Monthly Archives: December 2011
You better sit down, this may be a shock. So some of you may already know this but it appears that the Japanese Government have withdrawn their offer of 10000 free tickets to Japan. From what I’ve gathered, this is due to priority. It’s understandable that they’d want to cancel this offer to redirect the funds into the clean up of the earthquake and tsunami. After all, it did cause a lot of damage and repairing roads, cleaning up and rebuilding costs a lot of money.
We (JD) are as disappointed as you are right now. 10000 free tickets to Japan seemed too good to be true. To be able to shed thousands of dollars off our budget would have been amazing. Although the Japan National Tourism Organisation have encouraged us to continue to plan our holidays to Japan as places such as Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, Sapporo, Hiroshima and Hakone weren’t affected by the tsunami nor the earthquake.
Anyways, I hope you all continue to plan your trips to Japan as we are. Also, don’t forget that the year is coming to a close so have a Happy New Year!
Dan and I are currently on our school holidays so we’ve got about 4 or so weeks before school starts up again. Although this may be our last school holiday since we’ve both got a 2 week tutor course during the holidays and our standard school holiday is 2 weeks. The Christmas holidays are extended in Australia to about 5-7 weeks. We intended to spend this time dedicated to learn how to write/read Hiragana, Katakana and making this blog. Although since this is our last chance to really relax as high school students we’ve been spending most of our time watching anime, browsing Reddit (place is full of viruses *wink wink*), learning to read/write when we’ve got the will power to do so, helping our parents with work, maintaining this blog to the best of our abilities and I’ve been playing the occasional match of Battlefield 3. So it’s been a mix of work and play.
So from what I’ve said it looks like we’ve got a lot of spare time and we do. However, when this time runs out we don’t know what’s going to happen considering the HSC (Higher School Certificate) is closing in fast. The HSC is basically an exam at the end of high school which determines whether we can go to university or not. We’ll eventually start to lose our spare time and dedicate it to revision and study (hopefully). It’d be great if we could continue to plan for our trip and maintain this blog while studying but it’s not certain. Just a warning in advance that we’re going to gradually slow down in our blogging activity.
Anyways, I hope you’ve had a great year so far because it’s coming to a close. Have a Happy New Year!
Australia as a country does its best to join in on the festivities as it’s portrayed on TV filmed in America. We decorate our shopping centres, we exchange presents (sometimes), we play Christmas music, we air Christmas movies on TV and some of us Australians get into the Christmas spirit and decorate our houses. My family was lazy this year and just put up a couple Christmas lights on the windows on Christmas Eve. So, Christmas isn’t all about the presents and the decorations but also having the family get together. What each family does together is different. Some families may just have a Christmas dinner in each other’s company or go on a trip together and sadly some don’t acknowledge Christmas as an opportunity to catch up.
From what I know, Christmas in Australia depends on what sort of ethnic background you come from. Asian families tend to not celebrate Christmas as much as others and at best they gather and go on a trip. This may be because Asian people are known to love travelling. My family loves to travel and we’re currently in the Gold Coast, Brisbane far from Sydney (currently typing this up in the hotel room). We don’t really see this time of year as a time to be festive but just an opportunity to go somewhere together even though we don’t communicate with each other very well. To be honest, I don’t get the whole ‘at home’ feeling when I’m with my family. It’s a little sad but to me they’re just people I’ve spent my life with. It may just be the communication within the family or it could be just me.
Anyways, I envy people who have great families. I’ve got this one friend that comes to mind. I’ve visited his place with Dan before and my Lord. They communicate so well together and we could feel the family love. It just warmed us up and we were at peace. To this day, we’re still unsure why we felt so cosy and sleepy that night at his house. It was only 7 PM but we felt as though we could pass out at any second.
To those of you who are in Japan right now for Christmas and New Years. Please enjoy yourselves on our behalf and compensate for Dan and I’s boring lives.
I hope you all show your family and friends some love. Dan and I both wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
So to the people who have already been to Japan and dropped by at a local bakery, they should know that Japanese bread is not what you’d normally see back home (America, Canada, Australia or what not assuming you’re a foreigner). From what I’ve seen in videos and anime, the bread there is unique. The way they’re baked and what they’re made from is nothing the boring me would have ever thought of. I mean, they’ve got the strangest breads I would have thought never existed. My descriptions of what I think won’t do any justice so this video should help.
The bread that we (JD) are most eager to get our hands on is the melon pan. Not only because anything with melon flavour is awesome (candies or soda) but also because we’re easily influenced by anime. From countless anime series, melon pan has made an appearance. Shakugan no Shana and DearS are just some I can name at the top of my head. So over the years that we’ve been watching anime we’ve been fed the idea that melon pan is the king of all breads (in anime at least). When we head over there we won’t be going to the nearest konbini and showering ourselves with that cheap stuff. No, we’re going to get the good stuff at bakeries. That’s where the magic happens. Our first bite into that crisp layer of that cookie crust and into the soft bun… I can imagine our faces lightening up and looking at each other thinking the same thing, “This is it, this is the bread of the Gods that we’ve seen depicted in anime”. This would probably be short lived after we try the other breads but it’ll definitely be our first choice in a local bakery in Japan.
Another bread we’re keen to try is the yakisoba bread. The kind of food that anime depicts unhealthy high school students buying during lunch from the cafeteria. It’s not the best looking thing that I’d want to eat but I’ve heard good things about it. Wouldn’t mind giving it a try but personally I’m not entirely sure cold yakisoba in bread would suit my appetite.
Dan and I first started this pact that we’d go to Japan together after our high school graduation probably around a couple months ago. Ever since then we’ve been like little school girls every time Japan is mentioned. The first night of our pact we were on a Skype call plotting our trip for several hours into the early morning despite having to go to school. That’s basically how this duo started.
Our first notes of our trips were very basic but it still got the blood pumping. We couldn’t sleep and it felt like nothing could stop us from our goal of going to Japan and going nuts by impulse buying anything that’s anime related or anything that is remotely interesting.
Anyways, I’m Jeff and I’ve been intrigued by how interesting and unique the Japanese culture was. I’m not exactly proud that this passion started from anime but from what I’ve read it isn’t exactly a hobby that people approve of. Whatever, I’m a foreigner, what do I care, Anime is amazing. I’ve picked up some words from anime but that’s not enough to say that I can understand Japanese. I’ve started to learn some hirigana and I’ve scoured the Internet for some good audio tapes but most of them are either bad or relate to business terminology. So, anyone know some good audio tapes?