Saturday, 26 January 2013

Going Out to Tenjin

So yesterday (Saturday 26/1/13) Wes and I decided to explore the down town area of Fukuoka, an area called Tenjin. It was the place my best friend Mog and I had studied before, so I kind of knew the area but it's been about 6 years and I didn't really do as much exploring then as I could have. Especially cos we wanted to go to the local Kabuki theatre called the Hakata-za which was where Takarazuka were doing the Legend of Galactic Heroes!! (For those who don't know Takarazuka and how much I love it click here for a previous blog about them - I went so many times when I was in Osaka! Yay Japanese musical!) So the first thing we did when we arrived was head over to the theatre to see if they had any tickets for the day, which they did, so we got a couple for the 3:30 showing for that day.

(This is the poster for the show we saw)

Update (3/2/13): Someone asked me what the show was about. It's about a giant galactic battle between two groups. I didn't really understand the story much cos I was so tired but it's basically the story of on guy who becomes the ruler of one side and has to deal with political crap and because it's Takarazuka, falling love with the blonde haired lady at the back of the poster. At the same time they tell the story of the general on the other side and all the political crap he has to deal with. But because it's Takarazuka it's all singing and dancing and highly entertaining.

So we had about 4 hours to kill before the show and proceed to wander around Tenjin. We first check out the Across Fukuoka building which was supposed to have in International Square (国際広場) but it didn't really have that much, only seemed to have special events where foreigners and Japanese people meet, so no new friends made that day. 

(The Across Fukuoka building has gardens built ontop of it. Inside it's huge and spacious)

We then wander off to an electrical store and a huge bookstore (4 floors) which much time was lost in...More exploring took place and before we knew it it was almost time to head back to the theatre! But we were so hungry we had to rush to find a place to eat before the show started.

Needless to say, at the end of the day we were both knackard (that didn't stop Wes stopping into an electric store to droll over their camera though, hehehe). So we went home on the train (which is super close, only 6 miles! Fukuoka's a small city compared to Osaka/Tokyo), had curry udon and went to bed. 

One thing I have to say about Tenjin though, is that it's so big, with so many tall buildings and wide streets and shops EVERYWHERE that we barely made a dent in it and defiantly need to return a couple more times to really see the rest! (And hopefully get more pics of the place) 

(P.s I may have spent all my spendage for that week on theatre ticket, books and these adorable figurines! They were cheap I couldn't not buy them!)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

First Five Days

So we finally made it to Fukuoka, Japan after an easy 16 hour flight which was probably the smoothest long distance flight I've ever taken.

Our apartment is a cosy 19.5m2 with a small hob, sink, washer, fridge, shower, bath, TV etc. The bed room is a loft situated above the kitchen/entrance which we have to climb a ladder to get to. The apartment though seems to have been made for a but it's comfy and will do us fine for the next 6 months. Luckily there's a heater/air conditioner too so the chilly Japan winter isn't getting to me too much (I actually think it's been warmer here the last few days than in England). (Note: These pics were taken after I'd tidied)

Our first few days (the Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th) after we'd arrive was mostly spent waking up at 5 am and then falling asleep again until midday (yay jetlag!). But when we were awake we spent the time exploring the area, including the local 100yen shop/super market (getting plenty of items for the house and food), and the nearest mall Aeon which has EVERYTHING (well...a bookshop and doughnuts). Wes invested some money in a map of Fukuoka which has been a life saver so far. Also, despite the fact we've gone to many, many cheap bookshops already we haven't bought that much manga! I also invested my first few yen on a cooking magazine which turns out to be full of amazingly useful Japanese recipes. I admit I haven't tried any out yet but I've certainly been using it for inspiration.

We began classes on the Monday 21st. We were met at the station by one of the teachers and led to school which is a small office on the 4th floor of a building (next to a bookshop called Book Off). I think we were both surprised at how small the school was. It has one office, 2 classrooms, and 1 private classroom, a small kitchen and toilet. And besides Wes and myself, 1 other student. Apparently the school has over 100 students at it's other campus, but that's for people studying for over 1 year. And I must admit I was a bit disappointed when we were put with the other student (a 30-something Canadian who's living here with his Japanese wife and daughter) whose Japanese is not as good as ours so we're going over a lot of the grammar and vocab we already know. But it is only our first week and we're only just getting into it, fingers crossed it'll pick up soon. In the mean time we've been exploring, shopping, cooking and translating manga. We have plenty of time for our own study, just haven't got round to it yet... Practice N2 kanji is on the list of things to do for the rest of this week.

This weekend though we plan to go to Tenjin, the main shopping district in the centre of town, less than 6 miles away so we can cycle there! OH yeah! We got bikes to get to school with! Cost 10,000yen, but when the train costs 400 a day there and back, that's only 5 weeks cycling to school and back to get our money back. Yay!

So fingers crossed I'll update again with pics of the school our bikes and the area before an update on the weekend! o/