Friday, December 9, 2011

Changing Impressions

Mt. Hiei
It's already been over three months since I've landed in Japan! It still feels like I'm getting used to living here, though. My college in America isn't terribly far from home, so the longest I've gone without going home before was probably only a little over one month, yet it still feels like I just got off the plane last week.

Heian Shrine
Like I have said in my first post, this isn't my first time in Japan, but it is my first time living here for longer than a month, being so close to the city, and living with a host family, which are all factors that have shaped my time here so far. Being able to go on adventures to Kyoto and Osaka whenever I want have helped me to become a little more adventurous, especially when I try to go find new places like I did when I visited the Heian Shrine. Also, if I wasn't living with my host family, I wonder if I would feel more disconnected to living in Japan. As it is at Kansai Gaidai, I feel like we live in our own little foreigner bubble, which I don't necessarily consider a bad thing, but it is nice to have both a foreigner bubble and a Japanese family bubble.

Kansai Gaidai Halloween Contest
Another one of the impressions I've had over the past few months is that Japan seems to be a country of extreme conveniences and inconveniences. Everything you could need (super markets, hospitals, etc.) are hardly ever out of walking/biking distance or are reachable by bus, and going from Kyoto to Osaka is just a matter of hopping a few trains. At the same time, nearly everything closes by 8, if you're out past midnight you're probably going to miss your train home, and grocery shopping needs to be done nearly daily (my family goes to the store just once a week in America). Living here has been a mix of conveniences and inconveniences, which I suppose reflects how I've been adapting to living here, since I can't have my American conveniences and Japanese conveniences all at the same time.

I'm going to be staying here over the winter break as well as next semester, so I hope I'll be able to continue having new experiences throughout the time I have left here at Kansai Gaidai and in Japan.

The single branch of colored leaves in a still-green tree, Tōfukuji.

1 comment:

  1. You have had lots of interesting observations and nice photos throughout the semester - thank you for your efforts.