Now that I am back in the States, I am starting to miss Japan terribly. It has been less than a month since my return and am still adjusting to the reverse culture shock of the United States. You wouldn't expect it to happen, but after spending four months on the other side of the Pacific with bicycles whizzing by and not seeing a green plot of land... well, the transition will hit you full in the face.
A Pair of Ohashi
Equipped to discover Food & Life in Japan
I am a twenty one year old Korean American who is currently studying abroad for a semester at Kansai Gaidai University.
Though I will only be here for a few months, I wanted to document my experience here with a few words and pictures.
Email me at email@example.com
My apologies, but I wanted to insert a quick update. What's to come: >> Kyoto & Osaka : I have been to Kiomizudera and parts of Osaka since I've been here and I hope to give you some more information about that!
Let’s take a journey down memory lane together.
I arrived in Osaka, Japan on August 29, 2009, to a humid and rather sticky Saturday evening. After a seventeen and a half hour flight and sleeping for only a few short hours, I was tired and excited to spend the following four months 7,000 miles from home. I traveled from JFK, and New York with six of my fellow classmates.
I can still remember the nervousness I felt towards my insurance company (by this time, they STILL didn’t send the documentation that Kansai required), worrying if I would ever make Japanese friends, and wondering who my host family would be. These of course were silly worries since the insurance company, I was placed into a wonderful host family, and I am meeting people every day on campus.
We did not arrive back to our temporary housing, the Seminar Houses, which is the equivalent to a dormitory until 9PM. Dropping my luggage into the room, it was eerily quiet. A few hours later, I was introduced to my temporary roommate, a French Canadian, studying abroad for a year, and we shared bits of our life stories. Since then, we’ve shared more of our lives and still see each other time to time in class.
The first week is much more of a blur than anything else now. The weather was sticky and hot, but absolutely sunny and beautiful. Every day I walked onto campus, the baseball team diligently practicing for several hours at a time. I discovered the following:
100 Yen Shops are amazing! Though the one nearby the Seminar Houses actually sells items at 105 Yen (Approximately $1.15 USD) you can find pens, slippers, and cheap alarm clocks that will tick…tick…tick…you until you want to scream.
Okonomiyaki is the best! Takoyaki has also become a favorite. Its crunchy crust on the outside with sweet vegetables and meat perfectly fried on the inside is covered with a deliciously mysterious dark sauce. No wonder these fried treats are particular specialties of this area.
Receiving an after-dinner invitation by the Social Butterfly on campus to the nearby park will mean that 300 other people will join you and create a ruckus.
In this first “orientation” week, I ventured off to Kyoto, and Namba, Osaka … posts which will follow this one.
The first round of exams is quickly approaching… I actually have three to study for tomorrow.
Hello World! Welcome to ‘A Pair of Ohashi’. I am a 21 year-old student who is currently studying abroad for a semester at Kansai Gaidai University. This blog has been set up to document, in a few words and pictures, my time here in Japan. I’ve currently lived in Japan for the past 7 weeks, and I must say, it has been a most rewarding and incredible journey so far. I actually attempted to start another blog in Tumblr, but it died as quickly as it was created. Curious? You can follow the link to check out a few initial posts about my trip here.
Seven weeks?! That must mean you’ve done so much already! Though that is true, I will attempt to recount my experiences from the very beginning, although those memories are quickly fading. I will try to update frequently in order to catch up to the present. Enjoy the storytelling for now; you’re in for a journey about various places in Japan!
I wish that I could visit more places in Japan in my short time here. My pocket is shallow, but my words can (hopefully) express my joys and struggles better.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions! I will try my best to answer them. Hopefully, I can also provide some useful links to more information. Though I am still learning about the Japanese lifestyle here, perhaps I can provide some tidbits of wisdom along the way.
So let the journey begin! I am equipped with my pair of ohashi and ready to explore!