Friday, January 24, 2014

My trip to Japan day 1 and 2: Landing in Narita & first day sightseeing

Hello my beloved readers! It's been a long time, hasn't it? :) Sorry I haven't updated this in so long, but I've been so busy back at home & settling myself in Korea again! Something very important happened last week though, hehe so I'm back! So now it's time to tell you all about my wonderful adventures in Japan, yay!

As you all might know by now, I've been dreaming of Japan since I was a little kid. I started watching anime when I was very young (3/4 years old watching Doraemon) and my mom always tell me I used to watch it in Japanese! (She taught me how to change the language one day and since then I always sat in front of the TV listening to some cartoons I didn't understand but I liked how they sounded...! Haha). That is the main reason why I'm currently majoring in East Asia Studies! That hobby became something I was passionate about, and that passion never ended. Finally at my 21 years of age, I made my childhood dream come true: Flying to Japan for a week!


Hola mis queridos lectores! Hace tiempo que no escribía, verdad? :) Siento no haber actualizado esto en tanto tiempo, pero he estado algo ocupada viéndome con amigos y familia en España y luego volviéndome a instalar en Corea! De todas maneras, algo muy importante pasó la semana pasada así que he vuelto para contaros... Mis aventuras por Japón, yay!

Como todos debéis saber, he soñado con viajar a Japón desde que era bien pequeña. Empecé a ver animes cuando era muy chiquitilla (3/4 años con Doraemon), y mi madre dice que a veces incluso lo veía en japonés! (Un día me enseñó como cambiar el idioma de los programas y desde ése momento siempre me sentaba delante de la TV viendo dibujos que no entendía... Pero que me gustaba como sonaban...! Haha) Y ésta es la principal razón por la que ahora mismo estoy haciendo Estudios de Asia Oriental en la universidad! Ése hobby pasó a ser algo que realmente me apasionaba, y ésa "pasión" nunca paró en cierto modo. Ahora con mis 21 años finalmente hice mi sueño realidad: Pasar una semana en Japón!

Pic of the meetup with Àngel and Raquel in Narita International Airport :')
Foto del reencuentro con Ángel y Raquel en el aeropuerto internacional de Narita :')

I visited the country with my beloved Raquel, who flew from Taipei to Tokyo just like me . We stayed at Àngel's place (remember he was studying in Tokyo as an exchange student?). He offered us his place to stay for 1000 yen a week (which is more or less like 7€ / $9.55). He lives in Warabi, a district 20 minutes away from the capital. The house was a typical and true Japanese one as you can see in the picture haha!

Visité el país con mi queridísima Raquel, que voló a Tokyo desde Taipei como yo (desde Seúl!). Nos alojamos en la casa de Ángel (recordáis que era un estudiante de intercambio en Tokyo?), que nos ofreció quedarnos allí durante ésa semana por 1000 yenes a la semana (unos 7€ / 9.55 dólares americanos). Vive en Warabi, un distrito a unos 20 minutos de la capital. La casa era una típica y verdadera casa japonesa como podéis ver en la foto! Con sus puertas corredizas, su tatami y su ventana de papel :)


                                  



The first day we didn't do much, as Raquel and I landed in the afternoon in Tokyo. So we just bought some bentos (lunchboxes like the ones you see in the picture above) in the supermarket and we had dinner together while watching TV.

El primer día no hicimos mucho, ya que Raquel y yo llegamos a Tokyo por la tarde. Así que simplemente compramos bentos para cenar (pequeñas bandejas de comida como veis en la foto) y cenamos juntos viendo la tele japonesa.




The next day Raquel and I went to Sophia University (in Japanese 上智大学 Jouchi daigaku, the uni Àngel is studying in), to have lunch and meet some friends of him. We went in our own as he was in class by the time we woke up (We needed some sleep!), and even though we were newbies in Tokyo we managed to arrive! I took some photos around Warabi on our way to the train station, so you can see how a regular neighborhood in Japan looks like:

Al día siguiente Raquel y yo fuimos a Sophia University (en japonés 上智大学, Jouchi daigaku), la uni en la que Ángel estudia, para comer todos juntos y conocer a algunos de sus amigos. Fuimos por nuestra cuenta ya que cuando nos despertamos él ya estaba en clase (necesitábamos dormir!) y a pesar de ser unas novatas en Tokyo nos las arreglamos y llegamos! Hice algunas fotos de Warabi de camino a la estación de tren, para que veáis como es un típico barrio japonés:





2PM in the metro, hehehehe *giggles*
2PM en el metro, hehehehe *risilla*


We just arrived, yay!
Ya hemos llegado, sí!

Then we had lunch in the uni's cantine and we met some friends of Àngel. It was fun! Raquel ordered curry udon... (and she ate the same thing for 4 more meals straight).

Entonces cuimos al comedor de la uni para comer y conocer algunos amigos de Ángel. Fue divertido! Raquel pidió curry udon... (Y siguió comiendo curry durante cuatro comidas seguidas).




