Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Bongo drumming in the arcade (Kalvin and Shoko both beat me)

After uni yesterday me, Kalvin and Shoko spent some leisure time in the nearby city of Chiba. There we enjoyed the colourful city lights, purikiura, bongo drumming games and a delightful Japanese meal. mmm yummy!

The restaurant was a proper Japanese restaurant where you had to take your shoes off and everything. mmm, maximum tradition!

Actually, something Im coming to realise while being here is how inexpenise a good quality Japanese meal is. I had 3 really nice dishes, rice and 2 pineapple juices for about 2000yen (its about a tenner)! It makes me slightly ashamed of restaurants in my own country where Wagamamas are allowed to charge you about 10quid for an uninspiring bowl of noodles and oil.
See ya!

Thumbs up for Japanese food!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Typhoons, Chiba and Purikura!

Purikura in Tokyo!

Greetings one and all!
It`s been a pretty up and down few days. Friday was really good. We met Jiro Plutschow, a professor in the media department. He showed us around the media centre and gave us lots of information about the graphics courses here. It was a releif because up until meeting him we`d had no info about graphics.
We also had our first japanese lessons on Friday which i think went really well. They`ve put us in the lowest level class. Its great because thats pretty much my level. The course runs at a very quick-pace though and one day dreaming session will leave you missing chunks of very important Japanese.
Friday night staged the event people had been talking about all week; the typhoon!!! We were warned numerous times about the typhoon, and I even had to cancel plans to visit friends in Yokohama because of it. The reality for me though was the typhoon hitting around the time I fell asleep and finishing around the time I woke up.
On Saturday I visited Chiba! Actually my main reason was to find an international bank. I only had enough money in my wallet for the train fare there an back. When I arrived in Chiba I immediatly found myself in the banking district but couldnt find an international bank. I plucked up the courage to ask a local who was extremely helpful. He walked me about 10 minutes up the road trying to find an international bank, so thank you to him..... whatever his name is...... Actually he couldnt find one, but I asked some Americans and they told me where it was..... Oh well.


Finally I want to talk about my adventure to a Purikura booth in Tokyo. Purikura is an insanely over the top, hyper, colourful photo booth. They`re full of groups of high-school girls and loud techno pop plays throughout. The booths are big and usually pink and encourage you to jump around and dance to techno music whilst having your picture taken. I went with 3 of my friends; Hisako, Koyuki and Aki. Me and Aki felt pretty self-conscious as we were pretty much the only boys in the building. After having your picture taken you are asked to draw on them digitally with a selection of flourescent coloured paintbrushes and symbols! It was a good larf! Check the picture out (Top of this post).

Anyway, I think thats enough for today



Thursday, 18 September 2008

Rather smashing clothes shop in Harajuku

Here`s a video and some phots of a clothes store we went to in Tokyo.
Every month they have a different theme and this time the theme was Manga.

They only had one piece of clothing on the floor but each had a code on the label which corresponeded to a tube on a shelf which contained the clothing you wanted.

They also had a pretty snazzy way of looking at thier stuff...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

First day at school

Sassy fellas!

Today was officially our first day at Josai International University! There were 2 main objectives today. The first was to attend the university`s opening ceremony. The second was to take part in a written Japanese language test to inform the tutors of our Japanese language level.

On the walk to the university this morning I was subjected to Kalvins endless grumblings about having to wear trousers and a blazer in such hot weather! He was right though and by the time we`d reached the university we were pretty uncomfortable.

The ceremony was extremely formal. There was a lot of talking and bowing and lots of important looking people gave speeches. On arrival It felt like we were entering a high-security presedential building. Men in black suits with ear pieces were everywhere. When we left the ceremony we were given a rose and a little boxed lunch which contained some rice and beans and stuff which was nice.

Next was the test. We sat down in a room with about 50 other students (none of whom were English) and were handed 100 questions on a sheet of paper. Trouble was all the questions were written in Japanese. I remember just looking at Kalv and knowing exactly what he was feeling. Our hearts sank, nothing was written in English. The problem with Japanese texts is there are 3 Japanese written languages; Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. Me and Kalv are reasonably comfortable with hiragana and know a bit of katakana. However, unless you know all three you`re pretty stuck because the texts combine all of them. With some questions I was like "hang on, I think i can understand this one" and then there would be a big fat Kanji character that would render the whole sentence meaningless to me.

Ah well, at least we gave it a shot. I guess what this means is that we`ll be put in the lowest class.
Tomorrow is orientation day!
Bye for now!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I found an internet Cafe!

The first picture taken on my new phone!!


As you may or may not know, we don`t have internet at our apartments. Surprising seeing as this place seems lightyears ahead in technology. Anyway, I found an internet cafe in Togane called `Joy Club` and after paying 200yen am now officially a member, weyhey!

This weekends been good. I was invited to go to Fukui with Kalvin and Shoko on Friday, but I was feeling rough and was still pretty jetlagged. So instead I stayed in Gumyo at my apartment and caught up on rest.

I went to Tokyo this weekend and with help from my friend Yumi bought a sassy phone which made me feel more `down with the kids` here. I also did my first supermarket shopw at the Kasumi Foodmarket which has surprisingly shiny floors!!


Friday, 12 September 2008

Day 2-3

Well hello there,
Everybody has been feeling a little worse for wear after the flight and numerous power naps have been made.
After we arrived at the airport we were met by こばやしさん (Mr. Kobayashi) and taken to Josai University. (We found out that we are the first and only Brits to study at the uni)

We had a load of forms to fill out and were shown around the campus (Very big and impressive but we were way too tired to take it all in so I doubt we`ll be able to remember any of it)
After 5 hours we could finally take a break and rest in our apartments.

Joey-San`s apartment

After using our extensive Japanese skills and some exquisite train impressions we were able to find out where the train station was from a local and made our way into Tokyo.

しぶや (Shibuya)

はらじゅく (Harajuku)

We met some friends, had a look around and did some shopping (We have a video of a very cool clothes shop in はらじゅく (Harajuku) which hopefully we can put up soon)

はるか (Haruka) しょうこ (Shoko) 

まりこ (Mariko) あゆみ (Ayumi)

I`m pretty sure I`ve just gone over the same ground as Joey`s covered in the previous post but I`m sure we`ll have some whitty anecdotes and crazy adventures to tell next time.
Our entrance ceremony is on september 17th and then that`s it! We will have officially started university in Japan...


Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Day 1

We arrived in Japan yesterday at 9am after both having collectively about 30minutes sleep on the 12 hour flight. We met up with our new Japanese superior: Mr Kobayashi and were shown around our new campus, given the keys to our new apartments (In Gumyo) and taken to the registry office to become official members of the Japan club!
Last night we took the express to Tokyo and stayed at our friend Haruka's in Tokyo. 
Yesterday felt so long . I was absolutely shattered and while Kalvin, Shoko and Haruka went for a night out in Shibuya I stayed at the flat..... and slept.
Gumyo train station (ぐみょえき)

Friday, 5 September 2008

Visa Geeza's

2 days after going to London to apply for the Visa's, me and Kalv were back at the Japanese embassy today to pick them up. We got them, here's the proof.
So, 4 months and 3 weeks at Japan's Josai university ahead of us! 
Flying out next Tuesday at 1pm!! Getting a tad nervous, but can't wait!

Tokyo Diner- Just off Leicester Square on the edge of China town. 
For Joey and Kalvs tip of the day, why not go to the Japan Centre on Piccadilly for some free Wasabi Peas?