Expecting this month to be quieter as I wait for S’s visit, I ended up doing more than anticipated. The start of July was rather quiet; still recuperating from June, I relaxed in my apartment during the weekends as the school term comes to an end. After the students’ finals, the classes focused more on review and filler activities. I created “jeopardy” (doesn’t really follow the rules of Jeopardy, tho) for students to play in the second and third year classes where they have to translate Japanese sentences into English. Although the content wasn’t very interesting, the students seemed to have fun with it.
After classes ended, I spent my time playing FGO (both the English and Japanese servers) and began learning a new song on the guitar (己龍’s 叫声) whenever the teachers didn’t need my assistance. After roughly two months, my left wrist felt a lot better and only aches after practicing for over an hour straight.
On the night of the 14th, I met up with my cousin and his friends who were visiting Tokyo from Australia. We ate at Go Go Curry then spent some time walking through Yodobashi Camera and Book-Off. Upon separating, we agreed to meet up again the next day.
On Saturday the 15th, we went to Tsukiji market in the morning. The place was rather crowded and smelled strongly of fish, but it was a rather interesting place. We went through the fish market under a large shaded area, but it was already closing. I guess this is why many people say you have to get there very early to get deals on fish. After Tsukiji, we stopped by Ginza and spent some time inside a giant Uniqlo, shopping for clothes while avoiding the sun. Around 5pm, we headed for Tokyo Skytree and took many pictures in front of the tower. Then, we took the train to Shinjuku for dinner at Tsurutontan and walk through Golden Gai for even more pictures.
Feeling rather tired on Sunday, we met up again at Ueno. We ate inside L’Ueno for breakfast and walked through Yodobsshi Camera and Yamashiroya. Afterwards, I brought them to my area and had yakitori for lunch. After eating and chatting for a while, we parted ways – me heading home and them heading towards Yokohama for more sightseeing and fireworks later that night.
On the 22nd, S arrived in Tokyo. I met him at a nearby station and led him back to my apartment, where we rested for a while before heading out into Akihabara. We went to Akiba quite a few times between his arrival and the last day of July.
The 30th was wonderfest. We woke up early and headed out just to find out that the first train doesn’t come until half an hour after we arrived at the station. At wonderfest, we went our separate ways and had a set time and location to meet up after we’re done. Unlike during the winter wonderfest, I went to the other areas of the convention and looked at figures made by smaller private companies (or groups). Although the figures’ appearance or paint jobs aren’t nearly as good as other companies (such as GSC, Kotobukiya, etc), there were many figures of characters I liked.
It’s now a year since I landed in Japan, eager to see my new life, lost and hesitating over everything. Now, this place – my apartment, neighborhood, and even Akihabara – feels like home to me. Although my apartment isn’t the most comfortable and well furnished place, I enjoy coming home every night after work and having a place where I can call my own. Many things have happened during the last year. Many things have changed – be it friendship, living style, or outlook of life. I’ve lost a few things and sunk into negativity many times, but from that, the things that are most important to me are clearer than they had ever been. I learnt quite a few life lessons within the past year and hopefully they will guide me forward towards whatever path I end up taking. With at least one more year of JET, I hope to make my life in Japan meaningful and with as little regret as possible.