Coutdown until Japan!

In Japan we don't say "tchin tchin"

I even know in what order to tell what I'm doing here! lol

Let's start with the joke of the day! = D
So now, when you raise your glass in Japan they say "Kampai!" which means "Health!"
And it is important not to say "tchin tchin" as we do in France, because in Japan "tchin tchin" means .... "Penis!" So I think it's pretty easy to understand that you may be ridiculous if you raise your glass in a full restaurant shouting "penis!" with a big smile .... lol

So to follow on from my last article, last Sunday (already!! OO) we went with a group of girls from my course "Popular culture as social practice" visit Den Den Town (the electronic city) you can see on the picture and Ame mura, which is a kind of huge shopping area.
So Den Den Town is.... Electronics! lol It's like a big street and on both sides there is shops of electronic, multimedia, DVD (you can also see me enjoying my majority in one of these shops in my online album ^^) and sex shops ... Yes, I see no connection either but we saw one every 200 meters so I have to talk about!
Before leaving we ate a ramen stalls! Sooo goooood!
Then Ame Mura, there is a sort of main boulevard that made me think of the Champs Elysees of Paris, luxury shops, also many French and Italian brands such as Channel, Dior, Guchi ...
And after the most interesting (as for me) are the side streets filled with shops and malls (very big ones) in which you can find everything, but especially shoes and clothes, accessories, fashion!
So we stopped in a mall where we paid 6 euros to eat unlimited ice (I love this idea lol), we did a little shopping trip and then split into two groups, others have gone in fashion shops, Lolita (you can see in pictures, they are girls who dress in old-fashioned version, but pink, lace and jewelry .... There are also goth lolitas who are rather black, red ...). And we went to Mandarake! The temple of manga for me! Is too great, everything related to the manga over 4 floors and very cheap!
There are manga, figurines, goodies, cosplay, doujinshi (sort of manga drawn by fans of a series or by little-known mangakas).
Both say that control purchasing was very difficult in this kind of place!

Last Monday was a holiday but I haven't done anything particular, I mostly rested and I studied too...
Thursday also was a holiday, I was supposed to go play football with the club but it rained during the night, so we was unable to play, so do it again next Thursday.
And suddenly Thursday in the afternoon I took the train to Osaka, and Umeda station, to go to Yodobashi Camera (electronics specialist in Japan) which is a huge building, which contains 7 floors of cameras, computers , mobile phones ....
Just Umeda Station has 7 different exits, I think the center of Saint Etienne (my home town) can entierly fill inside ... By the way it was so crazy that I didn't think to take pictures ... I would go back so it's probably not very important.
And why is this adventure for? Well to purchase an electronic dictionary (Denshi jishoo)! It's really very handy and useful, you can type or write as it is a keyboard but also a touch screen to draw the kana and kanji.
It's really popular in Japan and we quickly understand why! Although it's quite expensive (for this month I will not make another big expense) I have absolutely no regret to buy, given more that I am here for a year!

Yesterday, I joined a group of "Japan Experience Program" to spend the day in Osaka and it was absolutely FANTASTIC! ^^
We were visiting Osaka-jo (Osaka castle) its wonderful, I think this is the best visit I've done since I'm here! It is huge and can climb up for views across Osaka (I will let you see the pictures).
Then we took the aquabus (a kind of riverboat) for up to Yodoyabashi, we took the subway to Namba to eat .... And Namba!! Definitely my favorite area!
This is the area of nightlife in Osaka! Bars, nightclubs, shops ... You can find everything in Namba! Its huge! Everything is illuminated! It is a magical place!
And next week I return with Taisho! (It means leader in Japanese, whose real name is Masato, you will see from the photos), Taku chaaaaaan! (My little Taku, whose real name is Takuya), Baka Ojii (the prince of stupids, whose real name is Maeda) if his girlfriend is with him and maybe YOSHIKOOOO (the name I should scream if I lose myself lol ) if she doesn't work ... And LETS GO DANCE!! In NIGHTCLUB! ^^

So that is certainly new adventures to tell, until then take care of you!
See you!

Online album link

2010年 9月 26日 1:18PM

26/09/2010 06:18

わたしのともだちです =D

Hello everybody!
I'm really sorry it's been too long since I wrote anything in my blog, but I was not really motivated! xD
Here I'm never at home, I just got back to sleep! lol
I made many friends, both Japanese and foreign students like me, so I'm pretty overwhelmed! oO

The university gets a little harder now, and I have so a lot of homework! Abused!

Otherwise what's new? Well I met the family of my friend Misako (and I don't know how I managed to forget to take pictures! Sorry!). And we went to Temmabashi in Osaka, to make ぷりこら! It's like a photo, but it smooths the skin, it enlarged the eyes and you can add lots of fun stuff (you'll see in the online album ^^). It's very popular in Japan, all the girls and even boys make a lot with their friends!

