Waseda Festival and Bomb Threats

November 8, 2017

The Travel Plans, Part 2

November 23, 2017

Brass Bands & Teaching Classes

November 16, 2017
tokyo tower
waseda hmm


So a strange phenomenon happened this week, in that some kind of a film set magically appeared in front of the church just outside my dorm, stayed for a few days (along with caravans for actors, etc), and then left just like that. No idea what was being filmed, but it seems pretty high budget, so if ever find out I’ll keep this blog updated…

10th November


So last Friday, I finally got around to visiting Tokyo Tower. Which is different to the Skytree (the one I visited on one of the first days I was here) and basically resembles a discount version of the Eiffel Tower. That sounds rude, but I don’t mean to diss it, because it was absolutely beautiful – and I’m always welcome to the warm feeling of ticking another thing off my mental Japan bucket list. Tokyo Tower also marks the fourth high-ride building I’ve gone up in Japan – the three others being the Shinjuku Metropolitan Building, the Tokyo Skytree, and the Yokohama Landmark Tower.

I suppose I went up Tokyo Tower on Friday not to experience a beautiful view, but rather, to relive the feeling I had before – that feeling of “wow, I LIVE here.” Because I suppose I don’t feel like that anymore – this is just my home. There are things about here that are just… the way they are. Does that make sense? As in, it’s no longer a quirky thing to see cyclists on the pavement, or to carry cash, or for cars still being able to turn even when the green light for pedestrians is on.

tokyo tower mascots

Tokyo Tower Mascots?

I’m absolutely in love with this city. There’s a nasty side of me that doubts this, and says, “when you return here after you’ve graduated, you’ll find it was just the student life in Tokyo you loved,” but the rational side of me knows that’s not true. I’m just incredibly, stupidly in love with this place, and I am so so happy that that’s how it’s turned out.

Of course, Halloween has finished – the spooky chocolates have been replaced with Christmas chocolates, and up come the Christmas trees. Tokyo Tower was also dazzling, the trees outside totally covered in Christmas lights. It makes me so excited for the season to get closer and for all the strange goods to be released! (Pepsi, for example, is releasing a drink that’s meant to taste like a Christmas Pudding, so I’ll definitely be on the look out for it…)

11th November


apple waseda

Check out these DENSE apples the grocers gave me for free

On Saturday, (which was Pocky day apparently, judging from how some people were whacking each other with inflatable pock sticks), we managed to nab ourselves some free tickets to see a “brass band”. Of course, this led to loads of speculation, regarding 1) what exactly brass music is, 2) how big the band would be, 3) what the venue would be. So we got dressed in some pretty casual clothes, fully expecting that this brass band (“It’s like Princess and the Frog music!” – Nicole, 2017) would be in some bar somewhere, and we could have a few drinks while enjoying the music. I think we all had Dennis’ gig in mind.

Of course, we couldn’t have been more wrong. It was a proper music venue in Shibuya, with a proper band, and we were the only foreigners there. In very, very casual clothing. I stand out here usually, and I’m not embarrassed by that, but on Saturday night I felt myself becoming a little self-conscious…

shibuya brass band

It was incredibly good though – and now that I’ve won tickets to see the NHK Orchestra tomorrow (think Japan’s BBC), I now know exactly how I should be dressing…

The main event of all of this, though, is the class I taught at Waseda University Junior and Senior High School today!

16th November


I can’t recall if I mentioned this earlier on this blog or not, but a few weeks ago I submitted an application to teach a class, and 4 of us were selected to teach. The school itself is located super far out of Tokyo (in Nerima, North-west), but it is a private school from which the students will advance into Waseda University. (Japan has an escalator system – if you have the money, you can guarantee your children will get into the best universities.)

I taught a class from 1pm to 3pm, discussing Britain and various parts of British culture (in Japanese, of course.) I walked into the classroom and I was a little surprised that it was fully boys – and knowing how 12-13 year olds are the England, I was expecting the worst. But they were so lovely, and were super engaged with everything I said! I didn’t have to tell them to be quiet once, even though they were very rowdy with each other. Time flew by, and I found myself talking in Japanese without any kind of fear (until the end, in which I somehow became a little nervous when Q+A began). I was so incredibly impressed with the students, and I hope that my lesson with them will inspire some kind of want to learn more about the UK!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures with the students at the school due to legal reasons, and the photos taken by Waseda University will only be available in the next 10 days or so, so I’ll finish off this blog with a picture of the blackboard – a pretty good example of what went down in that classroom.

waseda classroom


  1. Oh, well done Elsa! I am so proud of you. I knew you would be very good at teaching (even 12-13 year old boys 😉 xxx

    1. Thank you!!! I don’t think teaching is for me at the moment though but I’m super glad I was given this experience!!

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