Andreas’s Japan journeys

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Homestay package IV

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 10:05 pm

Hello everyone, back with a new update, and most likely the last one I will make before moving away from my homestay. So in the future you can hope for more regular and better updates. Or something. I’m moving in exactly 2 weeks, Tuesday, 2 days before the biggest test I’ve ever had at Yamasa will fire, and 3 days before I get my spring holiday! But more about that later when it comes, for now, just read my latest batch of updates covering January and February and the beginning of this month. Oh and btw, the pictures I am mentioning will most likely not be uploaded to my gallery until after I’ve moved, so you have to do with the little stuff I’m giving you now, for now. Now… read!!

The foreigner in the foreign quarter in a foreign land, unknown date (I forgot when this was…January I think)

So, the title says it all. Today I went to Kobe and left my homestay at about five in the morning, which means I got up at half past three. You should’ve seen me on the way back home later at night… In any case, me and a friend went to Kobe to check the town out, and while I don’t regret going, Kobe was not a very special town in the manner I had expected. Not like I imagine Kyoto or Tokyo to be. But I did a few fun things and I’ve taken some photos too of places I passed by on this tour of the city!

First off after a 6 hour train ride, we go to this smaller town outside Kobe to look at a castle. It takes about 5 minutes until we run back to the train again to head for the real Kobe. But it was a nice castle. Another 30 minutes and we split up for lunch. My friend is a gormet and he was searching for this special meat restaurant. I chose to eat Korean ramen and then we got together and went to the foreign quarter. This was the place where American, German, Dutch and the rest of the West’s merchants were allowed to stay during the late 1800s when Japan was re-opened to foreigners. Some very striking western buildings we checked before hitting the icecream stands. I ate a cow milk-flavoured one, it sure tasted weird. I thought I had ordered vanilla, but no…

After that we went a long way to the harbour and half strolled half ran through a park on the way (you have no idea how stressed we were at some points, especially when thinking we were lost, found a thing to guide us and then getting lost again…). At the harbour we look a serious detour and then found ourselves at a huge fish statue I took a picture of. After that we went to this famous mall where I bought some presents and a chocolate cake. Kobe was supposed to have this famous choclate or something but when I got home and ate it it was like a 500 yen cake you buy at the supermarket. Quite the letdown if you ask me… I hope my mother’s present tastes better. I bought some sake for my father and then it hit me he doesn’t like sake. So now I have 1,5L of alcohol to heave, plus my whiskey I still haven’t finished. After that I ate another icecream, melon and raisin, and then we headed for the train for the 6 hour ride back home. I was painfully reminded that I still had a 45min bikeride home after arriving at the station.

I am uploading all the Kobe pictures into my photo gallery that is still a mess, but for now you have to live with it, because I don’t have enough time to make it nicer because of lack of time.

– – –

Today’s word is tsuraipainful

The perfect birthday gift 19/2

Hey I made it! I finally got myself a girl! In Japan no less! And on my birthday, the timing couldn’t have been better. Unfortunately she is not Japanese. American by all standards. Blond-grey hair, huge boobs and skinny dress. She even gave me a Coca Cola which was nice. Ironically it was the teacher who introduced us. My grammar teacher who often seems like the most boring of the four suddenly thought it was a good idea to get the two of us together. I guess she did it because she didn’t know I fancy Japanese girls more… Oh well, what is done is done and it was a nice birthday gesture.


– – –

Today’s word is kanpekiperfect

To be elected or not be elected, that is the question 23/2

It is time for the Yamasa school’s speech taikai. It means meeting, but to us it is synonomous with challenge. I have been studying for this speech for about three or four weeks, and then it just happens that I wasn’t even selected in the class. It was probably because of my amazing cold and fever I got which didn’t really help my performance in class. After all that work I wasn’t elected… But still, it was kind of nice not to be the one to talk in front of 300 students and an unknown number of Japanese who wanted to come to listen to foreigners speak about their experiences in Japan. And be filmed at the same time so that classes in the future have an example to watch as preparation for their own speech.

In any case, the speech contest was pretty good, but there were a lot of contestants’ Japanese that I didn’t understand, especially the higher class entrances’, but I voted for the guy looking like Harry Potter because he was talking about Japanese and western clothing which I found more interesting than the winner who (most likely) talked about a book she had read or something. At least she held it up in the end so then you could guess what she had been talking about, but who can truly know. The speech really felt like something for the upper classes and that the lower classes were just there to entertain with poor Japanese and crazy stories since we cannot speak about advanced things yet. Next time I’ll talk about space travel for sure, that’ll teach’em!

