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Life Update: I'm in Japan!

Yooooooo~

I haven't updated in awhile. Since my JET interview, actually and since episode 3 of Ouroboros, apparently.

If you don't follow me on Twitter, then you've missed the news:

I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE JET PROGRAM!!!!

That was back in April. Since then, I finished working at my old job, watched my last class graduate and go off into their bright futures *proudsniffle*, moved out of the building, moved back in with my parents, spent the summer at home doing pretty much nothing, and then preparing to move to Japan.

It's been almost a month now since I came to Japan, and I've already moved into my apartment, started working at my schools as an ALT, and enjoying what Japan has to offer.

I'm in Yamanashi-ken, which is where Mount Fuji is located. In fact, on clear days you can see Fuji from almost anywhere here. Yamanashi is only about two hours away from Tokyo, too. If you've seen Great Teacher Onizuka episode 8 (the one with Sorimachi Takeshi, not the new one) where Onizuka takes the two girls to this huge sunflower field...that's in Yamanashi. In fact, it's not far away from one of my schools, and I've already been three times. They have sunflower ice cream. Read that again: SUNFLOWER ICE CREAM. Ah, I found it!



I don't have TV, unfortunately, but I plan to try to get it maybe in a few months. So I haven't been able to watch TV much.

Sometimes it doesn't feel like I'm living in Japan...but then I go to school or go to the store and I'm like "Yep, I'm in Japan."  So far, it's been good.  I miss America at random times, just the convenience and some of the stuff and of course, my family.  Or like tonight while I was making dinner I randomly missed driving to Kroger at 9:00 at night and buying groceries.

I know I haven't finished Flowers for Algernon.  People keep asking me for it, and some people are plain rude and like "Why are you still subbing if you're too busy?"  Um, cause I won't be busy forever, yo.  Plus, I like subbing.  I like translating, and I love dramas.  In between work and running errands, I've been rewatching some of the old dramas I haven't watched in a long time.  I just finished rewatching Akihabara@Deep, and man, it was fantastic.  And of course, TOMA IS IN IT.

One really cool thing that I still haven't grasped is how close I actually am to Toma now.  It sounds stalkerish, I know.  But I still can't grasp that I live literally TWO HOURS AWAY FROM TOMA.  Just a month ago, I lived a whole ocean away on a completely different continent.  I'm hoping Toma will have a stage play while I'm in Japan so I can go see it.

Another cool thing about Japan is getting to watch movies when they come out and not having to wait for DVDs.  I'm planning to go see Bakuman! starring Sato Takeru and Kamiki Ryunosuke when it comes out in October.  I can stop at a conbini any time and get yakisoba pan or onigiri and tea, Aquarius Zero, or C.C. Lemon.  And have any of you tried MOCHI WAFFLES???

I climbed Mount Minobu in southern Yamanashi a few weeks ago.  I've been to two festivals and seen amazing fireworks.  I buy gachapon any time I find a cute one.  Mochi is in every single grocery store.  I live in the mountains where sometimes a wild monkey will just randomly appear (I haven't seen one yet though).  I have struggles, though.  I've realized even after studying Japanese for eight years, my speaking level is around 2nd or 3rd grade even though I understand most of what's being said to me.  I have to constantly translate documents I get at school to see if they're pertinent to me.  I had to look up what "tansan" is the other day.  FYI, it's baking soda.  I still haven't figured out if there's a Japanese equivalent to Pledge furniture polish.

But I'm here.  And it's the third time I've been here.  Seven years ago, I thought I'd never get here.  I could barely leave my dorm room except for class and work.  I watched dramas all the time.  Maybe it didn't seem like it, but I was kind of a hikkikomori.  I feel like I'm doing this now for who I was back then.  To not disappoint the old me.  Honestly, I probably would have been fine staying in Kentucky and continuing on like that, but...I needed to do this.  I need to do this for that girl who sat in her dorm room and wanted to go to Japan so badly and experience life there.

So what's next?  Well, as I started to say before, I haven't finished Flowers for Algernon.  I have a lot of downtime at my schools during free periods, so I'm planning to do translating there.  I'm going to look into the fall season and see if anything looks interesting.  I also said I'd transcribe and translate Yokokuhan~THE PAIN since it's only five episodes.  After the new year, I'm going to start researching starting a company here.  I know some people who could probably help me or at least point me in the right direction.

If anyone would be interested in hearing about life here, leave me a comment.  I always feel like I should update more and restart this blog but I never do.  So stay tuned!

Ja ne!

