A Month in Japan 4 – July 2014
July 31, 2014
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Last month, I spent my first week in Okazaki. By far, that first week was long and filled with (good and bad) events. Continuing onto July, the remaining 3 weeks of the study abroad were still packed with activities, but the passage of time didn’t felt as long.
Something unexpected that happened was a room and roommate shuffle. While I was originally in a room with 4 other people, I got reassigned to a room with just one other person. To be honest, it was awesome.
A summary of events that took place during the study abroad.
- Tuesday (7/1) – Visit to Miai elementary school. I got to interact with a class of kids and see how Japanese school life is like. It was very cool and fun.
- Wednesday (7/2) – Visit to a middle school and later a dinner with some students from Kita high school. The middle school kids were hard to interact with. The high school students had extremely busy schedules.
- Thursday (7/3) – Field trip to Kyoto, specifically Fushimi Inari and Kiyomizu-dera. I was not able to meet with any old Japanese acquaintances. I did ran to Teramachi for some nostalgia.
- Weekends to myself
- Monday (7/7) – Tanabata. Nothing special happened, but me and my friends took a small walk at night in hopes of finding fireflies. Nothing came up, too late in the season we thought.
- Tuesday (7/8) – Mid-Summer party with students from the Agricultural College of Aichi. We had lots of nagashi soumen, time to chat with the students, and even fireworks. A personal highlight was that I got to do suika-wari. It was a very satisfying night.
- Thursday (7/10) – Field trip to Ise Shrine and a Ninja house in Iga. Both were neat to see.
- Sunday (7/13) – We invited some college students out from Tuesday’s mid-Summer party. They took us to the Okazaki castle, an Indo curry restaurant, and lastly an Animate store.
- Friday (7/18) – Karaoke with 2 students from Kita high school. 2 of my friends were supposed to come along, but they stayed behind to finish an essay. I did mine ahead of time.
- Saturday (7/19) – The last day of the study abroad program. To enjoy this last day, I invited a friend to the movie theater to watch the newest Kamen Rider movie. Afterwards, we had planned to shop in Nagoya, but we caught news of a fireworks festival and so we went to Toyohashi for that instead.
- Sunday (7/20) – The day where everyone packed up, cleaned their rooms and left Okazaki. Some returned to the US and some traveled to other parts of Japan.
I was the last to leave. However, I still have 2 months of time remaining in Japan. My next destination was Nishio city’s small town of Hazu. There, I will be doing voluntary farm work for food and a place to stay in return.
Above is my room in a traditional Japanese house where all the volunteers (called WWOOFers) stayed at. While aesthetically pleasing at first glance, this room is actually not very comfortable.
- The house gets very hot and this room is no exception.
- Bugs get in often. Mosquitoes are especially annoying.
- The walls have textures as rough as sandpaper.
In this room and also the room during my study abroad, I have no desk of my own nor reliable internet here. Combine that with events happening almost daily, that resulted in a huge stockpile of photos and a neglected blog.
My daily busyness doesn’t stop though, because now I have farm work in place of my classes. However, there is no longer any extra activities besides my own efforts to go out.
- Tuesday (7/22) – Shopping alone in Nagoya.
- Saturday (7/26) – Attended a late-night anime song event called Anisong Chuudoku at a night club in Nagoya. It ran from 10pm until 5am in the morning. Nonstop anisong played at a ridiculous volume and indoor smoking all night sums up my experience.