Sayonara, Japan. Back in the US again.

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Dec 222011
 

I did a little shopping today before getting on the Narita Express and heading to the airport. I managed to get a business class upgrade for relatively cheap (yay), and made it safely back home to RDU. Tomorrow I have to drive 250 miles to Asheville. Whee.

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Harajuku, Akihabara, and a View I Won’t Forget

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Dec 212011
 

Regardless of my sore throat, I pushed on today. I shipped out some boxes, went to Harajuku and had fish pizza at Shakey’s, bought more souvenirs for people, then went to Akihabara and looked at video games, manga, and electronics. After that, I stopped by Marunouchi and Maruzen, and then had dinner at Sou Hon Kei in Shinjuku again. The view was incredible. Tomorrow I go home. (Sad Face.)

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Toughing it out

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Dec 202011
 

I started the day late because I wasn’t feeling well. I went to Shinjuku to do some more shopping for people back home, then went to the post office to get boxes to send stuff home in. Dinner was in Roppongi again, followed by more Christmas/souvenir shopping.

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Great Luck, Good Food, Plastic Food

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Dec 192011
 
Great Luck, Good Food, Plastic Food

I went to Senso-ji, then Kappabashi (where they make the plastic food), had an interesting encounter with a toilet, then went to Jinbocho and finally had dinner in Shinjuku. It was a mix of plastic food and great food!

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Towering Over Tokyo

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Dec 172011
 
Towering Over Tokyo

First full day back in Tokyo. I looked around at electronics stores, went to the tourist info center near Tokyo Station, then went to the Tokyo Tower, missed out on some fireworks, got overcharged for “meh” yakitori, and wandered around Shinjuku a bit.

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Sayonara, Yamasa, Sayonara, Okazaki. Tadaima, Tokyo.

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Dec 162011
 
Sayonara, Yamasa, Sayonara, Okazaki. Tadaima, Tokyo.

A whirlwind of a day as I thanked everyone at Yamasa during the closing ceremony, had lunch with all of my classmates and said goodbye, then rushed to finish packing and got out of town. I made it to Tokyo and passed out in my favorite hotel in Shinjuku.

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Last Trip to Anjo

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Dec 142011
 
Last Trip to Anjo

Today was the last big testing day. I forgot to attach a file I was sending to one of my teachers, so I had to race home at lunch to send it. There was an earthquake in class, too. After class, I went to the calligraphy store in Anjo, where everyone was really nice again. I bought more packing materials at the Daiso, and frantically packed until 2 a.m. Oof.

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Jackson Pollock and The Tallest Toilet in Nagoya

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Dec 112011
 
Jackson Pollock and The Tallest Toilet in Nagoya

Today I went to see the Jackson Pollock exhibit at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, then went to the Midland Square Building to see some great views of Nagoya. More book shopping after that, then expensive crepes for dinner, and a train ride back to Okazaki. I managed to take some really good photos with my cheap little IXY, too!

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Calligraphy Lesson

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Dec 052011
 

Today was my first calligraphy lesson in Japan. I’ve been doing it for about five years in the US, but I’ve never had a chance to study it here. It was a lot of fun. Thanks to the teacher’s info, I’ll probably go to Toyohashi this weekend for supplies.

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First Night in Kyoto

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Nov 252011
 
First Night in Kyoto

I made it to Kyoto; discovered a few things about buying shinkansen tickets, ate some delicious food in Kyoto, and some not-so-delicious food.

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Okazaki-jo and Anjo

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Nov 202011
 
Okazaki-jo and Anjo

The Tokugawa theme continues from yesterday, when I did some local Tokugawa-related sightseeing today. I visited Okazaki Castle and the Ieyasu and Mikawa Bushido Museum, then went to Anjo to pick up some calligraphy supplies. This time, I took pictures!

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Not to Brag, But I Think I Did Well on My Tests…

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Nov 172011
 

The writing and conversation exams went pretty well. Even now, though, I still have a lot to learn about Yamasa. Today in JBPP, we covered job interviews and all of the things that need to be done the proper way.

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Makes Me Want to Eat My Phone!

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Nov 132011
 

I went back to Nagoya for more wandering around. I found an international market that sells oatmeal, and some fake plastic candy to stick on my phone. I also found the dictionary I’ve been looking for!

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Shopping in Nagoya. In the Rain. Again.

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Nov 052011
 

Went to Nagoya, got my money back at Bic Camera, found a nice international grocery story near JR Nagoya, got lost, bought more books, had to buy a bag to carry it all, then ate some organic food, bought a blanket, and even found a Krispy Kreme.

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ごろごろ and 電子辞書 (Gorogoro and Denshi Jisho)

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Oct 292011
 
ごろごろ and 電子辞書 (Gorogoro and Denshi Jisho)

It’s Saturday, and for once it’s not raining. It’s not really sunny, but it’s not raining. I’ll take what I can get. My electronic dictionary is dying, so I’m off to Nagoya to buy a new one, among other things.

