I wish I had some more time to spend cruising around Rinku Town.  Anyway, I was up super early to catch the Airport bus at 5:50am.

I just spent the last couple days in Okinawa.  Although, I guess one of the days was at Tokashiki island.   When I arrived and grabbed my luggage..took this picture of Okinawa’s world famous sweet potatoes.   They even sell them cooked from this truck.

IMG_7228 IMG_7230

Close family friends picked me up at airport and we went to a Dharuma temple to check it out.


Then we went to うふや (ufuya) , a 100 year old house that was turned into a restaurant.  The food was good and it was a nice place that is highly recommended to folks visiting Okinawa.

After lunch, we drop around the island and went to check out a waterfall.  There were these older ladies sitting and bundling incense as part of an offering to the gods.  They mentioned the area was a sacred place but now most people come here to take pictures of the waterfall.  Unaware it is a sacred place.  They gave me a bundle of insense.  They said  I’m traveling for me to take it for protection.

Then we went to this beach with the rock formations.  I forgot the name of it.  I”ll have to ask lol.

Picked up a lot of candy for my nephews and nieces back home and called it a night.



In continuation with the last theme.  On the go.  Traveling.  I feel like that’s what I did most of the day yesterday.  Travel.  By train or by foot I was always on the go.  I’ll have to fill in the blanks of what else I did because I’m skipping a few days in y trip.

Anyway, yesterday started off with a run in Osaka-jo 公園.  I had a great time.  It was a nice easy pace.  Very convenient area for runners.  From there it was off to meet one of my teachers at Takarazuka station.  We planned to do a short afternoon trip in Kobe.  Took the ropeway up to the top.  I wanted to see the waterfall that I didn’t see last time I was there.  We had lunch at the peak of the hill and then went to Kitano Ijinkan to check out the old starbucks and learn a littlbe bit of history about the area.  Fun.

Just found a link to the starbucks, if you’re interested:

Back on the train to my host family’s place in Toyonaka to pick up my stuff.  It’s usually a 2 or 3 line transfer.  I have to jump on the monorail to Shibahara station.  Ok got my stuff back to the station then off to another main hub at Umeda station.  I think I’ve passed through Umeda station at least twice a day.   Connected at JR Umeda/Osaka and enroute to Rinku town to rest up for the evening and get up for an early flight.

Some pictures:

Screen Shot 2019-04-06 at 3.20.02 PM


On the go

On every other trip to Japan.  I would takes tons of pictures and tell myself that I would blog about it and that I would remember every little detail.  Yep, not so much.  Even on this trip, I’m always on the go, and in a busy city like Tokyo it’s not hard to be.  So, as I watch the large wave of people at the train station from my hotel room, let’s see if I can recap what I’ve done in the last few days. Starting with where I left off.

Ok so….Oh yeah, I didn’t nap like I had planned.  Jetlag won that day.

So I met up with my friend Akinori, who I met through a language exchange app called HelloTalk.  However, whenever I meet up with my friends that I’ve met through language exchange I don’t really practice my Japanese too much.  I think I try to be accomodating and speak English instead.  Well, that, and it’s just easier for me because it is my first language.

We ventured to a place outside of Shinjuku, I believe.  We met at Takadanobaba station, which he tells me is popular for a bunch of ramen choices.  To me, it seems like you can get ramen almost anywhere inside of Tokyo.  We head off to his favorite place and find out that it’s closed as they are redoing their menu.  Ok, pause on food.  I’ve been carrying a bag of おみやげ (omiyage, pro: oh-me-yah-geh) for one of my Japanese teachers.  So we head over to the local post office so I can ship it off.

She lives in a prefecture that’s not too popular with foreigners and off of the normal path that tourists would take.  Not to mention, I think is awesome, because those are the type of places that I would like to experience.  I don’t want to encroach, so I’ll await an invite.  Assuming I’ll ever get one.  Also assuming, I’ll come back to Japan after this trip.  Don’t get me wrong I love Japan but that’s another story, for another time.

Ok, back to the story.  The post office we went to was relatively small, but busy.  It was a little めんどくさい(troublesome, P.I.T.A).  Some indecisiveness and odd process, but hey, I guess it works.  Ok, back to food.  We went to a sushi, maybe seafood, resaurant.  It was delicious like everything in Japan.  I ordered some uni and this salmon and ikura bowl:


I wanted to call it a donburi, but it’s not cooked.  So maybe Chirashi?