Yesterday I was at a restaurant with a group of students (Japanese and foreigners) and after that we went into a "game center" and I made my first karaoke! xD It was really cool! We had a good laugh!
And especially for my best friend Milène I sang Volare! Gispsy Kings! xD
I think I can say I was quite bad, I have the video but I don't know why it is rotten, there is sound but no image, I will send it to her soon! ^^

This morning I joined a group of friends to cook Japanese food and after that we ate together. Then I joined Yohei, a Japanese friend that I made yesterday and we went together in Kyoto as tourists! lol
He guided me around the Kiyomizu temple and we saw a lot of wonderful things! I haven't done too much shopping because financially it gets really hard! =S
Then we ate in a "French" restaurant lol, that was good and really cheap! And in the restaurant we saw Geisha (the real one lol) with customers.
I love Kyoto! The city of Geisha! A paradise for me! ^^

Tomorrow we will visit Den Den Town, the city of Electronics in Osaka (the equivalent of Shinjuku in Tokyo for Kansai)! It's gonna be awesome! ^^
Monday is a holiday, and Thursday too! ^^

Thursday I'm going to play football in a circle (a club of students). That promises to be unforgettable! lol
And after I have a Osaka trip on saturday so I will certainly post photos!

Here I have no time to be bored! Now I am going to the mass of homework that I have neglected for next week! =S

Online pictures! (clic for see)

2010年 9月 18日 09:53PM
18/09/2010 14:53

Sunday... MANGA day!!!!

Hi everybody! It's sunday in Japan ^^ I love the weekends!

I've just received my permanent keys, we have now our cupboard in the kitchen with all the utensils at arrangement to cook!
And also the famous key of the door 24/24! We can go out and return at any hour of day and night! Thus the next weekend I'll be able to party!!! =D

Then I puts you the link towards a new on-line album, containing all the photos that I set during the day that I spend in Kyoto!! It is really fantastic, and the golden house (Kinkakuji in Japanese) it's wonderful!!!
I have seen only a part of the city but I am so happy! It is a mix between tradition and modernism! Really incredible!

I begin the courses tomorrow! My timetable is of God's fire (French expression... lol)!! ^^
I have only 16:30 hours of courses a week and except for thursday I never begin before 11 AM!!! =P

Today it's Sunday, the only relaxed day when we stay at home... I think that this habit will change fast! ^^
I discovered a new anime which I recommend to all the animevores as myself: Durarara!!! It is funny and the characters are interesting.
But my internet connection here is too SLOW!!! I'll turn crazy! I can download nothing without having to wait for a long time!!!!

See you, I return back to my mangas! ^^

Online pictures!

2010年09月05日 02:50 PM

05/09/2010 07:50

A week done!

Time spend too quickly here! Already one week and I feel that I arrived yesterday and at the same time that I have always lived here!

This is too crazy! I am amazed by all the things I see, even the most normal to the Japanese! I discover every day new things, new Japanese words, new foods ...

And especially new people! People are nice to me! The foreigns students and the Japanese! I make always new friends and have hard difficulties with all these new names that I had never heard before!

I met Yukino, my Japanese speaking partner! She is so nice to me! I think she will become my best friend here! She took me to the department store (I'll let you see the pictures at the end of the article) and the next day she introduced me to her friends in the student lounge! And believe me friends, she has really a lot! ^^
Her best friend is Azusa and she is really nice too, they both take French lessons so I try to help them improve, as they do for me in Japanese! It's very fun because we made a lot of mistakes! ^^

Here boys and girls are less separated, they are all friends and hang out together! It's great fun! And I'm learning full of useful things with them!

I bought a bike (I believe it's essential here) and is much nicer that way because the university is quite far from the seminar house, so it's much convenient than walking, and less tiring.
My legs make me less suffer, I think I'm going muscular! lol

Here it's still too hot and I really enjoy the air conditioner! And it's so wet! I bought a small towel (like a handkerchief but sponge) to wipe my, because I saw the Japanese do! And it's really useful!

But I think the vital accessory for any self-respecting Japanese is the mobile! In 7-77 years, everyone has a cellphone, all more technologic than the others!
Mine didn't cost much because it's the simple one, prepaid. I have unlimited emails and it's great because all the friends I make are connected by those mobile mails!

