A Day in the Life

Back after two weeks! For this week’s blog I thought I would make a video showing what a day studying abroad in Japan might be like. This was on a Friday, so I just had Japanese class and then the rest of my day to venture around. Please turn on the subtitles and enjoy! Bear with my translations…I tried to translate as naturally as possible but translation problems will get to you.

The Sakura had just started blooming when I recorded this video and they reached Mankai (full bloom) soon after. They are mostly gone now though since we’ve had a couple of days with heavy rain. I’ve been using most of this time to work on final papers and get a head start on pre-departure preparations, but I also managed to sneak in a trip to Seoul this past weekend. Things can be really inexpensive if you plan ahead of time, so I was able to get a roundtrip for just under $100 and a hostel room for $8/night because I made the reservations four months ago.

My host family took me to Nabanosato in Mie prefecture for some nighttime Sakura viewing

My host family took me to Nabanosato in Mie prefecture for some nighttime Sakura viewing

There are over 600 different types of Sakura

There are over 600 different types of Sakura

Some fellow AKPers and I watched the sunset from the Keage incline, one of Kyoto’s most popular Hanami locations

Some fellow AKPers and I watched the sunset from the Keage incline, one of Kyoto’s most popular Hanami locations

I went to Korea alone and it was a wild ride without any form of communication. Although I don’t speak any Korean beyond some simple greetings, I can read the alphabet to a certain extent so that came in handy when using their transportation system. I felt like I had to visit before leaving since the flight there takes fewer than two hours from Kansai International, which is less than what it took me to go down to Okinawa. S. Korea also came up a number of times during my International Relations of Japan course this semester, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to go and witness in person many of the controversial things we had discussed. For example, I got to visit the comfort women statue in front of S. Korea’s Japanese embassy and also the Demilitarized Zone dividing S. Korea from the North.

Gyeongbukdong's pagoda is architecturally distinct from those you’ll find in Japan

Gyeongbukdong’s pagoda is architecturally distinct from those you’ll find in Japan

A zoomed in view into N. Korea from the DMZ. You’ll see the North and South’s respective flags facing one another across the border. Kijong-dong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kijong-dong) is the village in the north and although it appears fully developed its buildings are actually all hollow, lighting up at night just for show.

A zoomed in view into N. Korea from the DMZ. You’ll see the North and South’s respective flags facing one another across the border. Kijong-dong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kijong-dong) is the village in the north and although it appears fully developed its buildings are actually all hollow, lighting up at night just for show.

My classes ended this week so we are just heading into finals now. Wish me luck! Mata ne, see you later!

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