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My trip to Osaka

#1
Welcome to this forum topic, my name is Martin, and one year ago I started learning Japanese by learning kanji first (the forum topic about that: http://forum.koohii.com/thread-12816.html), and now, one year later, I'm going to Osaka for five weeks as an exchange student. And I've decided to write here about my experiences.
 
Tomorrow will be the day of my departure. I'm going with two other Dutch exchange students to Tokyo (yep, I'm from the Netherlands), and from there I'll go to Osaka on my own.
 
Unlike my two very concerned parents, I'm someone who doesn't really stress until the thing you're supposed to stress about is happening. So until tomorrow I'll probably have no problems controlling my stress, but when I board the plane, I'll be stressing a lot.
 
I've failed to learn a lot of Kansai-ben, which is the dialect of Osaka, but I hope it's okay if I speak in the little bit of standard dialect I've mastered by now. Since the other two exchange students just started learning basic sentences (or maybe not even that), I should be relatively alright.

Well, this was my first post. I don't know how much I'll write or how long my posts will be, I'll just write when I'm feeling like it. Thank you for reading this, and goodnight~
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#2
Have fun! This sound like an amazing experience. I remember being with a host family twice in France and it really was a great time. If you are staying with a local family your Japanese will grow in leaps and bounds for sure.

Look forward to reading your experiences.
Edited: 2016-07-03, 5:04 pm
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#3
For anyone wondering why I didn't write anything yesterday, well, I was in my plane to Japan. The flight was interesting, When I crossed the Russian border I felt like I was the farthest away from home that I've ever been in my entire life. When I  left Russia I realized I was in Asia. In between those two things I was staring at the screen to see the plane slowly progress while my other two companions were watching movies. The only other thing that happened and was interesting was that I was able to talk to an middle-aged couple to ask for help (In Japanese of course).

When we almost arrived we saw some flat grass fields, and one of my companions jokingly said that it looked exactly like the Netherlands.

In my transit to Osaka I decided to buy some food for the last flight. When I bought Japanese-tea-flavoured chocolate, the Japanese woman accompanying me tried her best to warn me about its taste, since that most gaijin can't read and probably think it's something else. But I thought it'd be an interesting thing to try. After that Inproceeded to buy the thing that looked the most like apple juice. Well, it wasn't Big Grin.  I'll have to get used to the difference in consumtion very soon.

I'm writing this at my transit, so I've been awake for around 20 hours, but don't feel too sleepy, and I've decided not to sleep before it's bedtime to avoid any further jetlag.

A few hours later~~~

I just arrived at my homestay. I'm trying to get used to driving on the left side and seeing kanji everywhere. I have my own room, and I try to use my Japanese as much as possible.
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JapanesePod101
#4
Hi, Martin!
Being an exchange student is fun, so I hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I have only read about Japan, have seen photos, but have no personal experiences. 
So I am looking forward to reading your notes!

Have fun, take care, write much Smile

Love from Tücsi
(Kecskemét, Hungary)
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#5
Hi Martin!

You don't know me yet, but I hope we will meet one day. I live in Washington DC and have never been to Japan. Your mom told me about your trip and I have enjoyed reading your posts.

You have a wonderful opportunity to learn and explore a different language and culture, and it's clear that you will take full advantage of that opportunity. As we like to say in our family, "Have fun and learn a lot!"

Best wishes,

Ruth
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#6
~~The end of the first day~~

The first meal was great, I was actually surprised of how tasty it was. I don't know the name, but it was some kind of curry sause with meat and rice.

Then we talked about all kinds of random stuff, mostly in Japanese. Even though it's broken Japanese on my side, it's still Japanese.

Afterwards we went out for a walk to take pictures. Because we are in the middle of Osaka there wasn't a lot to take pictures from. But I got the chance to try some kind of Japanese sweets and drinks.

And let's not talk way too much about the bathroom, but I'll tell you that there is a television with the bath thub, which surprised me as well.

