Back to reality??!!, not really yet. I’m at least back in Kyoto, Japan. I moved into the same room as last semester, the only difference is that there are 25 new students at my dorm. The majority of the people living in this dorm is from Aussie land, and then it’s a nice mix with people from al over Asia, Europe, North / South America, and Africa. So it has been a lot of social networking during these days, and yesterday we had our dorm welcome party.
The majority of the exchange students from last semester have went back to their home’s since they already spent a semester or a year in Kyoto. We are 10 “oldies”, as we call ourselves, and around 160 newbies, hmm maybe some more. Well, what I do know is that most people that are doing an exchange year in Japan are here for the Japanese language. So all these new students are eager to start develop their Japanese skills, and you walk around and hear people comparing their knowledge / levels in Kanji, Hirgana, Katakana and their Japanese speaking skills. I’m gong to be honest; it is quite interesting to observe this. Mainly because they don’t understand how good all of them are in their own ways, and that Japanese is so difficult to learn, and as the semester starts they’re gonna wished for being placed in a lower level since the workload can be really a lot! ( Words from former Japense language students). However, the workload is a lot for everyone. For us European students we have to take 8 – 10 courses to get the same amount credits as in Europe.
As mentioned, a lot of social networking lately, one thing that I love with Japan is (except for karaoke) Kamogawa. 🙂 Kamogawa is the name of a river that is REALLY LONG and goes thru Kyoto and some other cities! ( Lacking in Geography skills ). However, Kamogawa in Kyoto downtown is a very special place. It is as mentioned a river, but it is also place where people meet up and have drinks / beers, yay whatever you like. It is a place where gaijins (foreigners in Japanese) can meet Japanese people that are interested in speaking English, or at least can do it a little bit. There are no bars, you have to buy your drink at the convenient store close by and you are just mingling around. Ritsumeikan University students has a “claimed” spot, well it’s usually just the same place we always meet up, just under the bridge and you can go alone and there will always be people there. It is really cool place and the environment is really unexplainable and you meet people from al over the world that are in Japan for different reasons, such as language teachers, backpackers, bankers and so on. So if you are ever in Kyoto, Japan travelling around, make sure to at least have one beer at Kamogawa, it is in a way something magical over it.
On Wednesday we will have the course registration and then on Friday school starts, yepp really convenient that we only have one day of school before the weekend starts.