Archive for November, 2007

November 27th Update

Posted in Japan News on November 27, 2007 by joeki2000

Finally another update.
I’ve been rather busy this month. We had our first tests last week. Our kaiwa (会話), Grammar (文法)and Kanji (漢字) skills were tested. My results were good (a lot higher than they were in Belgium) without having to study to much. Then again we haven’t really learned a lot of new stuff. But all this revision is improving my Japanese none the less. The temperature is surely dropping as well. It’s gotten a lot colder and the first snow has already fallen. But the surrounding mountains are even more beautiful now.

Last week the exchange students a long with some Japanese students made a trip to Takayama (高山) in the Gifu prefecture (岐阜). Takayama is famous for it’s traditional chariots and the shrine. Takayama itself was o.k. but really overrated in my opinion.
I had more fun on the trip itself as we drove past some of the higher mountains in the area (kamikouchi for example). The views were very nice and there was a lot of snow.

My camera has proved to be a good buy. The quality is very good for a digital camera and the zoom-lens has also proved useful. But I’m having some problems getting the pictures on-line… I’ll try and sort that later. 

What’s in store for the near future ? I will probably be spending another long weekend in Tokyo somewhere in December and hope to do some decent sightseeing this time. The plans for New Year are not set yet, but we probably won’t be celebrating in Matsumoto.
Since we have classes until December 25th (and tests for that matter) Christmas (which isn’t a holiday here) will be pretty boring I suppose.  

I guess that’s it for now. I’ll leave u with a picture of the trip to Takayama :



November 5th Update

Posted in Japan News on November 5, 2007 by joeki2000

I spent the past week in Tokyo where I helped out at the Trainspot “Old Embassy” event. Throughout the week there were various events and parties held at the old Embassy building in Kotomachi, Chiyoda (千代田). We arrived in Shinjuku (新宿) on Wednesday evening and after a short metro trip we arrived at the embassy. On Wednesday there was a reception, on Thursday there was another bigger one, attended by a lot of important people. After the reception we went to the Tokyo Womb club in Shibuya (渋谷). On Friday there was a jazz-band and dance show attended by a lot more people than expected. We also met the artists playing on the main event on Saturday (Stijn, Buscemi and Gabriel Rios, pretty big names in Belgium). On Saturday there was the main event attended by more than 700 people. We drunk whatever was left over ourselves and after a few days without a lot of sleep we headed back to Shinjuku to take the bus home.
Due to a mix up however, the bus wasn’t until 7 pm, so I bought a camera in Shinjuku and visited Ginza (銀座), which is basically just a large shopping center. I again met and talked to a lot of interesting people. And the embassy is a beautiful building and an oasis of green and calmness in the busy Tokyo metropolis. Of course I still have only seen a little part of Tokyo so I intend to go back soon for a day or three. I took some pictures with my cell phone which I’ll try to get on-line as soon as possible.