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  #1  
Old 2004-04-25, 08:54
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Lucifer Lucifer is offline
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Japan

Hi everyone,

I`m still alive. And I checked out the forum for some time last week. Maybe I`ll have time to post in some threads, but I`m not sure about that, life is very busy here in Japan. But it`s great, I`m really having a great time here!

I will try to tell you something about my life here, I hope you find it interesting to read, it`s a bit messy as so much has happened and there`s so much to tell.
For the ones that didn`t know, I`m staying in Japan from March 2004 to January 2005 as a YFU exchange student. I`m living with a hostfamily and I`m in first year of high school.

When I came to Japan in March we first had a one week introduction in Tokyo with all the other students (maybe 120) in the Olympic Memorial Centre. Unfortunately we couldn`t go out, so I only saw Tokyo through the bus windows... (some of my friends sneaked out though one day). The orientation was very nice, it was organized by Japanese YFU returnees who had been to other countries. We had lots of free time though, in which we could learn about Japanese culture, play some Japanese games, do origami (yeah...). But of course we were all looking forward to meet our hostfamilies.

I`m living in Sendai, quite a big city in the north of Japan (Miyagi prefecture). It`s a nice city, it`s fun to go shopping there. Department stores are HUGE, really huge. Shops are open until late the whole week, also on Sundays. (I don`t know if that`s the same in other countries but in Holland most shops are closed on Sundays).]
My house is outside Sendai`s centre though, 40 minutes by car, but it`s still called Sendai. My town Izumi-ku is also very nice, I`m living near the centre, it`s 20 minutes by bike.
My family is great, I really feel at home here. I`ve got two brothers (18 and 13) and a sister (15 like me). She`s going to the USA with YFU this summer. My eldest brother doesn`t live with the family as he goes to university, so I`m using his room. Next to okaasan and otoosan there`s also grandmother and grandfather, and greatgrandmother. She`s 94 years old. They are all very kind, my hostfather is English teacher at a boys high school so I speak English to him most of the time, but I try to speak Japanese with my brother and sister and mother. My grandparents use an old Sendai dialect, first I couldn`t understand anything of it but now it`s ok, and I can talk to them more. My Japanese learning is going well, it`s surprising how fast you learn a language when everyone around you speaks it, you learn so much faster than from schoolbooks or lessons at home.
The house I`m living in is traditional and quite big, it`s a rural area and my grandparents have a huge area of land around the house. The doorways are too low for me btw, always funny when I bump my head I`m quite tall here, but it`s not true that all Japanese are small. There are some other tall boys in my school (though they are in higher grades mostly).
I had three weeks holidays with my family, in which we`ve done various activities together. Of course hanami (flower viewing, having lunch under the cherry blossom) was one of them, the cherry blossom is gone now but it was really beautiful. I`ll try to include a picture. We also visited two temples, went shopping a few times. And we visited the onsen (hot spring), very hot but very relaxing. The ofuro (bath) everyone takes each day is also hot, when I`m the first to use it it really is way too hot, but when I use it later it`s ok.
The food here is very good, I only can`t eat natto (I think it`s called rotten beans in English...). My favourite food is udon noodles. I also like nori, I don`t know the English name (zeewier is the Dutch name), especially with rice, nori gohan.
Restaurants here are quite cheap so we go there quite often. But my hostmother is also good at cooking. The obento (lunch box) all students get taste very good.

After those three weeks I had to go to school and now my life is very busy. Schooldays in Japan are long as you do clubs after school. I chose to do Kyudo (Japanese archery), it`s difficult but fun. It was difficult to choose a club, there are many and I went to see many, and everyone wanted me to choose their club. I have to train until seven o`clock every day. I`m going to school by bike, about 15 minutes.
School is fun but difficult. The lessons can be quite boring as I only understand the English lessons (those ones are fun). When I don`t understand a lesson I`m supposed to do Japanese homework, but that can also be boring sometimes. But outside the lessons is cool. I`m uh.. quite popular at school, everyone acts like they have never seen a foreigner before (maybe that`s true). Though Sendai is quite a big city it`s still rare to see foreigners walking around, especially in school uniforms. It`s fun but sometimes tiring, saying hello byebye to everyone in my school, having to take so many pictures with Japanese girls... Those cell phones are really cool btw, but I`m not allowed to have one. Everyone wants to practice English with me, there`s also a special English course at Izumi high school, but I try to talk Japanese with the other students as much as possible.

As I said weekdays are very busy because of school, but it`s fun. And during the weekends I can relax. We go out most weekends to go shopping, or visit a temple or shrine.
I hope I`ve given a good view of my life until now, of course there`s lots of more to tell. I`m very happy to live here, I`m having the time of my life!

I`ll try to include some pictures, unfortunately I do not have any good pictures of Sendai city yet, but I`ll see if I can make some later.

If you have any questions I`ll be glad to answer them.

Best wishes,

Lucifer
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  #2  
Old 2004-04-25, 09:18
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Lucifer Lucifer is offline
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Okay, here are some pictures. I really need some pictures of the city itself and of my school, but I don`t have them yet. I do have more pictures, but I didn`t have time to upload them yet.

They`re quite big, gomen nasai.

Tokyo from the bus
Me, I went mountain climbing with my father

My hostfamily at a temple
(I don`t remember the name of the place)

Hanami 1 (Shiroishi-dyo)
Hanami 2
Hanami 3
Hanami 4
Hanami 5

Regards,

Lucifer
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  #3  
Old 2004-04-25, 11:25
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Panda Panda is offline
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Hey man, good to hear from you

Just read that passage, and wow, I would so love to do that. Sounds like a valueable experience. Hope you enjoy it all the way to the end

Haha, you're like, twice the size of the rest of the family Nice.