After eating, we were on a mission to find a うんこ先生 action figure.  I’ll explain later.  Anyway, we struck out at bic camera and kiokunia.  However, I bought to more 日本語の本。That I can use to study this year. We walked around some more before grabbing some seafood nabe.  It was pouring after dinner, so we ducked into a konbini to get an umbrella.  Keep in mind, I’ve been up since 2am and It’s around 8pm-ish now.  So I’m pretty beat.  We call it a night and I head back to my station.  I don’t even know what day it is anymore. o_O


Time for a nap!

Let’s see if I can blog about what I did this morning in Japanese


四時半ぐらい、出って、中目黒の辺で歩きました。電車はないから。あと、Imperial Palace に行って、走りました。いつ終わった、フアフアパンケーキを食べたいと思うっていました。早いので、見つけられませんでした。朝ご飯にそば天ととろろご飯を食べて、帰って、シャワーをあびました。

Still on Pacific

Still on PST time.  I shut my eyes for a couple secons last night around 6:30pm and boom, I was out.  So I got up a little after 2am this morning and am wide awake.  As I fell asleep early, I didn’t do a whole lot.  I did go out to see some cherry blossoms though. Here’s some pictures from yesterday:


So I took a nap after I did some light reading.  Had some bomb tsukemen (つけめん)right outside of the west exit of Nakameguro station.  Walked around the Nakameguro area which is very popular for hanami.  I’m in Nakameguro now and staying at a gallery hotel.  It’s kinda like a shareshouse I guess.  It’s pretty sick.  Chillin’ out for now.  Check it out if you’re in the area:

I’m in Japan!

I arrived in Japan last night at approximately 7:30pm.  It  was Saturday night 7/30.  I had initially planned to stay at the Haneda airport hotel.  I figured by the time I deboarded, got through customs, and picked up my mobile mifi it would be late.  However, I still had energy and figured it was still relatively early so I ventured out and hopped on the train.

I didn’t know where I was going to stay since I planned to stay at the airport hotel, so I was browsing for places to stay on the train.  Picked a couple hotels along the way but just kept on riding the train instead. I ended up in Nakameguro which is where I’m going to stay tonight but the place I’m staying at had to no vacancy.  Neither did the place down the street.

I ended up staying next to Ueno park and by the time I arrived I was beat.  I checked in, dropped off my stuff and headed out for a quick bite to eat.  I wanted to eat shabu shabu or nabe and there was a place right next to the hotel.  By the time I got there it was 5 til 11 and they had started to wrap up shop for the night.  Tried the next floor up which was hmm…which was probably a chain and served a couple different options.  The waitress didn’t speak much english so I tried out my broken Japanese.  The truth is, I haven’t been studying much since I took the n4 test but I’ve been keeping weekly lessons so I don’t completely lose it all.  I found myself in a similar situation last year.  I was able to order what I wanted but they were out.  Plan B.  I played it same and ordered some ramen and karaage.  Although they were out of what I wanted, they were only partly out.  Maybe because I’m some random big foreigner.  I got my ramen and karaage …AND some shabu shabu.  Luckily it was just one plate of meat, a small size so it was all good.

Got my grub on and headed back to the hotel.  Not too long after, it was off to slumberland.

Woke up at 4am this morning! Ugh.  Stayed in bed and tried to go back to sleep for an hour but it didn’t work.  Got up at 5.  Jumped in the shower and got ready for my first full vacation day in Japan.  Similar drill, head out – konbini, coffee, and egg sandwhich.  I usually get a mentaiko or tuna mayo onigiri.  It was brisk out and felt good so I went back to my room a bit and grabbed my ipad hopefully to do some light reading in Ueno Park.

Walked around a bit.  Sat in the park.  Read a page. Too cold.  Walked back to the room to finish my reading.  I have time.  Maybe I’ll nap after I read.  To be continued…

N4 Test Results

I got a B in every section of the test.  However, I didn’t pass.  I had a gut feeling that it would be close and it could go either way.

I was taking a class during the week of the test and didn’t study hard every day.  Reflecting back there were so many things I didn’t do for this test that I did on the last one, which I passed.

  • I didn’t spend 3-4 hours a day cramming the month of the test.
  • I didn’t study my Anki decks as  much as I should have.
  • I didn’t write things down in my notebook. I typed notes out and didn’t go back and review it all.

As I may have mentioned before, I am still happy with what I learned throughout the year leading up to the test. There’s always next year.

20 days

It’s been 20 days since I took the JLPT N4 test and stopped studying EVERY day.  It’s great to teak a break but now I’m back.  I have studied since but probaby only 1-2 hours a week for the past 3 weeks or so.  I was almost at level 11 wanikani, at 70% but then stopped now I have over 500 reviews. wah.