The Places I Will Go

My favorite part about this blog is that I can vent all I want about how excited I am to go, but I don't have to annoy anybody who might not care. Everybody reading this is reading it because they care at least somewhat (I hope). My first post wasn't a very good introduction, so perhaps I'll explain myself a little now.

Phase I

This bulk of this trip is a study abroad program that I'm doing through the University of Utah. The Japanese school is called Shitennoji. There is a map at the top of that page I just linked. It is wrong. This is a bird's eye view of the school:
Image from Google
Pretty sweet school, right? Right. I'll be staying in a dorm to the north of the school called 和交寮 (wakoryo). I've found where it should be by searching the address, but I can't find any evidence that I am looking at the right place. Even in street view, I don't see any signs for it.

The point of the program is "Intensive Japanese Language." I know my Japanese pretty well, but I think that what I really need is some immersion. Somebody learning Spanish in America can just about do anything in Spanish, and every other person you meet already knows it. With Japanese, you are hard-pressed to find a single person willing to speak Japanese, and forget about finding any text.

I guess my main goal is to become better at speaking. I am bad at speaking. Beyond that it's mostly just a desire to see and experience Japan itself.

Shitennoji is in the Kansai region, near Osaka and Kyoto. According to the first orientation meeting, I will be taking classes, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 and 12:30. The rest of the time is free time, supposedly. There are going to optional guided field trips on the weekends, which I plan to pick and choose. I hope they aren't going to make me feel obligated to go when I would rather go do something on my own, because I want to do that a couple of times.

I am going to use these 6 weeks or so to familiarize myself with everything and to learn how to get around. It's all in preparation for the second part of my adventure.

Phase II

Once the program is over on July 12th, I will be checking out of Wakoryo and saying goodbye to all of my classmates. Then, I will be taking the Shinkansen (Bullet train) northeast and finding my way to a little little hostel called the Khaosan Ninja.
I have paid for a weeks's stay there, and I plan to use that week to explore the (in my opinion) slightly more exciting part of Japan; Tokyo.
Image from Google
Akihabara is definitely one of the key places I want to visit while I am there. Akihabara is basically the nerd Mecca of Japan. The streets are lined with specialty electronics, anime/manga, and video game-related shops. You can find advertisements for all of those things plastered all over the buildings as you walk down the street. It's like a mall, only there are actually lots of stores I'd want to visit.

The Destinations

The places I want to go in Japan are way too plentiful to list, but here are a few I hope to visit.

Toyosato Elementary School
A school which is no longer used, but has become a tourist attraction due to it being used as a model for the high school in K-On!. I am a pretty big fan of K-On!, so I feel compelled to go there.
Super Potato
A gamer's paradise. They sell all kinds of old school systems and cartridges. There's one in Akihabara, but there's also one in Osaka, so I may get to see it earlier!
An anime and manga superstore. It seems like the name of this store would be much more fitting for Super Potato, but hey, who am I to judge?
There are supposedly cosplayers hanging out here all of the time. Would be pretty cool to see.
Of all the temples in Kyoto, this is the one I'd most like to visit. If we go there on one of the field trips, I'm definitely in.
Washinomiya Shrine
This is another one of several places where I might find myself going just to see the real version of an anime setting. In this case, Lucky Star. I'm not so big on that anime, and this one's kind of out of the way, though, so I might pass.

If you have suggestions as to where I should go, you now know what areas I'll be in, so let me know and maybe I'll go there too. I want to take pictures and make this everyone's vacation, not just mine.


  1. You might consider hitting up the Ghibli museum. It's pretty sweet. When I was there they had a life size castle in the sky robot on the roof.

    1. That sounds really cool. I looked it up and it's pretty cheap, too. I will seriously consider it.

  2. Ghibli museum would be sweet! I'm pretty psyched for the Washinomiya Shrine too.

    1. Only problem with the Ghibli Museum is that you cannot take pictures while inside. It would make a great trip for me, but not for the blog. It doesn't make me any less likely to go, however.

    2. And, well, if somebody besides me wants to see the Washinomiya Shrine, maybe I will go. I had pretty much counted it out, actually. Here is a map I just made of some of the locations.