Last year marked a very meaningful time in my life: my first step onto Japanese soil. I’ve always dreamt of coming to Japan since I was a child but it always seemed like a dream until I sat down on the plane bound for Tokyo.
I’ll be taking the time to update about my trip to Japan last year and will writing accounts for each day. I was in Japan for around 13 days, so I’ll try to update on all that I can with the time I have left before school get’s busy again. I may be including pictures of my face in some of these posts but I’ve never revealed my face on this blog before! (O.O) Hehe, oh well, it’s all in means of showing you what it was like for me in Japan. ^_^
The group for ‘Japan Trip 2013′ all met up at school to take the bus to the airport together. That was the last moment we had to say goodbye to our families before leaving. Kevy (my brother) was still at school so he got the chance to shoot out of class to give me a goodbye hug and kiss. ^^ I gave my mum and dad a hug before getting on the bus too. They were waving outside as well and it was raining. >< I wasn’t even sad to say goodbye, I just hopped onto the bus as soon as we were ready to go. XD I suppose we were all too excited to feel sad with our farewells.
We had to take two flights to reach Japan. The first flight was from Melbourne to Sydney and that was the first flight I had taken since I was three years old. I wasn’t familiar with the feeling of the take off and we even had lots turbulence!! >< I was like semi-freaking out while sitting there! XD I was sitting next to Yokouchi Sensei and Karleen. They were giggling at me freaking out during take off! LOLOLOL I never realised that it’s that loud on a plane too. That flight was around an hour if I remember correctly and then we had to transfer to our flight from Sydney to Tokyo. While taking the escalator I managed to get a huge tear on the heel of my boot. >< OMG How unfortunate… (T_T) At the duty free before leaving Australia, Karina bought a Japanese adapter for me since I didn’t have any Australian money on me. Thank God for Karina, love you heaps! ♡ On the flight to Tokyo I sat next to Karina and luckily we had a row of only two seats at the back. It was going to be around a ten hour flight, so I decided to watch the flight path on the TVs instead of any movies. After a while I actually ended up sleeping and my head kept leaning towards Karina! XD The plane food wasn’t all that great but I ate what I could.
When I finally arrived in Japan we took a bit of a rest and waited for our train passes. The first thing we saw were vending machines! OMG The one thing that I lived by in Japan to get by was:
“First time is always a learning curve.” – Shanny (Japan Trip 2013)
We had to work out how to get a drink from the machines and which buttons to press and all that. Emily was so amazed by how some of the yen coins had a hole in the middle (50 yen and 5 yen coins). OMG It was funny seeing her amazed face but thank God the water she bought tasted like real water otherwise we would have been doomed in the heat of the Japanese summer. XD After getting our train passes we took the Shinkansen to Kyoto. This train was so lovely, it was super quite and the chairs were really comfortable and everything inside the train was very clean. The view outside was amazing and I remember Kim and I having a chat about Yamashita Tomohisa because we were passing through Chiba which is where he was born. ^^ Oh yeah, and they have a really nice and clear voice over on the trains telling you the stops and next locations. Those trains are way better than the current ones in Australia, we really need to improve our public transport. The next train we got was even nicer and it came to be the main train/model that we took during the trip. We were given tickets for specific seats on the next train and I was seated next to this elderly Japanese man who was reading manga. XD Ah, that was so cool to see. I was really tired from all the constant travelling and movement that I got pretty dizzy and I got a headache… (T^T)
The first thing I bought in Japan was a caramel machiato at Starbucks and a tuna onigiri with Kim. XD Haha, I’ve always wanted to try onigiri and I finally did. I have to say that I can’t really get used to the seaweed taste and it made me feel a tad sick in the stomach eating it but it was an experience. o(^∇^)o
When we arrived at our hotel we dropped off our stuff and headed to the department store building place!~~ XD I wanted something decent to eat because the headache was killing me but I was really nervous to order food and I couldn’t make my mind up on what to get. Kim and I ended up getting something together. We went to this restaurant serving Japanese food (some are European and so on) and we wanted to get chicken katsu but… THE WHOLE ORDERING IN JAPANESE PROCESS WAS SO AWKWARD AND CONFUSING IT STILL MAKES ME CRINGE IN SHAME!! We didn’t even look at the menu until the lady pointed it out to us. OMG I don’t understand why our tour guide couldn’t have helped us out when he was sitting on the table not that far from us. >< OH MY GOD~~~ IT WAS SO EMBARRASSING AND AWKWARD! ( ; ω ; ) But hey, what is that saying that I live by?
