Tag Archives: Yamasa

Adjusting to Japan/Adventures around Okazaki

8 Sep

It’s going on my third week here at Yamasa Institute and things are going a lot better than they were the first few days. I’ve made friends from Singapore, Israel, Taiwan and America and I’ve even gotten to see a few sights around Okazaki.

Classes have been very intense and I’ve learned so much these past 3 weeks. I have Japanese classes Monday-Thursday from 9am-2:30 and fridays until 11am. I’m in the SILAC program so it’s short term and focuses a lot on conversation. Next week I’ll be moving into my dorm at Tsuda College and the week after is orientation! I’m super excited and although I don’t feel in the least bit prepared, I know everything will work out eventually.

So far the hardest adjustments have been the food and the weather. I have to make my own breakfast and dinner and it’s hard to choose healthy options. On top of that, I can’t read all the Kanji on the packages so my food may be overcooked or undercooked. I’ve been living off sandwiches, bento boxes and an udan noodle shop. It’s also really humid here and the sun is relentless. I can’t wait until October when it cools down a bit. People seem to be relatively fascinated with me and stare a lot (especially kids and old people). The fact that I’m Black and have poofy hair probably has something to do with that lol

Below are a few pictures from Magome, Tsumago, Takeshima Island and Lagunasia (Ghibli Museum)




Homesick already?

25 Aug

Well Im here in Okazaki, Japan right now it. It’s a small town and there isn’t much to do.  I’m also the “newbie” so I haven’t made many friends yet. I miss my friends and family at home but I suppose I need to get used to not seeing them for the next year. It’s strange seeing all my friends at Spelman starting classes and preparing for the classic while I’m thousands of miles away attempting not to burn my dinner since I can’t read the recipe in Japanese. It’s also strange seeing my ex move on and do fun things with all my unresolved questions but I guess the motto to sum it all up would be, life goes on.

So…Today I will take myself out to dinner, crash on someone’s karaoke party and study study study so I can communicate with everyone here. Wish me luck!

I’ve arrived in Japan

22 Aug

After an agonizing 24 hours of travel, some delicious meals on ANA and wondering around Tokyo airport and an hour bus ride from Nagoya airport, I finally made it to Okazaki. It is very quiet and the weather is hot and humid. I’m studying in Okazaki at the Yamasa Institute for 3 weeks before heading to Tsuda College right outside of Tokyo (Kodaira-shi).

Some things I’ve observed about Japan in my first 24 hours: People are very polite, I never know when to bow because it seems people bow all the time, the toilets are pretty high tech, my Japanese is awful and I have this sudden urge to communicate in Spanish and everything seems to start on time. 

This past year of studying Japanese seems to have done nothing for me. When people talk to me, I generally nod yes of say “hai”. Hopefully this will improve over the course of the next year and my being forced to actually speak Japanese. There are many people here from China, France and South Korea thus forcing me to communicated in the only language we all remotely know.