Tips on Kagoshima 上

June 4th, 2014


So I’ve been in Kagoshima for a month and a half now, so I believe that I can give some tips for my kouhais, future UTS students coming to Kagoshima for exchange. Please note, this post will be updated numerous times throughout my ICS period. I also really envy my kouhais, cause I will make sure they get almost everything that I have bought here, as I won’t be taking this stuff back to Australia, with the exception of my monitor and rice cooker.

This post will be separated into 3 parts (上中下), which will be released when I have time to write them up.

Lets get to it:

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Appearing naked on Japanese TV – check!

May 15th, 2014

onsen for foreigners

Onsen (温泉) is the Japanese word for hot spring and public bath. These bath houses are a very essential part of Japanese culture and there is even a fictional story about it (Thermae Romae). The reason I came to Japan was to experience all of its cultural aspects, and so I find myself going to an event for foreign exchange students to learn about the culture of Onsen.

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Golden Week in Kansai

May 8th, 2014


Golden Week is a holiday in Japan which consists of multiple celebrations such as Showa day, Constitution Memorial day, Greenery day, Children’s day. It is the time of year, where pretty much all of Japan starts traveling around to visit places that they haven’t been to, or places that they would want to visit again. Even though neither Amy nor me are Japanese, we decided to embark on a journey of our own. From the 2nd till the 7th of May we went to Kansai (one of the central regions of Japan) and visited the cities of Kyoto, Nara and Osaka.

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Fukurōka 福ロ岡

April 28th, 2014


Now that Tac has arrived in Japan last week for the JET program, we can once again go out to anime shops and arcades together! And thats pretty much what we did this weekend. Not quite. It all started in Saga. I came to see Amy and we went around Saga castle and Saga shrine. Very nice places: pretty, calm, beautiful; just like most of the things in Japan. The next day was more interesting, but also more painful (for our feet). We got to meet up with Tac in the (early) morning and catch a train to Hakata (Fukuoka). There was a rose exhibition there at the station, so we managed to get a lot of beautiful photos of roses! And you know what else they have there? A POKéMON centre! It is beautiful! So many Pikachus, Froakies, Chespins, Fennekins, etc… My love for Pokémon, which I thought to have died when I was 10 years old came back so I couldn’t help but spend a bit of money on some gorgeous goods.

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Brand new day, brand new life!

April 10th, 2014



So here I am, in a new city in a (not so) new land, starting off my 1 year of exchange in Kagoshima University. This past week has been really busy. I can tell you guys, settling down in Japan is much harder then in Australia. Japan sure loves its bureaucracy, but I did manage to have fun with new made friends and I am sure that I will have even more fun from now on.

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Final Destination: Kagoshima

April 2nd, 2014


(Photo from the window of my plane, you can see Mt. Fuji)

After a whole 4 years in the planing, 2 months worth of packing and preparation, and a 16 hour flight with 2 stopovers, I have finally reached Kagoshima! Here I will be studying as an exchange student for the next 10-11 months. A big big thanks to all my sempais who helped me out to prepare for this and a thank you in advance to the new sempais I have met here today, who will be helping me from now on.

I have settled into my dorm and just finished unpacking all my luggage. Now for some well deserved sleep. Tomorrow will be a long day of shopping and meeting with teachers.

Preparations for Japan – Farewells

March 30th, 2014


Visa and plane tickets have been acquired, packing has been done, all my boxes have been moved to my Imouto’s and Lexi’s place, and now all the farewell lunches, dinners, and parties are now done. I have 1 day left in Sydney and then I am off to glorious Japan.  Thank you to all my friends who took the time from their busy lives to meet me one last time this year, before I head off. Thank you for giving such a wonderful experience in so many different restaurants. Thank you to the anime club, drawing circle and JASS people (especially Ritchi) for organizing a farewell party last week before the Kyary concert. Thank you to all my friends from urbanest, all my Russian friends and my friends from back home for this last week.

Also 2 of my closest friends had their birthdays this week. Ruben and Tac.

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Preparations for Japan – Packing

February 27th, 2014


Yesterday I started putting away all the figures that have made my shelves their home. Now they are back in their cramped up boxes and those boxes are in another box (Yo DAWG~). Now my shelves are so empty and soon my whole room will be as well. It is sad to leave the place that you called home for over 3 years now, but I must look ahead and welcome my new place in Japan!

Today I must start sorting though my endless pile of clothes to pick what I can give back to my parents to take back to Latvia, what to leave in Sydney and what I need to take with me to Japan for my ICS. This will be tough task, but somebody’s gotta do it!