Goodnight~
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#7
(2016-07-05, 9:42 am)Kruzer132 Wrote: The first meal was great, I was actually surprised of how tasty it was. I don't know the name, but it was some kind of curry sause with meat and rice.
Curry sauce with meat and rice? Sounds like curry... or カリー as the case may be. Smile
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#8
...or maybe カレー?
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#9
カレーライス!
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#10
Maybe Chris meant カロリー Wink
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#11
Hey Kruzer132! Glad you're enjoying your trip! As someone who has never been to Japan I look forward to reading your updates Smile
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#12
I looked it up on google images, and it was カレー indeed. xD
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#13
Nice. Osaka is my favorite place in Japan, mostly cuz it has the best people.
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#14
Oh, yes. カリー and カレー are both in the dictionary so I thought I had it right since カリー exists.... but now that you mention it カレー is the one that I always hear.
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#15
Good thread. I look forward to hearing more of your story my Dutch friend. Smile
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#16
(2016-07-05, 5:09 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Nice. Osaka is my favorite place in Japan, mostly cuz it has the best people.

I always feel conflicted when I visit. Best people ever, but one of the worst cities ever. I find Fukuoka to be a better balance, great city and great people.
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#17
~大阪城(Oosaka-jou)~

Today both my host brother and my host sister had to go to school, (I'll have my first schoolday tomorrow by the way,) so me and my host mother decided to go outside for some sight-seeing.

First of all, we went with the metro. I experienced a 満員電車, which is a full train, and surprisingly a totally empty metro as well. Then we arrived at the Osaka castle, and I was surprised at how big it actually was. It had a moat around it, and after entering through the main gate, you can walk quite a bit and and go over another moat and then you are next to the main tower. The main tower is high, and after going to the top I was able to make pictures of the city and the mountains in the background. Though I have no idea how to upload them on this forum, so if anyone knows how to upload these pictures from my computer, then please teach me.

After visiting the Osaka castle, we proceeded to go to a ramen restaurant and I ate ramen for the first time. And even though it was a lot, I somehow succeeded to eat the whole thing. I also saw the place called づぼらや, and I took a picture of the fugu balloon as well.

Well, tomorrow will be my first school day, so I'm quite curious about how that'll go.
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#18
(2016-07-06, 2:25 am)tokyostyle Wrote:
(2016-07-05, 5:09 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Nice. Osaka is my favorite place in Japan, mostly cuz it has the best people.

I always feel conflicted when I visit. Best people ever, but one of the worst cities ever. I find Fukuoka to be a better balance, great city and great people.

How is it one of the worst cities?
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#19
(2016-07-03, 3:40 pm)Kruzer132 Wrote: Welcome to this forum topic, my name is Martin, and one year ago I started learning Japanese by learning kanji first (the forum topic about that: http://forum.koohii.com/thread-12816.html), and now, one year later, I'm going to Osaka for five weeks as an exchange student. And I've decided to write here about my experiences.
 
Tomorrow will be the day of my departure. I'm going with two other Dutch exchange students to Tokyo (yep, I'm from the Netherlands), and from there I'll go to Osaka on my own.
 
Unlike my two very concerned parents, I'm someone who doesn't really stress until the thing you're supposed to stress about is happening. So until tomorrow I'll probably have no problems controlling my stress, but when I board the plane, I'll be stressing a lot.
 
I've failed to learn a lot of Kansai-ben, which is the dialect of Osaka, but I hope it's okay if I speak in the little bit of standard dialect I've mastered by now. Since the other two exchange students just started learning basic sentences (or maybe not even that), I should be relatively alright.

Well, this was my first post. I don't know how much I'll write or how long my posts will be, I'll just write when I'm feeling like it. Thank you for reading this, and goodnight~

don't worry about not knowing kansai ben. no one would expect a foreigner to know it and it's not going to inhibit you from doing anything. people still understand standard japanese there and it's a city after all. fairly foreigner friendly.
Edited: 2016-07-06, 8:31 am
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#20
Osaka Castle sounds great.
I checked it on the Internet, saw some nice photos, but it would be nice to see your own pictures.
Do you think you could add some pics to your notes?
Not many, just some - so we could tune in Big Grin
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#21
(2016-07-06, 6:34 am)Kruzer132 Wrote: ~大阪城(Oosaka-jou)~

Today both my host brother and my host sister had to go to school, (I'll have my first schoolday tomorrow by the way,) so me and my host mother decided to go outside for some sight-seeing.

