I took a break from basically constant study and took a trip to Kyoto. A classmate invited me and I thought it might be good to get out.

And it was! So far, it's the second best vacation I've ever taken in Japan...Well, in Asia as well!

We (6 of us) got up before dawn and walked to the train in the POURING RAIN!!! 3 hours later, the sun was up, we were still wet but we made it to Kyoto.

We saw tons of colored leaves which were beautiful. Kyoto really is an amazing place. On Sunday we lucked out in more than one instance!

My Swiss friend's "family" in Kyoto owns a very famous green tea shop. When we went to visit, the father gave us a tour of the shop and museum, gave us a lesson on how to make green tea (blew my mind) and let us try out a few famous drinks and desserts all for the low low price of "サービス" (<--free)

THEN, we found out that right at the moment, for one day only, the city office was putting on a special Kimono event. Anyone who wanted to could go to and get themselves robed in a Kimono (the real thing) and walk around the city.

Usually something that is quite expensive, again, received for free. I do believe it was mostly open only to people who lived there. In that, only local residents would have known about it in the first place!

While still in Kimono, we went back to the shop and checked out the park near by. I later found out it's the same park/temple that is featured on the 10yen coin.


After that we checked out some more temples and by the time we made our way home on Sunday night, I was ready to pass out. BUT WAIT!!! I still had homework I had to do before Monday (TuT) yeah!

My Classmates

Hey guys. Sorry I haven't blogged for a while but trust me when I tell you I have never been so inactive in my life. My days consist of waking up, eating breakfast (new for me) going to class, coming home, studying and then making dinner. I honestly don't do anything else. And the weekend? Yeah, they're maxed out with study too. My brain is so fried!!!!

As for friends, there are a few really interesting characters at this school that I've met. There are of course the normal geeks and otaku who love Japan because they're weird (that kettle is black I say!) but there are also a few people who are just so much cooler than that.

One in particular is my friend Derek. He's actually kinda sorta famous! The first thing we did in class was give our self introductions in Japanese.

Hi, my name is Nina. I'm from America. My hobby is reading books.


And then Derek speaks up.

Hi, my name is Derek. I'm from America. My hobby is playing the drums.

Equally as boring if you think about it.

Then a Filipino girl looked up and asked, do you play in a band?

Turns out, Derek was in a band called The Speaks who never made it big in the states but went on to huge fame in the Philippines.

And then, the other day, a Brazilian student came into class and says "Hey guys, check out what I found". And we spent the next 10 minutes watching and rewatching Derek's bands music video and laughing at him whenever we caught a shot of him playing the drums.


Ok, maybe just for me.


My other friend...

So every week I have to write two journal entries in Japanese. I try to make them interesting to read but honestly, when I do nothing but study all day ever day, I'm seriously lacking in material.

But this one journal caught my teachers eye. I wrote it about my friend Olivier. (Oh-lih-vee-eh) [half French/Taiwanese American] She mentioned to me that it was kinda cute. But what I didn't know until about a week later is that she had Olivier's teacher read it too. And she commented to him about it. Kinda funny...since I sorta embellished the story a little ;)

Here's what I wrote in English. Keep in mind that I had to write this all in Japanese which is kind of a pain in the ass so I usually keep it kinda simple.



I live on the second floor of Villa 4. My American friend, Olivier, lives on the first floor. I keep my apartment clean. Sometimes my clothes are on the floor. Usually dishes are in the sink. But my apartment isn’t dirty!!!

Olivier’s apartment is VERY clean. He never has anything on the desk except a computer. His bed is always made. He enjoys doing his dishes. He gets excited thinking about it.

Recently, Olivier has been finding cockroaches in his apartment. He said, “Nina, I just don’t understand it. Why are there cockroaches in my apartment? In 3 weeks, I’ve found 2. But my apartment is so clean!”

Last night, at around 10:30, I heard a soft knock on my door. “Nina. Are you awake?” “Who is it?”, I asked. “It’s me!”, Olivier’s voice replied.

I opened the door and there stood Olivier holding a giant bag of rice. “I found the cockroaches! They’ve been living in my precious rice” (He really said that) “Now what do I do!? Do you think I can still eat it? I don’t want to waste this rice!”

Poor Olivier. Such a clean freak.


I think I had the most fun learning how to say "clean freak" in Japanese.

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