– – –

Today’s word is mendokusaibothersome

Flamable devils and Japanese culture 24/2

This Saturday Canadian Friend and I decided to go to a festival that was held at this far away temple. I hopped onto the train and then we took a walk for about 1,5 hours to get to the place. Once there we found out we were about 5 hours too early. So we waited and ate chocolate bananas and were offered to buy “Japanese culture”. Some highschool boys were selling it outside the temple, because their school was right next to it, and to get some cash for the class they had hand-made stuff in a crate they were willing to sell to us for some rediculous price. They went crazy when I declined in Japanese after they having tried to sell it to us in English. It was pretty funny to see their faces after that.

The festival was definitely worth going to, but while waiting my back started hurting like hell, because we were squeezed in between loads of other people who were trying to get good places to see from since the front was packed with photographers who were blocking the sight to the temple quite well sometimes. After waiting from half past 3 to 8 the minor show finally started. I’ve taken some pictures and (soundless) movies of the intro, and also when the real stuff started and ended (8:45-9:00). They basically were driving out evil spirits and devils by burning the temple. This forced the fire brigade to be ready at the scene, both before and after, by spraying the temple with water. But in the end it was a nice event with cool effects. I just hate my camera for not recording sound. Some movies might seem long and boring, but at least look at the last ones if any (though all of them are worth it if you have the time in my opinion) and you will see the devils being driven away, and some fighters showing their skills at slaying the beasts. I am uploading the pictures to the gallery as there are about 30 of them and none of them felt any exciting to lis there since I have the movies.

– – –

Today’s word is harau – to exorcise

In a far, far away friend’s apartment, a not so long time ago 3/3

Darth Vader has become Daasu Beidaa, R2D2 has become Aatsu Deetsu (which isn’t really that different to the stupid Swedish subtitle name Artoo Detoo he has received back home) and I don’t even know if they named Chewbacca. Luke has become surnameless and our good old Han is now known as only Solo. It really did take some time to figure out that they were naming some characters the Japanese way and some the western way. Yes, you’ve figured it right. I’ve watched Star Wars this weekend, and in Japanese no less!!

Canadian Friend has bought the trilogy on DVD so we gathered this weekend to watch “episodo yon – rararararara kanji”. We had royal entertainment the whole night if you excuse the pun, and I even bought icecream from a machinevendor. I think I’ve seen the strangest machinevendors in Japan ever. Drink ones are common, and cigarette can be found at least in England, so those two I had seen before coming to Japan, but this icecream, and also a battery one during above mentioned festival, and then the warmfood one with hotdogs and crap, it’s amazing what you can actually find. In any case, feasting on that icecream we watched the first movie and heard classics like “I’ve got a bad feeling about this“, “May the Force be with you” (I seriously wish my classmate would stop repeating that one in the classroom…. OTL), and “That is no moon, it is a space station“, all in Japanese. Could the evening have been better? I think not.

– – –

Today’s word is teikoku(the) empire

Video Japan VIII 5/3

Alright, do I have some cool videos for you today or what! I have both music, game, and movie movies. Movie movies… Well, whatever.

Another song of the Japanese metal band Metal Safari. It is difficult to say which one is better, I like them both. If I can I’m getting their CD but from what I’ve found out, I think the only way to buy it is through their homepage. I’ve search countless stores and it is nowhere to be found.

A movie sequence from a game I’m going to buy once I get my hand on a Wii. It is called Fire Emblem and is a very popular series in Japan. This latest game is the 10th in the series, starting on old NES and now making it’s way to Wii. It is a mix of strategy and RPG and it is the only of its kind to any console if I’m correct.

This clip would be fun even if you didn’t know of Star Trek I think, but you won’t get the finer bits of humour if you haven’t seen the series I think. No matter, the clip in itself is really funny. It’s not sick humour, just plain goofy one. Made my MadTV, a show just like Saturday night live.

– – –

Today’s word is omoshiroihilarious



  1. Fire Emblem looked cool, guess I have to try and get a Fire Emblem GBA since Wii is’nt in the house yet.

    Comment by Jonah — Wednesday, March 7, 2007 @ 5:59 am

  2. There is also Fire Emblem for the GC, Path of Radiance, which is the first game in the newest series while the Wii (Godddess of something, not officially named yet) is the direct followup. I am therefore thinking of buying that game too since GC games are compatible with Wii, and thus I will get both games in the same series of Fire Emblem. I think that your hcoice for GBA also will be a winner, but it will be the reverse for me in buying since I don’t have the GBA but the Wii instead. :)

    Comment by Andreas — Thursday, March 8, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

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