I’ve been toying with some new designs for my webpage. This is very, very bare and incomplete, but it’s a basic idea of what it may look like. Let me know what you think!
This was another fun trip courtesy of the Sekine travel agency. It was a pretty large group that went - 3 vans full of americans, a couple Thai kids, and some Japanese members as well.
The drive only took 2 hours to get to Kyoto, but we ended up driving around the city for another 3 hours for reasons none of us know. Anyway the first night we ate at an Italian restaurant which I can best describe as a good effort. It’s always interesting seeing the Japanese take on foreign food. It was filling at least.
After dinner we headed over to the resort which we were all excited about. We got settled and then spent an hour and a half in Karaoke. I probably look and sound like a complete idiot doing this, but at least I’m having a lot of fun.
The next morning we headed to breakfast. Unfortunately, we did not go as one big group so I was forced to find it on my own. Even though the restaurant was in the resort, it took me 15 minutes to find it. I kept getting lost and taking wrong turns. I finally found it by the time everyone else was finishing their breakfast.
The sightseeing for the day was really cool. Unfortunately, it’s hard to always know what we’re looking at in terms of historical significance. Both places were Buddhist temples/shrines. What most of these places have in common is the age of the structures and the nice smell of incense which always seems to be burning. After visiting the first shrine, we walked down the hill along a path with little booths set up all along the way. I spent the little money I had on me buying some Japanese food to make up for my short breakfast. One of my favorite snacks are these little moshi balls with soy sauce. I have a picture of it in the album.
Not much else to report on Kyoto - we headed back right after the Shrines and arrives at Aikio around 9 that night.
Yesterday was a pretty quiet day. I spent the day doing Rosetta Stone lessons and messing around with a new design for my website. I’m not sure if I’m going to use this or not, but it’s a fun little project none the less. At night we played soccer in the gym. I just happened to be in the gym when they started so I was the only American to play. I had such a great time. We played three games and I scored either 7 or 8 goals. Unfortunately, the floor is very hard and I am very skinny so when I fall, it hurts. I think I messed up my left hip pretty bad. It made it difficult to sleep last night. Hopefully this heals up soon.
Time really has been flying by, It’s about the middle of November already. Granted, we have done a lot in this time and thinking back to when I got here, it seems like a long time ago. I have to honestly say I haven’t really felt homesick. The only things I really miss are my close friends and family….and the beach house. Other than that, I am feeling very comfortable here and love the people I’m around. The idea of leaving here is really hard to think about, but luckily crossing that bridge is pretty far down the road.
Speaking of being here a while, my 90-day visa is coming close to running out. This means I need to leave Japan for a couple days before I can re-enter for another 90 days. Originally I was planning on trying to go back to the U.S. for a week or so but they asked if I could go to South Korea for a few days. Since they are the ones picking up the bill, I wasn’t going to try and get my way. Plus, I’ve never been to South Korea. Still, it would have been nice to get to see everyone from home.
Nothing has been planned for today as far as I know. This might be a good day to study some more Japanese on my own. We’ll see how that goes.
Pictures will be up shortly. Thanks for reading!
Hang tight everyone. Tomorrow morning I’ll be posting pictures and a blog about my trip to Kyoto. It should be up by late tonight (your time).
Many cool things to share so check back soon.
The past two days have been quiet.
Yesterday was festival day for the church. I want to attend one of these before April, but I opted out of this one. I think when most of the Americans leave and I have a lot less to do I’ll attend one. The festival starts at 1 pm and is very ceremonious - meaning all the songs and dances are done very slowly with a lot of pausing and bowing in between. On top of that 3 people speak for about an hour each. For someone who cannot understand 95% of what they’re saying, this would be a very tedious 4 hours.
Speaking of not understanding Japanese, I’ve taken another serious step forward in learning the language. I’m diving into my language computer software pretty deep in hopes that within a couple months, I may be able to communicate somewhat passably. Despite having an increasing growing vocabulary, I still have a difficult time understanding a single sentence anyone says to me. It’s not that I’m not trying (believe me, I am) it’s just the dissimilarity between English and Japanese is so great. I’ll be damned if I can’t call myself mildly proficient at Japanese by the time I leave - whenever that is.
Anyway today was another slow day. I finally have a dresser in my room so my clothes are off the floor. Tomorrow around lunch time we leave for Kyoto. We’ll be there for one night (at the resort!) and will have a chance to see many of the places we haven’t yet.
On that note I’m going to head to bed now. I want to wake up early tomorrow for church/breakfast/skype with Dan/finish my laundry.
Next post will be in a couple days with plenty of good stories and pictures.