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Experiences in Asia

Konnichiwa kara The land of the rising sun

JAPAN | Wednesday, 11 January 2006 | Views [828] | Comments [4]

Hi all,

It's been a fair few days since my last entry, you'll see now that the journal title for trips has changed- now I am in Tokyo, Japan, having started my language course. I intend to write an entry to wrap up all things South East Asia, but at the moment I am still mulling over that one.

So much has happened in such a short time! I need to tell you about what I've been up to, my meeting with the person whom I now live with, deciphering the controls on all the weird and wonderful gadgets around her home, and of course, my first few days in school, and the sights I have seen and the people I have met.

After the flight, I was met at the airport by a member of the school, who took me on the subway, where I was met by Kagaya Kyoko-san, the woman who I will be living with. I think  I have definitely touched lucky here, because Kyoko-san is a bit special. She is so energetic and enthusiastic about Japan, but moreover, she is the same about foreigners experiencing her country. On my very first day, she whisked me off around Tokyo, showing me the such sights as the famous downtown, taking me to some stellar restaurants and heading off on a cruise up the river. Kyoko-san can speak some English, but I have noticed that despite my 6 months learning Japanese via book and speaking to a CD, my Japanese sucks. At the moment there is a lot of broken sentences and much thumbing of phrazebooks, but despite this, we are getting on famously.

Monday was a holiday, and so no school. I took myself off to the subway to buy a monthly pass, and then headed off to my school in a bit of a dry run for the following day. This posing no problems, I then headed to the Yasakuni Jinja, or shrine, which is dedicated to the 2.5 million Japanese who have died in various wars. This place is very spectacular due to its surroundings, and the museum is pretty good too, housing amoungst other things, a Zero-sen, the Japanese fighter plane made famous from the war.

And to school. Tuesday was orientation day, where we had lecture after lecture about what to do and what not to do. This is total immersion. If you speak anything other than Japanese in the whole area of the school, you are issued with a warning. If you get four warnings per day, you are not allowed to school the next day (you can study on your own at school). Orioentation day was the only day to be held in English. After trying to process a million and one things, realising that Japanese banks don't readily take Cirrus debit cards (I have to head over to City Bank - bah!) and being told about respect to our families (no problem there) we were set loose. I headed off to Shinjuku for a look around, the place being a bit special.

And to today, and my first day as a bone fide Japanese student. With the entire lesson in Japanese, me and my new beginner classmates took it nice and slow. We met our teacher, Ho Sui-san, who is very lively, and I who I can see will be an excellent teacher for us. We went over some basic sentence structures, and then to Katakana, or one of the three writing styles of Japan. Our homework for tonight - memorize 15 Kata and be prepped to show - I'd better get on with it!

Tags: Adventures



Dear Dan I'm happy to hear that you have arrived in Japan safely.Because south Asia was an dangerous place for foreigners. From your letters , I know you are learning Japanese in Japan , would you wanna live in Japan for a long time.I believe you are really something now, you could speak English, Chinese and Japanese. However,hope you could speak Japanese frequently. World Cup is coming, what's your plan! Stay in Japan or go to Germany for fabulous soccer match.

  scott Jan 11, 2006 5:31 PM


Dan, Glad to hear you have arrived safe and sound in Japan. And you seem to have struck lucky with accommdation as well. Will you be teaching EFL in Japan? What about Aikido/Hapkido, your not going to do the "Angry White Pyjamas" thing are you! Keep up the blogging and take care. Martin

  Martin Jan 11, 2006 8:20 PM


Hey Dan, So you are settling down somehere in this world again! Good to read Japan is treating you well. I hope that after such a long time of sleep, the activation of all of them brain cells is going along fine, I have the feeling you just might need them when studying Japanese. No really, I hope you will find yourself soon at home (or not whatever you want). Take care!

  eef Jan 11, 2006 9:27 PM


Hi everyone, thanks for the messages, Scott, my plan at the moment is to live in Japan for 4-6 months, depending on how well my budget goes, and I am sort of looking for a job. I dont think I could find a job that allowed me to speak Chinese, because as you know my Chinese is so bad! Martin, I have looked at a Ju Jitsu place, and tomorrow I will take a look at an Aikido place (a la pyjamas) because there is no Hapkido, making my black belt redundant - bah! I'm also about to have a meeting with the woman at the school who deals with part time jobs, so Ill see what she says....

  dan_in_japan Jan 12, 2006 3:58 PM

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