Category Archives: Japan

In the end of March 2012 I arrived in Japan as an exchange student at Ritsumeikan University (立命館大学) in Kyoto until February 2013.

Winter and Autumn

Winter is coming – 冬到来

Coordinates: 35.020507667285315,135.71033477783203

Just right after Halloween had ended, the enterprises in Japan switched their decoration to Christmas inspired themes. So starting from November I could listen to Christmas songs while I went shopping, and admire Santa Claus figurines advertising the latest products. Autumn is known to be the finest season in Kyoto and therefore thousands of domestic and international tourists are streaming into the city to take pictures and buying souvenirs (お土産omiyage - souvenirs A very important word in Japan.) for their friends.

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Things you should do in Japan

As my time in Japan is slowly coming towards an end I started thinking about if I really have made good use of my time so far and what I am still missing. I came up with this list:

  • Visit at least 3 major Islands (Honshu, Kyushu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, Okinawa)
  • Do Karaoke until dawn
  • Stay at a Japanese friend’s house
  • Visit Onsen regularly
  • Talk to a Japanese person every day
  • Go to a Karaoke with a girl you like
  • Get lost in Tokyo
  • Visit a rural place
  • Go to a Hanami (花見) with only Japanese people
  • Go to a Purikura (プリクラ)
  • Sleep at a temple
  • Sleep in a Ryokan (旅館)
  • Soak in a wild hot spring
  • Eat Sashimi (刺身)
  • Spend a night in a Love Hotel
  • Visit Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社)
  • Eat Fugu (ふぐ)
  • Have a BBQ with Japanese friends

Some items are already checked, but others are still open. . .

More suggestions are always welcome!


Chapter II – 第二章

The summer vacation is almost at its end and autumn is getting closer. The first semester is definitely over now and changes came with the vacation. Our dormitory was almost empty at the beginning of the vacation but now it is filled up with people again. Almost four dozen new students brought new life into the empty halls. The nights are lively again as they used to be before the break.

September was the month of part-time job and Kanji. Trying to catch up what I was missing to join a higher language course I spent my free time to practice drawing the ancient characters radical by radical. Furthermore recent alterations in my health-related behaviour are torturing and blessing me at the same time and therefore many distractions are necessary. I also re-polished the blog theme and it is more gorgeous and flexible than ever (unless you’re using internet explorer).

Last week orientation sessions started again and with them the language placement was conducted. I successfully entered the aimed course and this semester will be dedicated to the Japanese language. Chapter II begins. 第二章開始.