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 – People spend their time in Japan differently

I’ve seen this video being passed around countless times in the past week or so since the video has been uploaded all on different websites so I thought I’d give my own say on it. Although it is nice to see his work gain the attention that it deserves. Anyways, Mark Bramley says that he was in Tokyo for only TWO DAYS! There’s two things that I things I see wrong about that.

  1. When you go to Japan, why only two days?
  2. How the hell did he manage to take 10000 photos in two days?!

I’ve had my Canon EOS 7D for about a year and a half by now. This camera is shared among myself, my dad and my brother who frequently uses it to make Youtube videos and together we’ve only taken 9290 photos (IT’S OVER 9000!!). 9290 photos seems like a lot but he managed to take more photos than we have in 200 times less time! Although he did use the photos to construct multiple time lapse clips so I can understand where the 10000 photos went but accomplishing that in 2 days is amazing. I can’t even film a measly 10 minute school project in a week but he some how he films one of the best 3 minute videos of Tokyo nightlife I’ve ever seen in only two days! Most of the clips were taken at night so I can only imagine him running around like mad to find the next place to take photos. Hopefully he at least explored Tokyo a little during the day before he ran around at night to make this video.

Oh yeh, his camera. *drools* Yeh, I’d definitely trade mine for one of those. The EOS 7D pretty much just takes photos faster while his Mark II dominates my camera in terms of photo quality which is pretty much what most of us are looking for in a camera, am I right?

Now, Mike Matas on the other hand also went to Japan but for one week and took over 4000 photos. I haven’t seen this video circulate around the Internet as much but it’s definitely worth a mention. This is one of the best videos I’ve seen of a tourist couple travelling across Japan. It could be the music, it could be the photos, it could be just how he presented it or it could be his girlfriend *wink wink*. Either way, it was a great video overall and I’d strongly suggest you watch it.

Mike Matas used the same camera as Mark Bramley. Mmmm, I’m starting to see a pattern here.

So, time to compare the way these two (or three) people spent their time in Japan. One person used their time to make a brilliant time lapse of the nightlife in Tokyo. The other compiles thousands of photos of everyday life as a tourist in Japan with his girlfriend. So clearly, people have different reasons for visiting Japan whether it’s for work, family, a holiday, student exchange or education. Although, what they have to show for it will always vary from person to person which is what makes every picture/blog/video from a person in Japan unique.

-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

Jeff’s Entry – Christmas in Australia

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.

-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