First of all, we went with the metro. I experienced a 満員電車, which is a full train, and surprisingly a totally empty metro as well. Then we arrived at the Osaka castle, and I was surprised at how big it actually was. It had a moat around it, and after entering through the main gate, you can walk quite a bit and and go over another moat and then you are next to the main tower. The main tower is high, and after going to the top I was able to make pictures of the city and the mountains in the background. Though I have no idea how to upload them on this forum, so if anyone knows how to upload these pictures from my computer, then please teach me.

After visiting the Osaka castle, we proceeded to go to a ramen restaurant and I ate ramen for the first time. And even though it was a lot, I somehow succeeded to eat the whole thing. I also saw the place called づぼらや, and I took a picture of the fugu balloon as well.

Well, tomorrow will be my first school day, so I'm quite curious about how that'll go.

You have to upload the pictures in another hosting site first, and then use the picture url code to post here. Once you have the photos uploaded to a picture hosting site of your selection, click the small picture icon next to the envelop icon:

[Image: Ao9MONh.png]

Or just place all the image urls with the code [img]URL[/img] which essentially the picture icon button does with saving you time of writing the code lol

Good luck with school! Big Grin
Edited: 2016-07-06, 10:17 am
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#22
(2016-07-06, 7:20 am)TheVinster Wrote: How is it one of the worst cities?

I spent countless hours of my life just walking around various train stations in Tokyo exploring the city. In most places this is really fun and relaxing. Osaka, and Nagoya for that matter, are extremely frustrating for the most part. In particular Umeda is an absolute nightmare to explore and even more frustrating to try and find a specific place. (Even with smartphones!)

Pretty much every other city I've been to has been much more pleasant to hang out in. In fact every other city in kansai is so much better that it makes it all that much more glaringly obvious. Perfect cities to me are places like Kobe and Fukuoka, the way they are laid out is great, but they just aren't big enough to keep my attention for long.
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#23
~~~School~~~

Well, it turned out that I understood some things wrong, because it wasn't my first schoolday today. I had to go to school to talk to some teachers. Because the students at my school hava a testweek, my first day at school will be Monday. My host brother is jealous that I'm free until Monday.

I've been hearing almost only Japanese for three days in a row now, and I think my listening skills are becoming better. And I'm also getting skillful at resisting warmth.
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#24
~~~Shopping~~~

Today was a very relaxed day. We went shopping today, thus I got the chance to go on a hunt for candy. And I found a very sour pack of candy. On it were these two kanji written: 注意. Which means 'watch out'. For me it was strong, but nothing surprisingly strong, but when I thought about it, I realized that Japanese food usually has a less extreme taste than western food, so when they do eat something with a strong flavour, they feel it as if it's more extreme. This theory was proven when my host sister asked me whether she could try one, and after I said that it was okay, she proceeded to eat one. And I was able to judge from her facial expression that it was very sour. During the rest of the shopping I was surprised by the voriety of stuff that one could find here.

I also notice that my Japanese is getting way better (and more casual). So that's interesting to notice. ~
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#25
Today was full of interesting things!

Let's start off with the fact that until today, I woke up at around 5 o'clock in the morning. And that's probably because of the warmth here, even at night. But tonight it was raining, so it was colder, and I slept ten hours without waking up in between them. So now I finally got rid of all this jetlag. 

Then this morning, my hostbrother and I went karaoke-ing together. I apparently don't know any popular songs, because I haven't heard of most of the songs we sang, even the English ones. And we also tries singing songs in languages that both of us didn't know, the Chinese 水手 for example. 

After that, my host brother and me went to a bookstore. He bought a book which had English words that you won't be tested upon by school. Some of those words are a bit 'informal', and others are a bit uncommon. And which book did I buy? Well, I didn't think I would find this book, but I did. It's called 正しい*****の使い方, and it means "the correct way to use *****". I'm sure most of you Japanese leaners know this book.

Then I met up with a friend I met in Skype who was in Osaka as well. It was quite interesting, because I've been speaking with this guy since November, and this was the first time we met in real life. We ate in some kind of horror restaurant, and I was ate a human eyeball. (Not an actually real one, but one made out of a jelly-ish thing.)
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