Detective Conan/Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory

Soon after I arrived in Matsue, I went with some of the other new ALTs to the Tottori Sand Dunes.

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It was pretty and kind of fun to walk on so much sand. And the water was really cold still. (We took this trip back in April.) On the way there we passed two other places.

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The Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport. πŸ˜€ They renamed the airport because the creator of Detective Conan is from Tottori Prefecture.

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And the Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory. \^_^/ It’s basically a museum about the life and works of Gosho Aoyama, the creator of Detective Conan, Magic Kaito and Yaiba.

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They even had a couple things setup where you could try things that criminals have done in the manga/anime. Like a partial door that has a security lock on it. And you try to use scotch tape to lock it from the outside, creating a locked room murder. πŸ˜€

You can see the rest of the pictures here: Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory pictures

I went to Osaka during Golden Week and found this cafe at the Osaka train station.

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So I’m a little obsessed with Detective Conan (εζŽ’ε΅γ‚³γƒŠγƒ³) right now… I even found this jacket the other day. πŸ˜„

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And in my free time I’ve been working on watching the anime. :3 I’m currently around episode 280 out of about 780. ^_^” So my Japanese vocabulary has been skewed a bit towards crime related things. But that’s useful, right?

Detective Conan/Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory

Yakumo Nyan (cat cafe)

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I went to a cat cafe with my friend, (and fellow ALT) Sara, today. The cats didn’t seem too interested in being petted or scratched but I was able to get a few of them to chase a toy. They were mostly Maine Coon cats and 3 regular domestic cats. The Maine Coons were kinda huge. I’ll probably go back. Maybe if the cats get to know me they’ll be more friendly. :3

Yakumo Nyan (やくもnyan)
yakumonyan.com
blog.goo.ne.jp/yakumonyan
http://goo.gl/maps/9G9Xf

Also, if you like cats at all, you should try this smartphone game. πŸ˜€

ねこあ぀め/neko atsume

Yakumo Nyan (cat cafe)

Long Time No Update…

First, I’d like to apologize for not updating more frequently, or at all, really. Sorry, everyone. ^^” I always have good intentions with my blog, but it’s difficult to keep up with it. Maybe it would be better to post shorter updates here instead of only on Facebook. Not that I’ve really been doing that either…

So here’s a brief breakdown of what’s been happening since I arrived.

Training

I arrived in Okayama on March 24th and training started the next day. It was really great to finally meet the people that I’d been chatting with on Facebook before arriving in Japan. And it was, and still is, a wonderful feeling to be in Japan again.

I think the Interac training was really great. Especially for someone with no teaching experience whatsoever, like myself. The 5 days of training were long, usually ending around 8-9 pm, but they were definitely useful. I gained a lot of confidence in my ability to teach. I also found out that it’s much more difficult to speak in front of your peers than in front of students. I’m terrified of public speaking, but somehow I can get in front of a classroom and my stomach isn’t tied in knots. ^^”

Teaching

I sometimes still wonder why anyone thought I would be a good teacher. What did Interac see that made them think I could do this? It’s not that I don’t think I’m doing a mostly okay job of teaching now, just that I wonder what they saw in me before I started teaching. Especially since I’d never done this before. Somehow I’m able to teach… I think… The Japanese teachers seem to be pleased with how things are going. It’s really difficult to gauge how well I’m doing though.

Most of the time it’s actually a lot of fun to get the students using English. As long as they’re even mildly interested in trying, it’s pretty easy. I still need to work on the hard cases though. The students who are probably thinking “Why do I need to learn this stuff?” The same thoughts a lot of people have about school when they’re young. The high school students are the toughest. Mostly because they’re becoming self-conscious and afraid to make any mistakes in front of their classmates. But that’s the only way you’re really going to learn is by using the language and making mistakes. I can definitely relate since I dealt with the same problems when I was learning Japanese.

Almost all of the students from 6th grade to 12th grade are super adorable!! πŸ˜€ Even the really little elementary students that I don’t teach, but sometimes see in the building. They’re all so cute! During my introduction lesson with basically every student I teach, when given the chance to ask questions, I almost always got these two: “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “How old are you?” I just tell them the truth, but some people like to tell them it’s a secret. I don’t really mind. I just wish they’d come up with a wider variety of questions. :p

Life in Japan

The one part I was really looking forward to, besides simply being in Japan, was having an apartment all to myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve really lived by myself. Not that I haven’t had great roommates over the past few years. It’s that I highly value my personal space. When I come home, everything is exactly how I left it. I can arrange things however I like. And as long as I don’t bother my neighbors, I can do whatever I want. πŸ˜€ My apartment is also really cute and just well designed. There’s a lot of useful storage space and thankfully it was already basically furnished. It’s also plenty of space for just myself. (About 300 square feet.) Around my apartment building there’s a bunch of farms. In the evening, you can hear a ton of frogs and maybe insects making the most interesting sounds. They sound exactly like theΒ kodama (tree spirits) from the movieΒ Princess Mononoke (animated film by Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli). πŸ˜€

With the help of a couple lovely Japanese women (contracted by Interac just to help people like me ease into life in Japan), I was able to find all the things that I needed to buy for my apartment, get my bank account set up & other utilities, and buy a cell phone. I would have been a huge ball of stress and frustration if I’d had to do that alone. My Japanese isn’t that good. ^^”

I’ve also had to get used to driving in Japan. Yes, they drive on the left here. It’s been interesting. Luckily no major mishaps, but I still can’t get used to the crazy narrow streets though. Before the end of my 1st year here, I’ll have to take & pass the driving test so I can get my official driver’s license. I’m sure I’ll manage but I’m not looking forward to it.

Thank you all for following my adventure. If there are any specific things you’d like to know, please ask in the comments. ^_^ I’d like to say that I’ll try to post more often, but I think we all know how that will work out. ^^” I’ll do my best. ι ‘εΌ΅γ‚ŠγΎγ™οΌ

またね!

Long Time No Update…