2/08/2016

travel2japan #13 Harajuku, a shrine and Japanese students

Hey guys!
So, I was to Japan as an exchange student. And wrote diary; approximately three pages every single day. As I think it may be interesting translating the thoughts of an exchange student in Japan, I'm no going to do this. 
Some backround information:
I was to Japan from March to July 2015(4 1/2 month). I lived in Chiba with a host family. 
I went there with the organization WYS (Word Youth Society).
Here we go.
(The text written in italics are comments, I added in retrospect)

#13 Harajuku, a shrine and Japanese students
Real date: March 22th

I woke up at 6:15 in the morning. Maybe because of the jetlag, maybe because I'm so excited, maybe maybe because the people in the other rooms started speaking and walking around. I think my whole room (three people) woke up at the same time. I layed a bit in my bed, then we stood up, got ready and went to the breakfast buffet. They had chips for breakfast as well! (I love buffets so much!  And the provided food there was indeed very tasty. I remember just the chips tasting not so good).
It really annoys me, that the other people often have breakfast till 10 to 9 (at 5 to 9 we have to be at the classroom). Directly after I finished, I want to go in the classroom and study there; prepare the next lesson, repeat the last one. (I was very rushy). So, tomorrow, I will take my folder (the folder that was given to us and that we needed for the lessons) directly to breakfast, so I do not have to get it after breakfast (from my room).
We started the morning with some gymnastic exercises, but the classroom was so small that I did not really have the place to stretch my body.
Then, we had a Japanese test. It was pretty simple, we fulfilled Hiragana and Katakana (the two Japanese syllabic scripts) tables, answered basic questions and wrote down the numbers in Japanese. I, however, don't think, I did very well.
After that, we talked about studentexchanges is general, the purpose of the programm and the role of WYS.
Then, we sat in small groups (depending on the names at our name planes; I was 'One Piece' (the names of the groups were popular Japanese animes); I thought that especally WYS does not want us to me (anime-) 'fans' (Becuause it is important to see Japan more than just a place for anime and manga) and discussed possible problems during the program, like homesickness, communication problems or too much homework.
After that, we had a Japanese lesson, what meaned that we first learned basical expressions and words, such as 'watashi' (I), 'hajimemashite' (Nice to meet you) or 'konbanwa' (good evening).
The classroom
After this, we played a game with cards; the cards were photos of food and when the teacher said a word, we had to point at the card with the right photo. I was not very good, maybe, because I was to shy and insecure to really point the finger at the cards.
Then we had lunch. After that, we got a very interestng lecture about our host families, what I really enjoyed listening to. We were told a lot of tips and hints.
This was followed by a Japanese listening test.  A children's song was played and we had a gap text, where we should fill in the words in the gaps. I did not know very much words, hmm..
Then we had 'case study'.I thought, this meaned that we had time to study Japanese on our own but it meaned, that we got cases of probably happenable problems and we should tell, how to react 'the right way'.
Afte that, we met Japanese students, who are going to travel to another country in august. We got some explainations (I did not really understand the explainationa in Japanese), then we (got in groups (with the Japanese students) according to the name written on our name plate and) visited a shrine and went to Harajuku.
At the shrine, we should step in without touh´ching the doorstep. Before we went in, we had to wash our hands. The Japanese students were very funny and nice, but at first I was too shy to talk to them . I tried talking a bit Japanese and the students answered (I certainly remember asking a girl "Did you drink that?", when she gargled with the handwashing- water.), but I had a huge problem understanding their questions, so they asked in English. In the shrine, we threm 5- Yen coins in a kind of box and should wish something. I did not really know, so I just wished my exchange to be sucessful.
Harajuku- just amazing
Then, we went to Harajuku (That's a very, very popular quater in tokyo, that is famous for it's interesting fashion styles, clothing shops and pancakes). Oh My God, that's a street! Shop next to shop, one crazier and more colorful that the next. I took only one photo but I tried to keep the memory in my mind.
The Japanese students were so adorable and nice! Somehow, they loved my German- Japanese dictonary (probably because it was so small). After we ate dinner, we went to another classroom and each group had to prepare a presentation. Our group prepared 'The wulf and tht seven little kids'. But as the time was rather short, we did not finish the presentation. We also had to hold own indivisdual performance. Mine was small; 'This was my first impressoin in Japan'- astonished face (okay, some people laughed but it was really shitty).
another group's presentation
While working on the group presentation, I also saw some Japanese people sometimes not willing to work (as if every singele Japanese student was hard- working and ultra- ambitious). Furthermore, I got known to the Japanese perfectionism; After all groups had finished their presentations, about 15 minutes were left, but instead of just allowing everyone to go to bed a little earlier, they asked people to present once again. (Like, seriously, why do Japanese people do this ? I still do not get it.)
This day, I took a real bath and it was very relaxing and wonderful. (The Japanese baths are just amazing!)
It annoys me, that other students are blaming some things here; I mean, this is the country, they wanted to travel to, they should accept it. (I actually do not know a concrete example for this thing, but I really thought, that exchange students were expected to be perfect)

I hope, you liked this part
<--previous part (#12 the orientation camp I)
next part (#14 the last day of the orientation camp)-->

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