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Latest stories from Japan

On the Way to Kyushu

Wed, 6 Apr 2016 | By kakimono | Views [429]

“I want to go to Kyushu,” I heard myself say while video chatting with my parents. It was a weird thing for me to say. Like someone in Chicago saying “I want to go to Minnesota.” There’s nothing wrong with Minnesota, it’... Read more >

Tags: bus, coffee, fukuoka, kyushu, transportation

Tests, Plums, and Cats

Mon, 28 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [303]

On Wednesday my religion and culture class was cancelled, which should have made the day seem shorter and better by comparison. It didn't. In part this was because we had our second Japanese test, immediately followed by two hours of project work.... Read more >

Tags: castle, cat, coffee, plum trees, tests

Kiyoumizu in Kyoto

Wed, 23 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [399]

On Friday we had a class excursion to Kyoto to make pottery. I love that that's a thing we can do. Not the pottery so much as just going to Kyoto for a class excursion. My parents were notably less thrilled about the entire thing, and advised me to ... Read more >

Tags: kyoto, middle schoolers, namesake, pottery, temple, views

Birthday Traditions Old and New (Like, so new they're not even a tradition yet...)

Sat, 19 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [352]

On Thursday, I decided to celebrate my birthday in some kind of imitation of tradition. One part of the tradition was getting pancakes. (Another part was going to a Japanese restaurant where they cook the food in front of you, which sounds like it should ... Read more >

Tags: money, onsen, pancakes, water

Why are Tuesdays so Long?

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [379]

On Tuesday we started chapter six. Which was sad, because six is a multiple of three. We have chapter tests every three chapters. So even though it seemed like we’d just finished a chapter test, we were already nearly due for another one. Joy.... Read more >

Tags: cats, host family, japanese, math, programs

Shoes and Chocolate

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [467]

Following class on Monday, I took the now-familiar train to Nagahoribashi as if I was going to Mondial Kaffee. (Spoiler alert: I wasn’t.) Then I walked the same way I had last time when I was just looking around until I found the Sketchers shop ... Read more >

Tags: chocolate, heart, nanoblocks, shoes

Plums and Deer

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [358]

On Saturday I returned to Osaka Castle. It was a rather impulsive decision, since I’d been most of the way towards just taking another walk by the river when I decided I’d rather go back to Osaka Castle and see if I could find the plum trees ... Read more >

Tags: cards, deer, manhole covers, nara, nature, shrine, temple

This Seems Like It Should Explain Something

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [411]

On Wednesday, I was exposed to several small but very odd things about Japanese culture. First of all, we were practicing new kanji. One of those kanji was the character for rice, which, for whatever reason, is also the character for America. So ... Read more >

Tags: beer, chocolate, coffee, commercialism, culture, wedding

What Day is It?

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [354]

One of Suzuki-sensei’s favorite starts to the class is asking “what is today’s date? What day is today?” The first is a straightforward question, the second is a question that only she knows the answer to. Usually it’s ... Read more >

Tags: akutagawa, chopin, dates, japanese, literature, music, numbers

How do you say "Omm" in Japanese?

Wed, 9 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [355]

Sunday was the CET trip to Arashiyama, near Kyoto. So we met at 8:30 (on a Sunday!) at the train station and caught a succession of trains to Arashiyama. It was pretty uneventful, with the most interesting part probably being watching a woman come to ... Read more >

Tags: buddhism, meditation, monk, spirtuality, sweets

Photos: Spring Festival Holiday Adventure - Part Two

Tue, 8 Mar 2016 | By zioned | Photo Gallery

See all 15 photos >>

More Tea on a Saturday

Tue, 8 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [249]

I was starting to run low on tea, so on Saturday I decided to return to Mariage Frères. Only not the Mariage Frères that I'd already been to, because that would have been too easy. Recall that the website put Osaka as ... Read more >

Tags: books, pastries, survival japanese, tea

The End of a Week

Sun, 6 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [298]

We did have classes on Friday, which was a disturbing change of events after two consecutive three-day weekends. And, because we'd taken the test the day before, we were already well on our way to a new chapter. Complete with new grammars, new vocabulary, ... Read more >

Tags: coffee, malls, trains

Testing, 1, 2, 3, Testing

Sat, 5 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [326] | Comments [1]

Thursday, we had our first full test in Japanese class. So instead of just asking about grammar or vocabulary, every aspect of the past three textbook chapters were potential questions. And, because we only have them every three chapters, it was a rather ... Read more >

Tags: class, grammar, japanese, test

And Every Sentence that I Spoke Began and Ended with Ellip...ses

Fri, 4 Mar 2016 | By kakimono | Views [356]

Chapter two (which we’ve moved past, but whatever) was about speech styles. It focused for the most part on speech levels, but there was a bit where they discussed other things, such as tanshukukei and shouryaku. Neither of those are super ... Read more >

Tags: coteaching, ellipses, grammar, japanese

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