Blog Archives

Jeff’s Entry – Japanese Language Schools

Almost a month ago, out of no where, Dan just asked me what I thought about going abroad to Japan to attend a Japanese Language School. I’ve seen Ciaela’s videos of her attending NILS (a Japanese Language School in Japan) so I’ve considered the option but I haven’t given it much thought. So when he got home we got on Skype and we started to research. Finding a good JLS (Japanese Language School) was tough considering we can’t really learn much from a webpage and when we googled “Japanese Language School” it came up with schools based in Australia which isn’t exactly what we’re looking for.

After about half an hour of searching we sort of gave up. We DID find one JLS that was based in Japan but it was last updated in 2010 so we considered it as unreliable. We eventually gave in and looked up NILS and despite it’s dodgy website URL, it looked great (http://www.ulearnjapanese.com/). It had a range of programs which pretty much just varied in duration. There’s also tonnes of information on school itself as well as visas and basic living information. It was very helpful and definitely the best one we’ve found yet. Dan actually sent in an inquiry to NILS and got a very detailed respond later that day from Tanaka.

The reason why the both of us thought that attending a JLS in Japan would be a great idea was that we were going to apply for a Japanese course in University in Australia but where’s a better place to learn Japanese than Japan? There’s that reason along with the fact that we have absolutely no idea what sort of course we’d like to pursue in University that could lead to a job that we’d enjoy. Even though we do have almost an entire year to decide, we’ve got our minds set on the idea of a JLS in Japan.

With the thought of being away from home for 2 years (our desired length for the program) we knew that we’d have to think it through. Being the person I am, I already started to work out the plausibility of the idea and whether or not we would be able to live there without worries about money. So I plotted out living expenses using the information on the website and the information Tanaka sent us and worked out we needed around $10000 AUD a year. Possibly more since it’s pretty unpredictable on the matter of how much money we’d splurge on random crap but that was the idea. We’ve been told through the inquiry that we’re allowed to work there and most students actually earn quite a hefty amount of cash from it. Seemed like a great idea but none of us have actually worked outside our family businesses, let alone a factory but I suppose we’ll be willing to try that in order to lighten the burden of our parents paying for most of the expenses.

Speaking of parents, being away for two years. I’m pretty sure we’ll need to consult our parents on our decision of what we want to do after High School in terms of education. Dan was set on the thought that he has to tell his parents as soon as possible. Since he knows they won’t approve, this way he’ll have a longer period of time to persuade them. Little did I know, he told them the night that we set our minds on going to a JLS in Japan. I didn’t really understand the hurry to get it out that early especially before thinking of good reasons to persuade them first. Oh well, I’ll tell my parents eventually but like hell I’m going to tell them now.

So that’s pretty much the story but we still have a lot of thinking to do, I mean, we’re going to Japan a few months before JLS classes start. Does that mean anything? Is it going to some how affect our plans? We’re not sure yet but it going to a JLS in Japan is unmistakably a great idea.

-Jeff

Jeff’s Entry – Time

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!

-Jeff

Bakeries in Japan

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.

Just look at that... come on. Irresistible right?

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.

Toppings optional

-Jeff

Introduction: Jeff — I’m Jeff and I’m a terrible blogger

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? >:D