søndag 18. september 2016


I don't really know where to start. A lot of things have happened since I last wrote an entry on this blog. Somehow, five years later, I find myself preparing for another adventure as an exchange student in Japan. This time as a university student in my 3rd year, not as a high school student in my 2nd. This time in Yokohama, not Takasaki, at Yokohama National University, not Meiwa Kenouh High School. Living in a student dormitory, not with a host family.
And maybe most importantly: This time I'm going to be staying for eleven months, not six.

I chose Yokohama because it is close to home. It is close to the Japan I know, and the Japan that I have missed so much these past years. That does not mean that all I've been doing for five years is sitting around waiting for the opportunity to go back. On the contrary, as of right now I would almost rather return to the University of East Anglia, my home university in Norwich, England, and continue with my life there. But just almost.

For the past few weeks I have been contemplating whether or not I wanted to start a blog for my year abroad, but it wasn't until today that I recalled this one. With a bit of searching through my old emails I managed to relocate the blog platform I had been using, and so here I am. Writing in English this time as it seems more natural, and also so that all my international friends whom I've met during my first two years at university can read this, should they stumble upon it.

There are 28 posts on this blog from when I went to Japan during high school from the 18th of August 2011 to the 4th of February 2012. I have spent the last couple of hours reading through them all, and decided that I wish to document my coming year in Yokohama in a similar way. Lots of photos with a bit of writing on the side.

I will be flying to Japan on the 2nd of October, and start university on the 4th. Although this won't be the first time since my previous exchange that I went back and met with friends, teachers and my host family, it will be the first time being back to living my everyday life there and not just being a tourist.

Lastly, seeing as this is a blog about my time spent in Japan, I will throw in some photos from two separate trips I made there after my high school exchange: a two-week holiday in August 2013, and one in August the following year with roughly the same duration.

Summer 2013 

Coming back to Japanese home cooking after two years was just amazing.

 Happy cat reunion with cuddle buddy Nontan.

 Happy cat reunion with chubby short-tailed Nyan-nyan.

Happy cat reunion with my bath buddy Shiroro.

 This is Ida, my friend from back home and also two years my senior on the same Japanese course at UEA,
whom I spent the rest of my time with after visiting my host family for a few days.

 We actually went on a day trip to Yokohama, and somehow we both ended up choosing the city as our location for our year abroad. In my case it did not have anything to do with this trip, but it's still nice knowing that I have seen parts of the city beforehand. 

 Akuzawa sensei aka Aku-chan gave me a tour of my old high school,
it was so nice to be back and meet some of my former teachers.

Ida and Maapi, one of my closest friends from school.

 Mandatory purikura photo.

We also met up with another one of my friends from school, Rui.

Summer 2014

 This time I was travelling alone, which resulted in a lot of awkward selfies of me trying to prove I wasn't just taking photos from google. 

 Yet again reunited with Aku-chan at a BBQ hosted by some of his former students.

 Japanese summer in a nutshell. 

 Puppy cuddles.

 Also got to see Maapi again, only another month now until our next reunion. 

 She brought me to an Onsen (Japanese hot springs) where we had this amazing traditional lunch.

 Someone wants food but is too lazy to walk over and get it.

 Out on a fun day with my host parents. 

See you soon, Japan.