Tomorrow I will visit Kyoto, the trip is organized by students from Kansai Gaidai. Azusa and Yukino will make the trip too, so I think we will be well laugh! =D

Link to the online pictures (clik to see)

Good night everyone! Mina oyasumi! ^^
2010年09月02日 10:05 PM

02/09/2010   15:05

I'm IN JAPAN!!! =D

Hello everyone, sorry for this late article, I should  also correct then because I have no accents on this keyboard... All this is because I have not wifi internet on my own computer.
In fact at Kansai Gaidai, I must register my computer before I can access the network. I intend to do this in the future among thousands of other things that I am asked to do here!
For the moment I am on a public computer with American keyboard...

Today is an exception (I have absolutely nothing to make this day), I want to give you some news of the last 3 days!

Let's begin with the flight. It was really great, and I have almost no fear despite numerous turbulence between Paris and Osaka. Travel with Air France is rather nice because the drinks are unlimited and the food is distributed regularly. I had no problem with my luggage, my suitcase was 22.400kg and they have not weighed my hand luggage (my small suitcase and my bag).
But airport controls are really demanding (for exemple I should remove my computer out of his bag and submit alone...).
Apart from that the flight was quite long and uncomfortable in economy class. The seats are really a torture, and lack of space to stretch the legs. I could not sleep even with sleeping pills. On each seat there is a screen that provides access to movies, music, games and flight informations (such as a map or the cameras on the plane), so there is no lack of occupations.
A Japanese boy also took my email address in the aircraft, he said he live in Kyoto and he would be delighted to show me if I want, I thought it was really nice! ^ ^

The arrival at the airport in Osaka was very impressive! We flew over a part of Japan (it's very different from other countries from above) to finally come landed on this island in the ocean.
After that, I was brought by rail shuttle to the airport itself (I wanted to take pictures of the shuttle but was not allowed to take photos before going through customs).
We arrived in the lobby of Japanese immigration service, with three offices: one for the Japanese, one for the holders of a "re-entry permit" ( those with foreign visas and a permit allowing them to exit and enter again in Japan during the period of validity of their visa) and other foreigners (me for example) visa holders (tourist, student, work ...).
The security officers at the airport are very serious and impressive, but the immigration officers are rather nice and patient. Indeed after waiting you must submit your passport to an immigration officer who stamps it, and  take a picture of you and fingerprints of your two forefingers.
After that, I went to the counter to retrieve my luggage, in a more or less advanced destruction status.... Mine has survived but not without difficulty. And I pass the customs where we cross the dog handler and his dog sniff for drugs and where plainclothes officers randomly ask people open their luggages to check its contents (I don` t have been controlled lol) .

Then I finally arrived in the public part of the airport. It was a shock, it's really big, 4 levels including one devoted exclusively to restaurant and shops.
I invite you to visit my online album (see bottom of article) to see the details, I took some pictures in the airport.
I took my shower at the airport, and have visited everywhere before joining Dina (a Egyptian student who is also in Kansai Gaidai) at 18:15, I got there was about 8:40.
We spent the night in the airport, which was not really comfortable but I was so tired that I slept well anyway. Around midnight, two police officers have awakened to check our passports. I was struck by how much they are polite and respectful (Japan 1 - 0 France). They apologized many times have we woke up and thanked us /wishing us good night.
People in Japan are very different in private and professional life I think, but they are very formal such as in stores. After a few hours I had hurt my neck because of tilting the head to say hello or thank you! lol

The next day we went together to the meeting point and we met other students going to Kansai Gaidai. We took the bus which led us to Kansai Gaidai. I took a photo or two on the road but the majority of the road was surrounded by a wall of plastic. It's really weird to ride in the wrong direction, I think I'll put a time before being used to it.

We arrived at the seminar house 4 where volunteer students (I understand) have supported us and distributed in our various homes and rooms. I took pictures of the room that I was pleasantly surprised! The closets are huge, everything is very clean, the futon is comfortable (yes, I assure you Mom I slept very well ^ ^), and Japanese style with sliding panels that separate the office room of rest is super cute!
My roommate name is Jennifer Natasha, she is from Holland but Spanish origin (thus she speaks Spanish), and was a third person but she will leave for homestay program (she is just the first week before joining his family home) .

I made huge progress in English since my arrival! I manage to communicate with people, I'm very comfortable, although when two Americans are talking to them I don't understand more than half.
I had the opportunity to speak a little Japanese but I have the basics, so difficult to hold a conversation.

The climate here is very hot (30 degrees day and night) and very humid. But there is air conditioning in the rooms and the most common parts of the seminar house. It's very nice to just change room to go from hot to cold or oposite! lol

I have not pay very attention to my yens, but here it's quite expensive, it goes really fast, I better be careful! Some things are more expensive and other less than in France.

Tomorrow the real fun begins so I don't know when I'll write to you again.

Link to online album ( clik to see pictures)

Have a nice day.
2010年08月29日 01:25 PM

29/08/2010  6:25