Study Abroad in Osaka, Japan | Week Thirteen - Sixteen

2016年4月04日  ➖  2016年 5月01

I've calculated the remaining Study Abroad posts and good news! We only have 2 more! :D The month of April was full of studying and tests, so it was rather boring which is why I compiled it all into this one. I hope you enjoy! Because I am fitting an entiiiire month into a post, I apologize if it's just a stream of pictures~ They aren't in order by the way~ I just grouped similar pictures together. :) 

(warning: mosquito bites galore ahead!!! You've been warned)

So after our trip to Wakayama, I came back to my humble abode in Osaka wiiiiith....over 50 mosquito bites all over my body! D: Mainly on my left arm because I slept on my right side the night before. :( To this day, if I look reeeally closely, I can still see a couple of mosquito bite scares. Le sigh....I was just too delicious for them. 

Speaking of delicious~ I still continued to cook! I included a lot more egg in my diet. Especially raw egg! :O I really miss eating raw egg tbh. And don't worry, it's perfectly fine to eat raw egg in Japan, however in America...not so much >< Along with cooking, I did a lot of studying while eating. A mandatory end of the year project for my Study Abroad program was an Open House presentation. From the first week of classes, we had to pick a topic that we were interested in that we wanted to research. And at the end of the semester, present our findings to all the other classes as well as during at an Open House where anyone can attend and listen to our findings. Along with research, we had to interview 20+ Japanese people and go through surveys and interview questions regarding our topic. 

So, because I am obsessed with beauty, I did my project on 美し日本:髪を染める or The Beauty of Japan: Hair Dying. The overall question that I wanted to answer was "Why is hair dying so popular in Japan?" and "Why do Japanese girls dye their hair in the first place?" In interviews and surveys, I asked them when was the first time they dyed their hair? Not so surprisingly, most people dyed their hair after high school because in most elementary schools/middle schools, hair dying is not allowed. Many females answered that they dyed their hair because of magazines and tv actresses, and some even said American people and culture inspired their lighter hair. Another surprising answer was that their parents encouraged dying their hair because their parents thought the color would match them better than their natural hair color. 

The entire project was extremely fun and interesting to conduct. I was really afraid of the Open House presentation, but once I started talking to everyone, (mind you, all in Japanese!) I did a really good job conveying my results and getting the crowd involved as well by interviewing them as well! The presentation lasted for about 2 hours or so, but it really flew by! My mouth was literally dry by the time lunch time came~ I'm still incredibly proud of my presentation and that day is one of the only moments where I felt my Japanese improved~

Along with studying, I got to explore more and enjoy the falling of Sakura blossoms. Yeah...I know...they fell after a week or so~ The blossoms were still really pretty! And I enjoyed myself. I apologize for the different lightings by the way~ Most of them were taken on different days. :)

Along with studying and looking at the blossoms, I also enjoyed the night life of Osaka~ The picture above is the first time I finally went clubbing in Japan! Obviously we are almost near the end of my Study Abroad program, but Natsuko and I decided let's just live a little and hang out with the people from our program. We went to a club in Dotonburi, don't remember the name of this club, but it was okay. The music was alright, the club itself was just too small. It also felt weird because when you enter, there's just a hallway going to the 'dance floor' and a bunch of Japanese guys were just leaning on it, watching all the girls that walk by. *creeper alert*. But I don't regret hanging out with everyone. :) I haven't been spending a lot of time with the other students in our program, so I was glad that I got to spend at least one fun night with them all, without feeling too awkward and anti-social. xD

One of the memorable things that happened this month was my mom coming to visit! She and her two sisters decided to come in the middle of April. Because they weren't into visiting temples in Kyoto, or popular sites in Osaka such as Osaka Castle, I decided, why not go to Universal Studios of Japan? It was a really fun trip and our first time visiting. We also got to see the Harry Potter section! So cool! I'd go into detail about what type of ticket we bought and what exact rides we rode, but that would be a post itself, so it's okay~ Another cool exhibit that was there was an Attack on Titan exhibit! I got to see the Colossal Titan from the anime, as well as pose with my mom with the Titan that ate Eren's mother~ Overall, a really fun and exciting day with the family!

My mom and her sisters were also obsessed with the okonomiyaki and negiyaki business. We went there twice during their short stay D:

Because the semester was coming to an end, we took one last hoorah with my 2 person class and went to an aquarium at Expo City! We saw a ton of different species, and I just posted all of my favorite pictures~ The main reason why we went to that aquarium was because Expo City had an All-You-Can-Eat KFC! Fun Fact: There are only 2 in Japan! One in Tokyo, and one in Osaka. :) It was ridiculous! I ate so many fried chickens and biscuits! The good thing about this all you can eat KFC is they had a lot more than just the normal KFC food items. They also provided different soups, noodles, and pastry desserts. Yum Yum!

I also got to visit Expo Park's main attraction...that creepy...statue...thing. xD I'm still not too sure what it is, but it's one of the symbols of Osaka. And so I had to visit it! Along with that, there were plenty of flower fields that I discovered. Spring time in Japan is truly beautiful~

I'm not too sure if any of you guys saw bouncy cheesecakes which are incredibly popular in Japan, but I learned that they have them in Osaka! Rikuro Ojii-san Shop is a famous cheesecake store located only in Osaka and maybe Kyoto! If you didn't know, cheesecake in Japan is a lot less heavy than those made in America. So if you miss cheesecake while traveling or staying in Japan, I advise you that when stores say cheesecake, make sure it's American cheesecake and not Japan's. :) I ordered the cheesecake because it was the most famous, and a strawberry cake role. Natsuko ordered the apple pie and the cheesecake. It tasted sooooo good! I miss it.

Guys! I'm almost done!!!

Another thing I did toward the end of of April is finally visiting Nara! My god, it was beautiful! I went there by myself because #nofriends but it was okay. The only bad thing that I noticed was that all the deer looked so sleepy and sad!!! I don't particular like visiting zoos because the animals there always looked depressed. :( But there were a lot of deers that literally bumped into humans until they gave them food. xD I got to feed one, so I was quite happy. :)

Finally, the last thing that I did in the month of April was having a dinner with my weekend host sister, Sayuri! We ate ramen. So goooood!!! It was really fun catching up with her. We talked all night! I think I said this in my Week 11 post, but I really wished she was the person I roomed with throughout the semester rather than my actually roomy. But eh~ She's right now in California for a Summer English program, so hopefully I can see her at least once in August before she goes back!

But that's it! An eventful April! The next post will be my final Study Abroad adventure post for Week 17~ Stay tuned~

Until next time, 
Be true and always be you, 
Love, Aimee

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