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