Just a few more days to go! My plane leaves around 2:10 PM on
January 2. I'm told the flight lasts 13-14 hours. If all goes well,
I should be able to update this Web page once a week or so while
I'm in Japan. Once I start taking pictures, I'll make some good
ones available on this Web page.
I'm all packed and ready to go! This will be my last message from the USA.
When I get to Japan and get settled in, I'll let you all know...
In actuality, my plane left on January 3 at about 4:30 PM. I've taken some pictures
and placed them on this Web page. Be sure to take a look!
I'm doing fine in Japan. Shopping and dining out is sometimes a challenge if the people
working behind the cash registers start asking me questions! I don't know enough to read most
signs, but that usually doesn't stop me. Classes start tomorrow. Even though I've already
had some Japanese (only 10 weeks), I still have to start from "Level 1". I'm sure it'll move
at a quick enough pace to catch up to my 10 weeks in no time.
I've had my first day of classes. They said it would be "intensive," but I guess
I didn't really know the meaning of the word until now. The
instructor taught us about 15 Japanese phrases in 2 hours, talking at full
speed and with no English. If you blinked, you missed something. It's nothing
like any class I've ever taken. It was very effective, though! He taught
by example, and by repeating the phrases many, many times, and calling on each of
us to repeat them.
I've added some more pictures. Take a look!
How's life treating me? Pretty good! Tomorrow I get to dress in a
kimono, learn the Japanese art of flower arranging, eat a free lunch, and take
pictures of the whole thing.
I originally planned to update this page
weekly, but I seem to be updating it almost daily. Don't be alarmed if
you suddenly don't see anything for several days, though. I may get
overwhelmed in the future if I keep this pace up. But just because you
don't see any pictures doesn't mean that I'm not taking any...
Dressing in kimono was fun, but the best part of the day was going to
a place called "Ayuya no Sato." It was a marketplace where many different
kinds of Japanese foods were on display, with free samples and lots of
fancy packaging. One of the reasons I wanted to come to Japan was to try
all kinds of new food -- I love to taste new things. When I walked into
the marketplace, I was completely overwhelmed. We only had 15 minutes to
look around, and there must have been at least 200 different foods
I had never seen before! I want to go back! I'll have pictures of the
kimono, flowers, and marketplace up as soon as I can.
I've been taking more pictures, and it's getting harder and harder
to keep up with them! The updates to this page will probably become more
infrequent as time goes on, but that doesn't mean I'll stop taking
pictures! I have a 4 day weekend, so I'll be having some fun and also
spending a little more time getting all the recent pictures onto this
I've explored a lot more of Hikone now, and found some good places
to go shopping (streets lined with little specialty and gift shops).
I also visited one or two temples, some residential districts, and a
few other places. I'm still working on all of those pictures; it's
going to take me a few days to get them online (there are so many).
I apologize for the tardiness of my newest pictures, but I have a good
excuse! The weather's been really nice (sunny, and hovering around 6
I've been finally getting out of my room to see all sorts
of things. Here's a list of things to come:
Viva City (mall)
Views around Hikone: Stores, houses, streets, mountains, restaurants
Old New Town
Soan-ji (temple in Old New Town)
JCMU night at Sugimoto bar
Trip to Kyoto: Kyoto train station, Kyoto tower, temples, shrines, sights
Another trip to Kyoto (I'm going again today on an official field trip)
My conversation partner, trip to Okonomi House restaurant
More Japanese food, snacks, and Jenglish
So I'm sort of behind on the pictures. But I promise I'll put them on the
Web the next time I get some "stuck indoors" time.
Ack! I did get some pictures on the Web this weekend, but I still have so
many more to do... I went to Kyoto a third time, so my weekend was even
shorter than I wanted it to be! :)
I've updated the latest picture section with two new pictures, and
I added a better version of "View 4" from Johoku dori. More Hikone pictures
are on their way; I just need to type up the text that goes with them...
I'm now about 13 days behind on my pictures! I won't apologize
anymore, but I will
tell you what's coming up:
Kyoto trip 1
Kyoto trip 2 (field trip)
Kyoto trip 3
More Japanese food
Today was a snow day! We got at least 10 inches of snow overnight, and
they called off classes for the day (in Japan, classes are usually never
called off for snow -- most Japanese did go to school today).
I took pictures of the snow (of course), but you might not see
them for a while! There are quite a few other pictures to put online
first. I did get a chance to go through the first set of Kyoto pictures
today (I wasn't about to ride my bike through 10 inches of snow). Enjoy!
Tomorrow I visit my first weekend host family (near Hikone).
The family's last name
is Yamada, and has the following members:
Takashi (father, 39)
Mitsue (mother, 29)
Sanako (sister, 10)
Shuusaku (brother, 8)
So, I'll be occupied all weekend, and you can bet I'll be taking lots
I apologize to those of you who check this web page (and your email)
frequently; I have been very busy lately. I am having a great time,
taking too many pictures to count (I've taken over 1,000 so far in
Japan), and becoming busier all the time. Thursday is a Japanese
holiday, so over the next few days I'll catch up on my email replies
and this web page.
Brace yourself for a novel, because that's basically what I just finished
typing. Some of you were asking about my homestay experience. I said it
was wonderful, but to really understand what I mean, take a look at the
latest picture section. I figured it was more important than many of the
other pictures "waiting in the queue," so that's why there's a jump from
section 1.18 to section 2.07. I'll fill in the skipped sections in time.
I've inserted picture section 1.19. It has pictures of a few different kinds of
Japanese meals and snacks, my Japanese conversation partner, and some more
pictures taken in the Sugimoto Bar.
Hey, I'm back! Welcome to Dan in Japan's new look!
I've re-done the page from scratch
and officially made it a project for my Japanese Culture & Society class.
Hope you like it! I've also finally added the Kyoto field trip pictures.
Dozo, mite kudasai. (Go ahead, please take a look.)
I've created a section that shows some pictures from the first year
Japanese classroom (teachers, students, etc). I've also added a few
pictures to the "Dan at Work" section.
I've added my Japanese class final speech to the web page. You can listen
to it and read the text of it in Japanese or English.
Well, I've only got a week left, so I wrote a "conclusion" of sorts to
Dan in Japan. Dan in Japan the Web site is no where near done (and I will
finish it), but Dan in Japan the person is almost done...
I'm leaving on
flight #72 at 1 PM Japan time (Apr 21), arriving at 11:55 AM Michigan time
I've arrived safely back in Michigan! Over the next couple of months I'll be
incorporating the rest of the pictures I took in Japan into this Web page.