A Swan Has Settled

October 11, 2017

Typhoons and Love and Umami

October 26, 2017

The Learning Process ft. Travel Plans

October 19, 2017
waseda taiyaki
asakusa night

I’ll keep this one short, as sadly this week has had two stay-up-until-1ams which means I’m all over the place at the moment and most of my thoughts have revolved around Japanese-this or Japanese-that.

vegan ramen

The only vegan ‘pot noodle’ I’ve found so far

It took a while, but London weather finally caught up to me. Yesterday was the only day that it hasn’t been raining heavily in around a week, and the rain is set to continue until next Tuesday. It’s also COLD. Like, ‘having the heating on at 30 degrees at any given moment that I’m in my dorm’ cold. It’s actually warmer in London at the moment than it is here – two weeks ago I was warm in a pair of shorts and a tank top, and now that kind of outfit is… unimaginable.

So it’s basically been decided for me that I won’t be getting a job while I’m out here – taking 10 modules per semester is definitely a task, and one that I’m managing to have under control for the time being, but it leaves me with very little free time to explore (if any at all.) Of course, I’m constantly hanging out with friends and doing something new every week – it’s just very difficult to balance that out with keeping on top of class. Rather than getting harder, though, I think it’ll all only get easier – after all, figuring out the best way to keep on top of things is a learning process.

Harajuku’s “AFURI” has vegan ramen!!

I’ll quote the second post I wrote in Japan: “I’m letting the universe decide things for me[.]” That’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very, very long time. I always believed I could be in control of everything, even uncontrollable situations, and that really smacked me hard in the face during my second year of university. I went through a year of “well, if I can’t take control of THIS situation, I’ll do THIS and then I know I’m in command.” Take that as you will. If I’ve felt things going a little crazy in Japan, I know I just have to take a deep breath and:

  1. Let GO. Address things, see things from another perspective, then let bygones be bygones. Let the universe decide.
  2. Remember that life is a learning process. Your mistakes today are lessons learnt for tomorrow.

A lot of the ‘before’ era of this blog was lots and lots of emotionally-fuelled essays, all to do with item number 1 of the above list. Item number 2 is the main priority, the current positive-thinking method I’ve adapted.

For example, transitioning from awkward textbook-learned Japanese to proper conversational Japanese is part of a learning process. Knowing where to obtain basic cooking items and getting the courage to explore beyond, even if you can’t read the Kanji – that’s part of the learning process. Laughing at yourself for ever thinking that sitting to have lunch in a cafe by yourself is weird – learning process. Knowing what true courage feels like has also been part of my learning process.

Harajuku also has very-unvegan crepes. They were kinda gross.

Researching the cheapest way to travel around Japan, I suppose, is also a learning process.

In case you didn’t know – the way the educational system works in Japan is that rather than an academic semester beginning in September and ending in July, The academic year begins in Spring (~April) and ends in February… which means I get a six week break in the middle of my time here.

At the moment, I’m attempting to see as much of the area around Tokyo as possible, because during that long break I’m planning to do a little sight seeing, from the top to the bottom of Japan.

I’m planning to update this particular entry as I go along, and as I’ve said I genuinely haven’t had the inspiration or the time to fully think things through (I actually really enjoy being kept on my feet so don’t worry about that), but this is:

A super-simple super-uninformed list of places I’d like to go in Japan and why (in no particular order):

  1. Kyoto (Old temples, matcha, beautiful sceneries, that one bamboo forest)
  2. Osaka (Street food!!!)
  3. Nara (Deer in parks)
  4. Himeji (For the castle!!!)
  5. Hokkaido (Sapporo – snow festival, again beautiful sceneries, HOT SPRINGS)
  6. Hiroshima (War memorial, floating shrine)
  7. Tashirojima (Aka. CAT ISLAND. Reason is clear enough)

    (Obviously not my picture)

As for outside of Japan… South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong – it would be absolutely amazing if I got to visit, but only if the prices of flights are on my side. In any case, I can’t wait to explore everything around me.

PS. My Japanese language blog that I’m writing for that one module – which is super unpolished compared to this blog – is http://tokyohakucho.blogspot.jp!