
A super tiny restaurant, but the owners were old and super nice. I ordered the tonkatsu set and it had got to be one of the most delicious tonkatsu I have ever had. Just...so good. I would definitely go back there again!
Once we were done eating, we stopped by the conbini to pick up some breakfast for tomorrow and we went back to our apartments and I once again crashed after a long day. xD
Day 3 - Jan 15 | First Day of Class, Welcome Dinner
Spent: 4244 yen
By the time it was lunch time, my class was done for the day. Because we had nothing else to do, me and Rachel decided to find the cafeteria at OGU to see what kind of food they offered for lunch.
OGU campus is quite beautiful. I just love the brick walls and how clean everything is~ I can't wait to explore more of this campus as it gets warmer.
The lunch at OGU however was okay. Nothing special, mainly deep fried food. Rachel and I weren't in the mood for that though so we ended up buying lunch from their on campus conbini. This sandwich ended up being really good!
We had nothing to do, so we ended up taking a long walk around campus and finally went back to our apartment. Both of us wanted to go to the Super Market and the drug store to buy some living essentials we forgot at home, so we agreed to meet up at 4:30pm to buy such items. I ended up buying shampoo, conditioner, body soap, breakfast granola bars, sanitary pads, and towels~
Our official Welcoming Ceremony for the entire program was to start at 5:30pm so after dropping off our items, we walked to the JR train station and bought a 120 yen ticket to Suita.
The last picture is me and my roommate Shihori! :D (Excuse myself by the way...It's been really cold so I haven't had the desire to do my makeup D:)
The Welcome Party was pretty good. The food was definitely amazing. I loved everything and I ate everything~ It was however really loud. I'm definitely not used to loud dinners, so I didn't really talk that much to anyone. :\
I ended the night by going to the Hyaku Yen store and crashing back at my apartment. Pretty much everyone else went to a drinking party after the dinner. Yeah...I'm boring. xD
Day 4 - Jan 16 | Bowling at Round 1
Spent: 980 yen
Bowling at Round 1 ended up being pretty cool! I actually can't remember the last time I went bowling, so it was nice to experience it again. We did 3 rounds of bowling. I scored a 96, 53, and 77...Yeah...I know I'm bad. xD Because dinner wasn't provided for this event, Natsuko and I were starving by the time the 3 rounds finished, so we caved and ate at McDonald's. Because I was so hungry it was delicious! Round 1 ended up giving us free tokens to spend, so we got to play some crane games. I won a small little Hello Kitty~ :)
We got back to our homes at around 10:00pm and after taking a nice hot shower, I curled up in my bed and fell asleep~
Day 5 - Jan 17 | Umeda, Concert, Homework
Spent: 1064 yen
Because Rachel also didn't do anything on Saturday, she suggested we go to Umeda, which is I believe the closest, major city near us. It's a 20 minute train ride away and 220 yen from Shoujyaku to Umeda. I woke up at around 7:00am, had a movie skype date with the boo, and then left my apartment with Rachel at around 11:00am. We met up with our other CET classmate, Elena at Aikawa station. (I don't have a picture though of all of us though ><)
Rachel knew of a really delicious ramen place, so we got lost a little trying to find it. But eventually we found it and it ended up being incredibly delicious. At Ichiran Ramen, you use a ticket vending machine and choose what kind of ramen you want and if you want anything added to it and then you fill out a sheet on how you want your ramen to be made. It was super easy and the food came quickly. 10/10 would recommend!
We then walked to Hep 5, the famous department store in Umeda. I LOVED all the clothes that were in there, so I'm definitely going back, possibly on Tuesday, to buy some Winter clothes, since everything is currently on sale. ;)
After a few hours of browsing the 7-8 different floors, we stopped and shared a Matcha Azuka Bean parfait. It ended up tasting as good as it looks. :3
We wandered around a bit after, visited Yodobashi Camera, another famous electronic store in Umeda and finally took the train back to Shoujyaku.
My roommate had offered to take us to her boyfriend's band concert, so at 7:00pm, Natsuko and I accompanied Shihori and I got to experience a really awesome small concert!
If you follow my snapchat: @chocobunnii13 you can follow my many adventures while living and surviving in Japan!
But that's it for this week! Overall it was a good start to the rest of my life here. I'm still getting used to hearing Japanese 24/7 and trying to speak it continuously, so hopefully I'll get the hang of it. :)