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Published: October 15th 2016
As now I started the school and have a more routine life, the blog post will be less often and more about special things I do the weekend 😊
As I said in my previous post, I had my first day of school on Wednesday, which was quite surprising as no word is spoken in English, and it seems that beside me, everyone can already read the 2 "easy" Japanese alphabets (Kana). So it was challenging for me to follow at the beginning, but our teacher is really nice and makes things easy as she explains with signing and drawing what she says when we don't understand.
Straight in the subject, after the first day, Kinouchi-sensei gave us homework which was mainly learning the Kana (a part of it) with a test the morning after. Actually, we do a test every morning on the Kana, and I have to say that I am impressed about the speed I am learning them. I know already the Hiragana (in 3 days!!!) and next week will be the Katakana I guess. Then we might start slowly to learn the Kanji... but that is a lonnnnnnnggggggg way... as there is more than 20
000 of them 😊 CRAZY JAPAN!
During this week, my days were consisting on going to the school in the morning, then in the afternoon I would do some food shopping, administrative tasks and homework. I have to say that I did pretty well, as now everything is setup (I even got a bike YAY) except for the phone. I went many time to the store, and there is always an issue... The guy is not here, or my phone might not be compatible etc... maybe it is a sign that I don't need a phone and I should only do internet at home :P
Living in Japan for 10 days now, what I can say is that the people are really nice and friendly as well as very helpful, if they can, and if the language barrier can be broken 😊 Something else is that they are really respectful of the rules, except on bicycle lol. They would never cross the red light by walk, even when it is 4 am and there is no car, but on bike, there is no rules... on the road, on the pavement, in which ever direction of the traffic, no
red or green light... even the grand-mothers don't care :D But all goes very smoothly at the end. The only problem I still have is the supermarket. OMG, it is impossible to find anything as I can't read and I always end up with funny stuff. As much as it can be an experience / adventure, sometimes I wish I would just get something normal :P
Yesterday evening (Friday) I had my first night out (at the bar) with my friedns from school. We met at 6 pm by the school and when I failed to bring everyone in a bar which was actually closed, my Korean friends knew a place nearby where they serve cheap food and drinks, so we headed there. The place was actually in a basement but really nice and Japanese style. Everything on the menu was 280 yen (about 2,50 euros)... food, cocktails, beer...EVERYTHING! So we went for many rounds and stayed there for a good 5 hours 😊 In this group, there was 2 Koreans, 2 Indonesians, 1 German, 1 Spanish and 2 French. As not everyone is speaking good English nor good Japanese, the conversation were always a mix between the 2
languages, and even if at first it was a bit difficult, few beer on the way and we were totally nailing it :P I could notice during this evening that Asian people are very focused on social medias and pictures... they took about 100 of them and added me on Line / Whatsapp / Facebook / Instagram... everything 😊 But it was very good fun and I hope we do that again soon! On the way home, I met randomly my flatmate Junya with his friends in town, and it seems they had a pretty good evening as he told me he got home at 7 this morning 😊
This morning (Saturday) I woke up around 11 and the weather was very nice so I decided to go visit something. The Sumiyoshi Taisha is a shrine located in the far south of the city (about 9 km from my home) and it is very recommended to see. I left around 2.30 pm, and what I thought would be a 30 min bicycle ride actually turned into 1 hour ride. I have to say that in Japan, the road are quiet busy so we can't cycle really fast, and as
well, the few red light that we have to stop to are REALLYYYY long to turn green (3-4 min). So all of that made me take way longer than expected but I got to visit some unknown part of the city with really cute neighborhoods made of small streets and houses.
Arriving at the shrine, it was actually a big park with a lot of temples in it. The particularity of the shrine is a small pound with a massive round red bridge crossing it. It looks like the ancient time and the bridge brings you to the main gate of the temple. Going around, I had the feeling to be in the old feudal Japan with stones on the floor and big trees, old houses very traditional, Tori gates etc... The atmosphere was really quiet and peaceful, and the sunlight gave an even more satisfying feeling.
Out of luck, I got to assist to a wedding ceremony inside the main temple. There was a lot of people dressed traditionally, and the ceremony had really something absorbing. It was all made of rituals, songs and traditional music. The atmosphere was really serious and people seemed really proud to
be here at this wedding.
After going around all the shrine and taking some pictures of the wedding, it has been already 2.30 hours that I am there and the sun started to go down, so it was time for me to go home. It was again a 1 h ride home, but seeing the city at night is very different from the day. There is loads of light from the small restaurants, and in the small streets there is a kind of mysterious atmosphere.
At home I met Bon-chan and we had dinner together. Then she gave me a private Japanese lesson in exchange of a french one. That was very fun.
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