Pictures galore!

(Originally written: August 15, 2013)

I survived the Four-Day Intensive Japanese Language Course! やった!

Being in with the Level 4s yesterday wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. We actually spent the entire day writing, illustrating, and then presenting two stories in Japanese, which turned out to be a lot of fun! The entire group of us – eight people in total – chatted the entire time (in English, oops). We even went to an Indian restaurant, called Namaste, for lunch as a group. Wow. I have loved all of the food in Japan so far, but I think my lunch of chicken curry and nam takes the cake for the best meal yet. It was sooooooo good. Like, ridiculously good. All in all, yesterday was a great way to end the course. :)

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Lunch at Namaste. Yummmmm.

To celebrate, B, C, Ka, Ke, and I went to a microbrewery in Akita City. We had some beer tasters there, one of which I actually drank! I was pleasantly surprised as I am definitely a wine person, not a beer person. The edamame, fried cheese, and sausages that we got as snacks were also delicious. Yummmm. Japan really has the best food.

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Beer tasting in Akita City! 

We said goodbye to Ke, then it was off to a bar called Savina to see a concert. One of the ALTs from my city, Russell Kabir, as well as Kat McDowell, were performing. It was an amazing show! They both sang in a mixture of English and Japanese, which was really cool to hear. The show lasted two hours and the ticket was worth every yen. Check them out!

Today was my second day off to make up for “working” on Saturday and Sunday. I slept in a little, FaceTime’d my aunt, and then got ready for the day. S picked C and me up, and together we went to a farmer’s market in the next town over. I got some cheap vegetables to make a stir fry tomorrow night, and some cheap peaches that smell delicious! We also got amazing ice cream – S and I both got vanilla+blueberry, and C got vanilla+black sesame seed. Seeing as how it was sunny and probably close to 30°C (plus humidity!), it was the perfect day for a cold ice cream. :)

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Japan. Food. You’re doing it right.

We then drove to a few new stores around town to which I had never been, including a supermarket that sells bagels (bagels!!!) and a second-hand store (although, in Japan, the items definitely do not look second hand – everything is so well taken care of!). I also picked up my bank card at the post office, so I can finally use the bank ATM now, yay! And yes, in case you were wondering, my bank card also has Astro Boy on the front of it. :P

S dropped me home shortly after, but because it was such a nice day, I left my apartment almost immediately to go exploring. Really, I just wanted to go to the post office and the supermarket, but I ended up walking to a park that I’ve been wanting to see ever since arriving in Yurihonjo. Wow, was it ever worth the walk!

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One of the entrances to the park.

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Near the park’s entrance. 

I can now say that I visited my first shrine!

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At the shrine!

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My first shrine! Cheese! :) 

I continued walking a little further and found what has to be one of the best views of my town:

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Hello, Yurihonjo!

So beautiful. SOO glad I decided to go exploring. :)

I didn’t stay too long as it was already close to 6pm and I wanted to get back to my apartment by 7pm to watch VS Arashi on TV. I’m not used to my shows coming on at suppertime – back home, all of the shows I want to watch usually come on super late at night. However, this episode of VS Arashi was hilarious and totally worth the speed walk home. So funny. I love those guys. <3

I made curry for supper again tonight. It’s funny – a week ago, I had never even tried curry before. Now, I crave it. I boiled carrots and added them, as well as ground meat and yellow and red peppers, to the curry mix, which I poured over rice that I made in my rice cooker. It was soooo good.

Wow, I really need to stop talking about food.

I haven’t done much at all tonight except watch TV, browse Facebook (on my phone – no internet yet, sadly :(), and write this blog entry. I am going to attempt to fill out my Arashi Fan Club application form at some point so I can bring it to the Post Office tomorrow. Originally, I was supposed to go to my schools for the first time tomorrow, but when I e-mailed my supervisor today, he told me that I would go on Monday instead and that tomorrow would be another day off. Oh well! I’m not going to complain! I have lots more exploring to do around my town (although I should maybe do less buying… Okay, from now on, no more buying things!! Unless I need them… or they’re cute… NO. STOP.).

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