Osaka, Kyoto, and back to Tokyo

2 Apr

Since my last post I’ve spent 1 week in Osaka, and 2 weeks in Kyoto – both places were awesome in their own way.

Highlights in Osaka:
– meeting up with a distant cousin and his girlfriend – cooked me an amazing home-made Japanese dinner
– visited one of the largest aquariums in the world
– went to the Osaka castle – which had a huge plum blossom garden
– celebrated st Patricks day at the first Irish pub in Japan run by Irish guys.
– spa world – $10 for a day pass at a 6 floor onsen – totally worth it.

Highlights of Kyoto
– renting bikes and traveling across town, climbing a mountain filled with monkeys.
– visiting the town of Nara which was filled with deer
– visiting too many temples to remember (lots of which were world heritage sites)
– the temple of the fox – which had 10 thousand gates leading up a mountain.
– got to ride the bullet train back to Tokyo 🙂

Now I’m in Tokyo and will be spending the next month here working as a cleaner for free accommodations. I should be in school but I can’t go anymore. Here’s the summary of why not.

Laurier international’s insurance policy strictly follows the Canadian governments travel warnings. The Canadian government has put a warning on Tokyo, surrounding areas, and all of North Honshu for “earthquake and tsunami damage”. I’m in Tokyo now – there’s no big differences here from before / after the quake and the same is true of Akita (where my school is). I tried to contest the decision but for liability reasons they can’t let me go. Now some would say just go and transfer my credits – but this comes down to the semantics of an exchange program which is starkly different from a transfer program of which details I’m too lazy to get into right now haha. So I tried to contest the decision for about a week but given their strict policy I can’t go :(. So I’ll be at Laurier for the spring semester in May. I’ve decided to stay in Tokyo (since I love if here) for a month until then and will be flying home on the 29th :). I’ll upload a post of pictures once I get my computer out – been avoiding it so that I don’t spend all my day on the Internet haha.

I’m sure I’ll spend most of my time here in Akihabara, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Shiboya, and Rippongi. Going to the bar where the last scene of kill bill 1 was shot this week as well :).

Also have learned a lot of Japanese! Can read / write both hiragana and katakana and know the first 100 kanji – will be learning more this month. Got a kids book to read and learn.

See you all in May!

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