Halloween and Ticket Horrors

Happy Halloween! A lot of the excitement over here happened over the weekend already, but today is still the day and it never hurts to keep up the spirit. No one in costume on campus, and the day opened with a 2-hour test (good lord was it long) but I imagine all is well and…

Feeling Bougie In Uji

Now entering: Uji! This place is the matcha hotspot of Japan, and I’ve been dying to go since maybe week 2 of my stay in Japan. At long last I made it there, to find that it’s also famous for Murasaku Shikibu, aka author of the world’s first novel Genji Monogatari. There’s a Genji Museum and everything;…

Cool Stones, Cats & Kaki-Koori

Lizzie had friends in town today (courtesy of her mother), a lovely couple in their 30’s named Christina and Cat. We met up with them at the start of the Philosopher’s Path, a famous and beautiful walk through Kyoto with a lot of shrines and temples along the way. While we didn’t get a chance to…

PPAParade

AKP Halloween Parade today, even if it was a bit early! Everyone who wanted to got to don a costume, lug around a basket of candy (which a sensei would happily refill if you were running low) and happily-aggressively go to Japanese students saying ‘Happy Halloween! Douzo!’ so they’d take some candy. Surprisingly a lot…

Poorly Placed Chairs & Pieces Of Things

Seiko-san, the adorable senior who showed me my commute home in those first days of orientation, meets me for lunch every Thursday and it’s great. She usually brings a friend along too, and it’s been a different person every week which is exciting! Today I met Chiharu-san, who’s studied abroad in New Zealand and loves…

Buddies On The Bench

Class was not at all a desirable idea this morning, but despite the sads and a pounding headache I lugged my butt to campus. Friends were super supportive and sensei even gave me a hug and was super understanding about everything; she even gave me a hug, and considering that touchy-touchy stuff is uber uncommon…

Bye Bye Bella-boo

Today I lost a very dear friend; my dog and sister, Bella, passed away this morning. It was a sudden passing and she wasn’t in too much pain, but it was also unexpected and very disheartening to hear from halfway across the world. I skipped courses today to stay home, and while it was a…

Gotta Get That Gudetama

Got guac? Yesterday I told okaa-san about the wonders of guacamole, as well as the every-yummy breakfast of an egg cooked in an avocado half, and she’s super-intrigued by both of them. Which meant that today I came upstairs to find her recreation of my verbally described avocado-egg. It was really good, and I’m impressed…

Tearin’ Up That Takoyaki

People change, we lose sense of ourselves, the days go by and they’re full of emptiness . . . nothing much happened today because Kou-san felt sick, is what it boils down to. A bit much with the opener? I agree, but I’m trying to keep it interesting here so what can I say. So…

Jidai Matsuri: A Blast From The Past

PPAP. By this point most people know what this is, but for those who don’t say it with me: pen pineapple apple pen. It’s a famous YouTube video from a Tokyo-born comedian that came out maybe a few weeks ago and has since blown up on the internet in Japan and America, at the very…

Just A Little Jishin

Earthquake today, uwahhh! Fret not, friends – it was nothing major at all. But while Lizzie, Takato-san and I were sitting in the cafe at school all of a sudden everything started slow-mo swaying. The tables and lamps wobbled a bit, and my body was lightly swaying by some unidentified force. Then everyone looked at…

Mukashi Mukashi . . .

Fairytales and timeless tales were the focus of my joint seminar today, and it was a pretty fun class due to both content and structure. We talked about Momotarou, Gongitsune and Taketori Monogatari, all of which are mukashi banashi (Japanese folk tales). Most tales in Japan end relatively sadly or abruptly in comparison to American ones,…