“First time is always a learning curve.” – Shanny (Japan Trip 2013)
Hahahaha~ We managed to get what we wanted in the end and eated happily!~ ^^ But I still can’t with how bad that experience was… On the other hand I did learn a lot!
- Look at the damn menu first and choose something before calling the waiter over.
- Just be calm and use your Japanese properly. Don’t freakin stutter and stuff it up.
- Eat happily and pay the bill at the door in the tray provided.
What was really crap was after that first ‘eating out’ experience, Emily lost her wallet with all her yen… (-_-) How could that possibly happen?! That is the worst thing to ever happen on the very first day. What’s even worse is that we were never able to find it. Things just weren’t going well for the girl. (T_T)
We got the chance to organise our hotel rooms after and change our clothes. John (our tour guide) took us to Kyoto Station to have a look around and get something to eat. While exploring Kyoto, Kim, Karina, Emily, Austin, Luke and I went over to Kyoto Tower. We had a look at all the expensive souvenirs and I got Arjan a present there. I found a Totoro key chain that she would really like. ^^ When we continued down the street we met this old Japanese man who started talking to us in English. I was totally not expecting anyone on the street to stop and speak to us, so that amazed me. He was talking about how great foreigners are and that Japanese people weren’t very nice towards foreigners as we were when they come to our country. We all didn’t think that was so but he insisted it was true. All of a sudden he whipped out these papers he was practising his English on and got me to read it out loud. LOL He was basically writing the same thing in different words and we told him that his English was perfectly fine. Seriously, the guy was so nice and practically fluent in English. Meeting him was like the best thing ever! I specifically remember having a moment to myself and looking up at the sky thinking about the distance I’ve passed to get there (Kyoto). Looking at the sky seem so different to looking at the sky normally in Australia. It almost felt like I was looking up into the sky of another planet. Australia was a long way away from where I was then.
The second time I had to order at a restaurant was for dinner that night. I was really dying for something nice to eat because that headache still hadn’t passed and I was so lacking energy. I joined up with Karina and Emily and we walked around Kyoto station looking for a nice place to eat at. During this time, it really seemed like Emily couldn’t decide on a place to eat. Every place that I suggested she said no to and she actually wanted to eat at the Italian styled restaurant… (-_-) Why would you settle for something you can get at home when you’re in Japan? I was not going to eat Japanese Italian food if I came there for Japan. I was set on finding some great Japanese restaurant for us to have an experience at. I ended up forcing the girls to come with me to this Japanese restaurant with hardly any customers at all. It was quiet so it wouldn’t be that embarrassing if we stuffed up our Japanese, and I could feel more relaxed in a non-hectic environment. （ーー；）We took a look at the menu and I saw that they had miso ramen which is an absolute must have if you’re in Japan! I suggested it to the girls but they were way too exhausted to be bothered with picking their food so we all agreed on getting the same thing. Ordering went a lot smoother and we eated happily once again. The lady that was serving us came back to our table every so often to fill our cups up with water and we thanked her every single time but she started laughing at us >< LOL! Maybe one “ありがとうございます” is enough. XD I ordered on behalf of the girls in Japanese and the message managed to get across, but after she came back to fill our water she said this:
“Do you guys like this? *pointing at miso ramen*
(O_O) Are you telling me… SHE COULD SPEAK ENGLISH THE WHOLE TIME!?! OMG!! Right after she left, the words just blurted out of my mouth.
“She can speak English?! OMG Guys! SHE’S BEEN PLAYING US THIS WHOLE TIME!!“
That just made us all crack up laughing! ^^ That meal was actually really nice and I felt a lot better after it.
After such a long day I was still feeling a bit dizzy from all the motion of the aeroplanes and trains, but I was getting used to using escalators which have been a fear of mine since I was little. My dad used to tell me that if I didn’t lift my feet at the right time the escalator would suck my shoes in and bring me under. XD OMG When your parent tells you that when you’re 2 years old, it sort of sticks with you and that’s why I’ve always been scared of them. However, with taking so many escalators at the airport and at the train stations, I found that I didn’t really need to hold onto Emily’s hand every single time. I used to have to have someone stay with me and guide me onto the escalator holding my hand otherwise I would never be able to do so. ><
Until Day 2 of Japan Trip 2013,