Comments

( 17 comments — What's your delight? )
pknumba1
Aug. 29th, 2015 01:48 pm (UTC)
Nice to see you've updated and moved to Japan. Congrats on getting into JET! I applied to them about a year ago, but I didn't get in. It's okay though. I will find another way to go to Japan, even if it's through JET again or another company. I will find a way there. Post anything if you see Toma just walking down the street. ;)
areea_chan
Aug. 29th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
If you're planning to reapply to JET, let me know if there's any way I can help. I mean, I'm not really sure how I got this job, but I got it. Definitely keep trying!
pknumba1
Aug. 30th, 2015 02:33 am (UTC)
You most likely got in because you said you've already been there, and you've known about the language a lot longer than me.

I think what did it was I still need one more class and then I can have my college diploma. I'm slowly working on that but I'm also working a lot, too. That might have been the only thing keeping me from going. I will definitely keep trying!
areea_chan
Aug. 30th, 2015 07:12 am (UTC)
I'm sure it didn't hurt that I've been to Japan before and have studied Japanese, but there are lots of people who get in who have neither. One of the friends I made from my consulate has never been to Japan before now and knew almost no Japanese. So don't let that discourage you!

You definitely have to have earned a college degree by the time you have to leave for Japan. If you don't have one yet, that's the reason you didn't get in. If you'll have your degree by next May, you can apply this year for 2016. The application usually opens in November.

If you're serious about going to Japan, there are lots of different options, not just JET. JET, in my opinion, is one of the better options because of the support system and training you get.
pknumba1
Aug. 30th, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC)
That's the reason why I went with JET first. They have a great support system and good training. It was also the first program I had heard of. Now that I know there are others I can go with, I'll check those out, too. I just need to CLEP out of that one class and I should be okay.

I remember the application process. I lost a lot of sleep that month.
areea_chan
Aug. 31st, 2015 12:55 am (UTC)
If you need any help with JET, let me know! I now have a slightly better idea of how the whole process goes and what it's like on the other side.

Good luck!
pknumba1
Aug. 31st, 2015 11:22 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
ocha_suki
Aug. 29th, 2015 03:42 pm (UTC)
glad to hear the news from you again! :D
so happy yet envy you for being able to work in Japan XDD
tho i work for japanese company but it only sends for GM-up level to Japan for duty trips or training, thus i can only rely on my leave-rights and also own saving to go there!LOL
gonna wait for Algernon patiently...ganbare! ^^
areea_chan
Aug. 30th, 2015 07:14 am (UTC)
Keep on saving! You'll get to Japan someday! XD
ocha_suki
Aug. 30th, 2015 01:58 pm (UTC)
oh, i've been to japan actually.
last time was on last may to watch KAT-TUN's 9uarter concert at Tokyo Dome.
what i meant is my office never send me (nor its other employees below General Manager level) to Japan for training or duty trips.
such a stingy office i have here! LOL
hoarufus
Aug. 29th, 2015 05:19 pm (UTC)
Love the phrase "TWO HOURS AWAY FROM TOMA". Maybe you will see him on a street in Tokyo and if you do, please share me pictures of him~~ ^3^. Oh, and can you share a photo of the sunflower ice-cream? I'm really curious and it sounds wonderful having a sunflower inside your dessert... ^3^
areea_chan
Aug. 30th, 2015 07:16 am (UTC)
IT'S TRUE, THOUGH ASDFJKL;ASAJDAKJD. Haha, if only I could see him in Tokyo. I wouldn't be allowed to take pictures, though. Plus, it'd be kind of rude. Darn me being polite lol.

Here's the sunflower ice cream I had:

https://instagram.com/p/6RXsS3KKcG/?taken-by=thelbhuff

It had a slight floral taste to it, but not in a bad way. Yamanashi has some super good ice cream.
hoarufus
Aug. 30th, 2015 02:53 pm (UTC)
Hahaa =)) You can ask him if you guys can take a selfie together.
And the sunflower ice-cream looks really appealing. Are those sunflower seeds??
areea_chan
Aug. 31st, 2015 05:06 am (UTC)
Haha, I wish! I probably wouldn't be able to move.

Yep, they add sunflower seeds! It gives it a nice light salty flavor on top of the sweetness.
lechuza_yoya
Aug. 29th, 2015 09:14 pm (UTC)
Congrats! yeah let us know about you live ;D
areea_chan
Aug. 30th, 2015 07:17 am (UTC)
Okay! I'll try to update this more often. :D
hitomebore08
Sep. 12th, 2015 03:17 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed reading your post, thank you. Living in Japan is one of most happiest moment a fangirl can have. I envy you.. & by the way I have seen your post on your twitter, about the timing stuff if you still need one I can help you (with algernon too) if you like.
( 17 comments — What's your delight? )

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