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Archive for June, 2010

I thought that with the new experience ahead of me, it would maybe be beneicial to post a little bit on my past experience in Japan.

During December 2007 and January 2008 I spent my time travelling around the rural country side prefectures of Fukui and Ishikawa in Japan, I was lucky enough to be welcomed into the houses of several great families, who still, after several years, hold a very important in heart.

 So over the next few days I will be posting a entry about my exchange to Japan during December 2007 and January 2008, it will probably be separated into three parts.

Minamiechizen

First I stayed in a small town called Minamiechizen in Fukui prefecture, this really was such a small town, especially for Japan, I myself am originally from a small town in Australia, but this was amazing. The town was just so beautifully small and quaint, everyone I met, no matter how briefly was just so kind, I think every town, no matter how big or small should be like Minamiehcizen.

Also it was such a visually beautiful place, surrounded by high mountains covered in snow with fog jumping off, a mixture of green and white and traditional buildings, I really can’t full describe how amazing it all was.   

A view of a Minamiechizen road on a random drive

That picture no way near catches the beauty of it, but sadly my photography skills failed back then.

But back on to the topic of the wonderful people there, the two host families I had in Minamiechizen were great, straight away I felt like I was part of the family, I hope I can see them again once again when I go back to Japan starting august.

The view outside the window of my bedroom in Minamiechizen

 I wanna see my host nieces so much.

I got to make soba noodles from the very start of the process, it was hard work, made even harder when I got them finished, started eating them and decided I don’t like soba (I prefer udon) but it was still fun, it was one of the first things I did in Japan, so it’s a fond memory.

I got to visit the towns local small temple, it was so different that the big temples you think of when you think of Tokyo and Kyoto, it was small and oddly homely, but it was great, I was happy that it was the first shrine/temple I got to visit. 

Inside the Minamiechizen temple/shrine

Outside the Minamiechizen temple/shrine

I got to visit the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum; I don’t even know what to say about it, I had never been to a dinosaur museum before, so seeing some of the stuff on display was awe inspiring, they had everything, from small little creatures to the huge ones like mammoths and Apatosaurus.

Outside the museum

Outside the museum, its just so cute >w<

I got to have so many great experiences; it was truly such a great time of my life.

So I will end this blog with a picture of my host nieces and their friends dressing me as a ghost.

My host niece Chisa and me as a ghost

Being turned into a ghost

Lori  ~<3

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Finally got my plane tickets.

I will arrive at Narita airport at around 6am on Friday the 13th of August.

I am gonna give myself a few hours to get of the plane, grab my luggage, go through customs etc, then I will probably grab something to eat somewhere in the terminal then go buy a ticket for the shuttle bus, I am going to try to arrange with a friend to meet me at Shibuya station.

So in total I will probably give myself around two and a half hours, maybe even three from the time I arrive, just to do everything I need in the terminal, anyone who knows me knows I can get lost and confused easily, so this amount of time is warranted.

So I will probably try to catch the shuttle bus around 9:30 or 10am, and since the shuttle bus takes between 85minutes and 115minutes (depending on traffic) to arrive at the Shibuya drop offs, I will hopefully be able to meet my friend at around 12ish.

Ahhhh its gonna be so busy *__*

I’m lucky, it is a direct flight except for my domestic flight from Adelaide to Sydney.

I will probably arrive in Hirakata either the 29th or 30th of August So looking forward to this now.

Taken during flight from Sydney to Tokyo in 2007

 Soon I will be staring out at that view again.

Lori ❤

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Finally I have my Kansai Gaidai exchange blog

I have been wanting to start this blog for so long now, but until this point there has always been something stopping me from doing so.

At the start when I was going through the application process my thought was “what if I don’t get in, if that’s the case this blog will just become a bad memory”, but now that the application process is done, that’s not so much of a worry anymore.

Actually I think my application process was somewhat easy compared to what I read on other blogs, the application through my university was almost absurdly easy, it was quite a while ago, but if I remember right, I just needed to fill in some basic information, one teacher reference, and to write a short two paragraph description of why I wanted to go to Japan, as well as list my top 3 choices of university…. Now for a admission…. Kansai Gaidai was actually my third choice of university, but I can explain this.

Originally I was determined on going to Nagoya University of Foreign Studies because I have a friend who I meet last time I went to Japan, who studies there, so for some reason my mind was solely concentrated on NUFS, then I randomly put down Tsukuba university as my second choice with only slight research, and Kansai Gaidai into third with no research what so ever apart from the fact that is was near Osaka and I have a friend who lives near Osaka.

Now I can say without doubt that getting my third choice was the best thing that could have happened to me, there are so many ways that Kansai Gaidai suits me better, one being the home stay program.

However initially I was upset, it meant a change in plans, luckily a friend was able to calm me down and start me thinking rationally.

After that step was complete it was onto the Kansai Gaidai application part of the process, now this had a lot more work involved in it, so many forums to fill out, essays to write…..10 passport style photos, and the dreaded teacher references, I will admit, that I had a lot of trouble chasing the teachers references, one of my teachers ended up being unavailable due to illness, and no one thought it would be good to tell me until 5 days before the deadline >.<, luckily I was able to get another teacher to quickly do the reference, but another of my references…it was pure hell, in the end it ended up being received by Kansai Gaidai….THE DAY BEFORE THE DEADLINE.

Talk about a panic attack.

But with that the application process was finally complete, and apart from the mass amount of butterflies flying around in the pit of my stomach I could relax.

I banned my mum from checking my uni email (a bad habit of hers) because I wanted to be the first one to read the next email from Kansai Gaidai, regardless to whether it was acceptance or rejection. But despite this….my mother still read it first >.<

 She tried hard to hide the fact that she read it, just coming into my room and saying I got a new email from Kansai Gaidai, but I knew straight away from the smile on her face, I went and read it anyway, shaking like crazy, but I got in.

I must say, those are the best few words I have ever read.

So anyway, now we are here, the in between point.

I have filled in my housing information, as well as my arrival information, and I am waiting for my COE before I apply for my visa in Perth or Melbourne (because Adelaide doesn’t have an embassy) I still haven’t booked my plane tickets, because I want to talk to my host families during my last stay, to see if I can go early and visit and stay with them for a few days each before I book my tickets, and I am also on the hunt for a good new luggage bag, not a BIG W cheapie that I usually end up getting.

I am also trying to finish of my last few assignments for this semester, study for my last exam (this blog will be made all pretty once my assignments and exams are done), and get all the sewing I need to get done before Japan done.

 Busy times are busy, but it will all be worth it.

The second issue that delayed me from starting this blog was the naming of it, I always tend to over think these kind of things, I wanted to have a blog name that would be a emphasis on my experience while in Japan, without being cliché or cheesy.

after about a week of thinking and stressing “my experience” suddenly came into my mind, I am constantly saying it, that this will be my experience, so it finally clicked that it would be the perfect name for my blog, but I wanted it to become a bit more Japanese, so tranlasted it into Japanese and it becomes “私の経験” or in romaji “Watashi No Keiken”

To put all of this into a conclusion, I have no doubt that there will be hard times, difficult times where I wish I was home, times I wish I was home with my friends and family, but there will also be many great times, great experiences that I wouldn’t get any other way.

This is my experience; it will be what I make it.

Lori~~~<3

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