I’m really sad right now. I don’t have much to say other than, if you have the chance to study in Japan, please do.

I wish I stayed for a full year. I don’t feel ready to leave yet. Furthermore, I wish I had prepared better and studied the language before coming. While I have learned an intense amount of Japanese, I know that my level is easy to lose if I don’t practice and improve. I want to learn more and more and take this experience with me through life.

Kyoto was a great location because it’s so bike friendly and full of culture. The past weekend plus has just been a hot sticky mess of Gion Matsuri which was a unique and exhilarating experience. Yeah, I hate the hot humid weather, but armed with an air-con and endless combini to run into, I’m not dead yet. Plus, I get scrumptious night market food, exquisite traditional cuisine, and elegant Japanese esthetic in return.

I feel better armed to write useful posts now that I’m almost done, but I’m also impossibly lazy. Here are some quick random suggestions:

  1. open a Charles Schwab bank + request the debit card well in advance
  2. living near downtown can suck… it’s nice to be up in Kitayama. Downtown is only a 30 min bike ride
  3. bring a router + extension cord
  4. pack loose covered clothing (the sun sucks)
  5. dress to impress
  6. learn Japanese for at least a year before coming
  7. stay for at least a year
  8. don’t be vegetarian
  9. Kyoto Sayonara Sales group on facebook is super useful
  10. buy a bike (used, but get the registration papers or you’ll be screwed)
  11. Pack food/perishables when you come to Japan so you have packing space on the way home
  12. book your tickets for golden week way way way way way before getting to Japan
  13. shop at Daiso or other 100 yen shops first
  14. don’t buy anything that’s not crucial during your first week
  15. learn about the culture, volunteer, find a job, talk to locals (even in English)
  16. buy tokyo banana, royce chocolates in KIX when you arrive. TRUST ME