"Normal" Days

The next couple days weren't very eventful. Tuesday was pretty cool, but nothing much happened.

I noticed that a rash had developed on the back of my shin. It was gone in a couple of days, so I think it was just because I was wearing pants and running around the city the day before. I normally wear shorts, so I don't think my legs were used to that kind of thing. I have omitted the picture. Be grateful.

We started an interesting project with a couple members of the music club. I was asked if I wanted to sing some songs with Japanese students and I was like, "okay." It turns out it's a lot more complicated than that. Luckily I can play guitar, because they wanted us to play instruments, too. They also asked us to pick out some songs. I was put into the English song group with Rick and Christian. We decided on "Good Riddance" by Green Day, and "Tribute" by Tenacious D. They said they would check the songs and get back to us. We will be performing on the 4th of July.

Super Spicy Curry

That night, we went to a Indian-style curry restaurant. We waited in i-talk a while for everybody to show up.

Tennoji and Nipponbashi

Tennoji "Temple"

I'm gonna start this article by explaining Tennoji. Shitennoji is the name of the school I'm going to. It's probably related to the not-so-near Tennoji. Tennoji is the name of a temple. The "ji" means temple, so it would be redundant to call it "Tennoji Temple." There is also a station several large blocks away from Tennoji called Tennoji Station.

Now that we've got that out of the way...

The Trip to Tennoji

After school on Monday, it was time for a field trip. We took a bus down to Fujiidera station. I decided to bring my duffel bag, because I was sick of walking home with shopping bags cutting into my hands.

Non sequitur galore.
In Japan, 7-Eleven are very common, and you can do pretty much anything there. they have some of the only ATMs that take foreign cards, so they have been vital to my trip. You can actually buy substantial, reasonably-priced food there, too. Let's have a round of applause for 7-Eleven.

We all hopped aboard the train to Osaka-Abenobashi, the station right next to Tennoji Station, and started walking towards Tennoji.


A Lazy Sunday


I said Friday was a "free day," but it didn't even compare to the free-ness of that Sunday. I slept in a little, ate breakfast, and admired my accumulation of stuff.
Not pictured: omiyage.
 After sitting around and browsing the internet, doing my homework, and just being lazy in general, I headed over to another, closer supermarket called "Harves" (not a typo) with Kilo and Jackson to check it out.

Harves? Sounds like some kind of disease...


Tennoji Station And The Mall

I love these mats so much that I decided to take pictures of them. They're so cushy and easy to walk on but you can stand stuff up on them just like hardwood floor. You can't get rug burn from them, either.


On Saturday, we took the train to Osaka-Abenobashi, a station right near Tennoji. 


A "Free" Day


Friday was the first day that, after school, we had no obligations. So a bunch of Japanese people asked us to play soccer.

Trip to Umeda

Grocery Store Trip

Thursday was a pretty average day at school. We handed in homework, learned, received homework, etc.

After school, we went home and headed to the grocery store. "We," meaning Jackson, Rick, Sean, Dustin, and me. I needed to get some general supplies. Toilet paper, food; the typical stuff you would get at a grocery store.
Japanese cemeteries are way cool.
I take pictures of them whenever I can.
There is a cool cemetery on the road to the supermarket I had never noticed before. I took a picture. I didn't, however, take any pictures of the supermarket. Again. I got some eggs, bananas, blocks of curry mix, and meat and veggies to make said curry. I got some toilet paper, because the people before us only left 2 rolls. They actually left us quite a bit of stuff, like shampoo and laundry detergent, so I'm not complaining.

Kilo soon showed up at the dorm. He said he was going to the Pokemon center. Needless to say, I was going, too.



Day 2 (or 3)

I again woke up pretty early on the second day of school (probably because of jet-lag). Knowing I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, I got up and got ready.
Some Engrish Kilo found on the label of the towel
I bought the day before.
More natto.
 I still had a couple more cups of natto left, so I went ahead and started the rice first. I wanted to try mixing the rice and natto.


First Day of School, Pt. 2

After we went and looked at the gym (there is a pretty ramshackle set of work-out equipment up there), we made our way back downstairs and towards the library.

The library.
We learned where to go to find English books (not really sure why I'd want to do that), and where the computer lab-type area is.


First Day of School


On Tuesday, I woke up around 5:00. Kilo and Jackson were still asleep, so I silently slid the door open and brought my laptop into the kitchen. In the morning, I tend to get distracted really easily. I did some writing for this blog, but after maybe 5 minutes I got up and started washing dishes. There are actually quite a few utensils, cups, bowls, pans, pots, and other kitchen tools, but they are all really old and beat up, and most of them were dirty. After I had cleaned a solid amount of them, I decided to try and figure out the rice cooker.

There were no instructions on the rice cooker, so I used the instructions on the bag of rice. There are no measuring cups, so I used a drinking glass which looks to be about 2 cups.

I ate a banana, and then tried out the natto. It was disgusting. Luckily the rice was coming soon. We were just experimenting with the time, so we were checking it every 30 minutes or so.

At this point, Kilo had awakened, and Jackson had, too, to some degree. Kilo and I decided to go on a walk around the neighborhood.

The Program Begins

Watch your fingers...
Tuesday the 3rd, the first day of the program, was an absolutely amazing day. After 12:00, people started to show up. First were Jackson and Sean. About an hour after they joined us, members started streaming in one after the other. It wasn't long at all until we had a full group.

A little after 4, a couple of Japanese women showed up and started taking a head count. Our program director, Shoji Azuma, wouldn't be showing up until Wednesday, apparently. After they had introduced themselves (I'm bad with names, so don't ask), they told us to go take a walk for 40 minutes; we would be leaving then.



Land Ho!

After about 10 hours, I noticed that the display showed that the plane was above the coast of Japan.
The first time I saw Japan.
I opened the window and saw the most awesome thing I've ever seen in my entire life. I was literally looking at Japan. I slowly started to realize that I was technically now in Japan, and that I was seeing it for the first time, physically right below me. I know it probably doesn't seem like that big of a deal to somebody reading a blog, but I had tears welling up in my eyes. It was such a moving experience to see what was literally the place of my dreams appearing before my eyes.

There were still 2 hours left of the flight, and I spent nearly every minute of those 2 hours gazing out the window, watching the tiny cities and mountains slowly float by. This was it. I was was there.
A random city who chose to remain anonymous.
I saw lots of cities and mountains, and even more clouds. I tried to figure out what cities I was looking at based on the location according to the monitor, but I was none too successful. As we neared Osaka, the clouds thickened.
It's hard to believe that underneath this beautiful,
white blanket of clouds is a "gloomy," rainy day.
Almost there...

Sitting Around, Doing Nothing... On A PLANE!

Learning to Fly

Yesterday (or was it today...?), I finally set out on my journey to to the land of the rising sun. By airplane. What does that mean? MORE WAITING!
That's right! "The day" might finally have "come," but really it all boils down to the same thing. Sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting to be in Japan.
Friendly Bunch.
I began in Salt Lake City, of course. My dad took me to the airport and helped me get checked in for the first time, because he's cool like that. The TSA were surprisingly cheerful. They were all laughing and smiling and cracking jokes. I took off my shoes, I emptied my pockets and half of my backpack. I walked through the scanner. I put on my shoes, I filled my pockets and half of my backpack. When I got to the terminal, I realized I had shown up unnecessarily early, and so the waiting began!