Btw, how much japanese do you speak? A lot of a high level? Or kinda school-level?

Anyway, hope it all works out for you. All the best
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  #4  
Old 2004-04-25, 14:17
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It's the first time I spend my time to read a long text in this forum

Really interesting... It seans a good country.

Quote:
"aha, you're like, twice the size of the rest of the family Nice. "
About what Pandy said. Wow... what a difference



Spoiler:
In some days, with this popularity, it's raining girls....


Regards for all family...
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  #5  
Old 2004-04-25, 14:59
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Wow, Japan seems a very good country!
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  #6  
Old 2004-04-25, 15:40
Atresica Atresica is offline
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Whoa, super

But why aren't you allowed to have a cellphone though?

oh and zeewier = seawheed
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  #7  
Old 2004-04-25, 16:18
ChaosFish ChaosFish is offline
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Wo amazing stuff
Great to hear from you, hopefully you'll have some time to post some more
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  #8  
Old 2004-04-25, 16:49
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Nice to see you here again Lucifer and to hear that you're having a nice time.
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  #9  
Old 2004-04-25, 17:31
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[pure newyorkness]Awesome like woah! [/pure newyorkness]
The cherry blossoms are so gorgeous...thanks for putting those up
My friend is doing YFU this summer.

I think everything's been said... ehmm this is very random but... have you had any wakame? I can't get enough of the stuff
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  #10  
Old 2004-04-25, 17:42
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Just so you know, I read your whole post


Nice pics!
Good to know you're having fun

Btw, could you tell me about the TV over there?
Are the channels loaded with Anime?
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  #11  
Old 2004-04-25, 18:39
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Howdy
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  #12  
Old 2004-04-25, 19:05
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Sounds fun
I have always wanted to viste japan
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  #13  
Old 2004-04-25, 19:47
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Awesome, great to hear from you and to read your story, and very nice sakura blossom pics.

Yeah, I heard Japanese schools are hard. And very competitive: they have like "top 50 best students" (based on their grades) hanging in the hall (I heard), I would be horified by going to a school like that I think.

Seems like you're having a lot of fun and getting some great experiences. Keep it up!

/me will go to Japan near the end of june for two weeks (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto). excited.
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  #14  
Old 2004-04-25, 20:03
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say hi to the family from us!!! it seems fun in japan, me and my band decided when we can we're gonna tour japan cos all the stuff there rules (game consoles, TV, technology)
good to here your still alive and well and having a good time.

See you soon (well probably not 'see' as in real life but in forum terms)
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  #15  
Old 2004-04-25, 23:10
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SpaceGuitarist SpaceGuitarist is offline
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welcome back! ill just briefly comment that my mom is in Japan right now...
dont ask me why or how.
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  #16  
Old 2004-04-26, 03:19
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That's awesome! I'm Japanese. I have family that lives in Japan.
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  #17  
Old 2004-04-26, 08:21
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Twinsal Twinsal is offline
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Me is very very jealous.


Well, at least I'm glad you're having a good time. Post more often, will ya? I'd love to read more.
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  #18  
Old 2004-04-27, 16:10
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Lucifer Lucifer is offline
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Hi again,

I`m happy you're interested in what I have to say, I typed that post quite quickly so it was a bit messed up. I will try to tell you more soon, now I don't have very much time. I'll try to answer your questions though.

YFU (the exchange company) doesn't allow me to have a cell phone as they think it can be bad for the exchange. I don't remember why exactly. They are worried the students will have too much contact with family and friends at home, and that you will start e-mailing all day long (like all Japanese...) instead of talking with people.

I don't know how to describe my Japanese. Before I came to Japan it wasn't very good, but I learned very much in the last month. I'm lucky as I have a very nice and big hostfamily with lots of friends, so I met a lot of people and practiced Japanese a lot. I can't understand most lessons at school, the teachers speak very fast, but I can talk to people about quite a lot of things. Of course I make mistakes but they understand me. And I can read and write Hiragana and Katakana, and I know some Kanji.

The television here is great! Very funny, very busy with a lot of text (mostly subtitles). I mostly watch television with my hostbrother and hostsister and they don't really watch anime, so I don't really know about it. But there's quite a lot of anime indeed. There are also lots of educational English programs that can be funny to watch. And there are really much (funny) commercials, and all programs have a lot of sponsors.
There's also a bilingual channel, you can choose between English and Japanese.

Anyone living in the Netherlands under 18 could try to do this (Twinsal?). If you want to you can sign up at YFU. Every year there are 13 scholarships available, you don't have to pay for it. I think England has scholarships too.
I had to do a writing assignment and two interviews (a long one at YFU and a short one at the Japanese ambassy). Last time about 100 people signed up, so I'm quite lucky, but I think you can get through. See www.yfu.nl. Or www.yfu.org for the international site. I would surely recommend this to anyone, I`m having a great time here!

Edit: Sorry citadelle I forgot to answer your question. I haven`t had any wakame... I don`t know what it is actually I'll ask my family.

Oh and for all the Dutch people here I keep a Dutch weblog here. I haven't updated lately though, but there are two large posts. Maybe you're interested.

Best wishes,

Lucifer

Last edited by Lucifer; 2004-04-27 at 16:24.
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  #19  
Old 2004-04-27, 17:54
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is there a limit on how old you have to be to sign up? if not i might do it when i finish school.

EDIT: Just seen the site, probs will end up goin to japan later in life, maybe some other MBNers will be going and we can all meet up?
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  #20  
Old 2004-04-29, 13:48
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Lucifer Lucifer is offline
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I think the limit is 18, but I'm not sure. It might differ in some countries.
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  #21  
Old 2004-04-29, 19:14
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Met any females yet?
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