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And So It Begins…

 Foreign Languages, Japan, Japanese Language, Travel  Comments Off on And So It Begins…
Oct 122011
 

Finally! My real first day of class! I still feel like hell, but my fever is gone, so I didn’t really have an excuse to stay home and lounge around. Besides, we’re on the fast track here at Yamasa. Every day I miss is like missing 3-4 days of Japanese at a univeristy. Keeping up

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…As A Dog.

 Japan  Comments Off on …As A Dog.
Oct 072011
 

Ugh. I think I caught a cold on one of my trips to Nagoya, because I’m so sick I can barely move, and I feel really gross. They brew up some downright nasty colds here. Sadly, I’m going to have to skip my first day of class, and be that mystery guy who doesn’t show

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We’re Not Through Orientating Yet!

 Japan, Japanese Language  Comments Off on We’re Not Through Orientating Yet!
Oct 062011
 

More orientation today, and the 入学式 (nyuugakushiki, or school entrance ceremony.) We got a lot of info about various things, what to do, what not to do, and we introduced ourselves in Japanese. What I said before about this being the UN of Japanese Language Education? I’m serious. We have a bunch of different countries

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Orientation and Okonomiyaki in Okazaki

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Oct 052011
 

Orientation at Yamasa started today. We learned lots of things that don’t apply to me, because I’m on a short-term visa, and will be gone in 3 months. It’s kind of a bummer, but there you go. But there was a lot of really useful information, too, like what to do with my trash. I’ve

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Nagoya Again!

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Oct 042011
 
Nagoya Again!

I decided to head to Nagoya one more time today, to pick up some odds and ends. Before leaving town, I stopped by the Post Office to take out some money. The postal ATMs are a great deal. There are no fees, other than whatever your bank charges, and there’s English support if you need

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Sunday Is For Laundry, and Another Trip to Nagoya.

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Oct 022011
 
Sunday Is For Laundry, and Another Trip to Nagoya.

It’s Sunday, a day for laundry, and for going to Nagoya again. So, laundry. I have this really long metal pole that hangs horizontally in the middle of my apartment, over the TV. It’s suspended from the ceiling by two other big metal poles. Apparently this is my clothes dryer. I come from a country

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It’s Saturday, So It Must Be Nagoya.

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Oct 012011
 

It’s Saturday. No classes, and it’s beautiful outside. So I went to Nagoya to do some shopping for some much-needed necessities. No photos on this trip, because I didn’t take my SLR with me. It was too heavy to carry around while I went shopping. I needed to buy sheets, a wireless router, and after

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Getting Used to Apartment Life

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Sep 302011
 

More classes today. I have a lot of gaps to fill in in my Japanese. Today I have my private lessons, then I’ll probably go to Nagoya to do some shopping. I need to get a wireless router and some kitchen supplies, as well as some sheets ASAP. Those are all top priorities. I’m getting

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Back in Okazaki!

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Sep 292011
 

Today I made it back to Okazaki and Yamasa again. I got up early, and grabbed a shinkansen, the Nozomi from Tokyo to Nagoya. I could have grabbed it in Shinagawa, which would have made more sense, but I know the way to Tokyo Station better, and I didn’t want to get lost and miss

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Eye Yai Yai

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Sep 282011
 
Eye Yai Yai

I had the hotel’s breakfast again, then went straight to the front desk to take care of two things: my eyes, which now hurt like hell and finding someone who can do something about the stink in the bathroom. Seriously, what is that? It’s not me. It was like that when I got there. A

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Tonkatsu, Point Cards, and Burning Eyes

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Sep 272011
 

This was my first full day in Tokyo. I started with the hotel buffet for breakfast. 1,200 yen for all you can eat, either Western or Japanese style. Some of the Western stuff is a little odd, but it’s good enough for me. Plenty of yogurt, and a decent strawberry sauce. Other stuff was available,

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Off to Japan! (Wait, Didn’t I Use This One Before?)

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Sep 262011
 

It’s 3:30 a.m. Saturday, September 24th Sunday, September 25th. The driver is going to be here in an hour and fifteen minutes, and I’m trying to close my humongous Samsonite 29″ suitcase. My plan was to have a giant suitcase big enough to stuff Jimmy Hoffa into, but slim enough to fit nicely behind the

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Through the Trip Prep Looking Glass

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Sep 202011
 
Through the Trip Prep Looking Glass

Note: This is about stuff I did before the trip, but I’m actually writing it about 10 days into the trip, but I’m going to put this chronologically before it anyway, so that it makes sense. Because It’s There. Before this 3-month trip to Japan, I decided to do what I did before I came

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Going Back to Okazaki.

 Japan, Japanese Language, Travel  Comments Off on Going Back to Okazaki.
Aug 162011
 

I mentioned earlier that I was dissatisfied with the way my Japanese was progressing when I took the JLPT N2 last month. After talking to Michele, I realized that I have completely neglected my spoken/written Japanese in order to prepare for the N2, which tests neither skill. I considered my options seriously, and realized that

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