Later in the afternoon Raki and I went to Shibuya to meet two friends of mine, Miyuki and Ahreum. Miyuki is a Japanese girl I used to swap postcards with, who casually works with Ahreum, a Korean penpal and online friend I've had for a long time now. So we all meet in Shibuya (a famous area in Tokyo) at 7PM to go have dinner and hang around a bit! Raki and I arrived earlier, so we could go sightseeing a bit before meeting the girls.

Por la tarde Raki y yo fuimos a Shibuya para vernos con dos amigas mías, Miyuki y Ahreum. Miyuki es una chica japonesa con quien me solía intercambiar postales, que casualmente trabaja con Ahreum, una amiga mía coreana de Internet que conozco desde hace tiempo. Quedamos allí porqué Shibuya es una zona muy famosa de Tokyo, y hay muchos sitios que visitar y ver. Quedamos a las 7 para ir a cenar y dar una vuelta, pero Raquel y yo llegamos unas horas más pronto para ir hacer turismo por nuestra cuenta antes de quedar con ellas.




Do you know Hachiko, the Japanese Akita dog who waited 11 years in front of Shibuya Station for her owner to come back home? :') They did a movie in 2009 about it actually! It's a very famous story in Japan, and also a very popular statue in Tokyo. Everyone likes taking pictures with Hachi!

Conocéis la historia de Hachiko, el perro japonés de raza Akita que esperó delante de la estación de Shibuya a que su amo volviera a casa? :') De hecho hicieron una película en 2009 sobre ello! Es una historia muy famosa en Japón, y una estatua también muy popular. Todo el mundo quiere hacerse fotos con Hachi!



Shibuya 109 (Or like Japanese call it "ichi maru kyu", the numbers 1-0-9) a super famous shopping mall just in the middle of the worldwide known Shibuya Crossroad.

El Shibuya 109 (O como se dice en japonés,"ichi maru kyu", los números 1-0-9), un centro comercial muy famoso justo en medio del bien conocido Cruce de Shibuya.











After walking around we finally met Miyuki and Ahreum, who brought us to Hikari E, a shopping mall in the area. We ate "Gyutan" with them, it doesn't look that good at first but trust me you all... It was DELICIOUS! :P And not super expensive for being a meal in the center of tokyo, I have to say!

Después de dar una vuelta por nuestra cuenta nos vimos con Miyuki y Ahreum que nos llevaron a Hikari E, un centro comercial de la zona. Comimos "Gyutan" con ellas, no parece muy bueno pero os aseguro que cuando lo probáis... Está buenísimo! :P Y no muy caro por ser una cena en el centro de Tokyo!



Then we went to take Purikura together... It was a must here in Japan haha! Funny thing about it is, it makes your eyes bigger by default! Which is good for Japanese but not for me...! So that's why I look this scary... *cries*

Lueog fuimos a hacernos Purikura juntas... Era algo que teníamos que hacer en Japón, haha! Lo divertido es que la máquina por defecto hace tus ojos más grandes! Cosa que va bien para los japoneses, pero no para mí... Doy algo de miedo! *llora*

                                          


Raquel's eyes look normal though! That's not fair D:
Pero los ojos de Raquel se ven normales! No es justo D:





Also Ahreum and I took tons of photos together haha, she loves taking selfies! ^_^ I really like her because I've known her for a year or two on Internet but when we first saw each other it looked like we had been friends for years! I love how she is, she's a wonderful girl and I wish she was in Korea with me T^T I miss her already! 

Ahreum y yo nos hicimos un montón de fotos juntas haha, le encanta hacer fotos! ^_^ Me gusta mucho su forma de ser, la conozco desde hace un año a dos de Internet pero cuando nos vimos en persona por primera vez parecía que éramos amigas de toda la vida! Me encanta como es, una chica estupenda y ojalá estuviera aquí en Corea conmigo... Ya la echo de menos! 








With Miyuki (in the middle)
Con Miyuki (en el centro)

The four of us ^_^
Las cuatro ^_^


CL


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Spain, 5 hours left.

Good morning people! This post will be a rather diary confession instead. It's 10am in the morning right now, and my flight to Doha departs in 5 hours. I am super nervous and I really need to vent.

Seriously, I don't want to leave right now. It feels so good being home, sleeping in MY bed (not in some kind of wood board that Koreans seem to call "Mattress"), being with my family and friends, understanding people in the street... In a nutshell, being in my comfort zone! I didn't remember how does it feel, until now. I have to admit it's being more difficult now, I mean, leaving my home. It was easier the first time, I had my hopes and dreams in Korea, I was making one of my dreams come true, everyone had expectations on me, I had new people to meet and adventures to live... But now, now I know what is all about. I know the good and bad sides of Korea, I know there's people I cannot stand, I know getting adapted is not easy, living abroad is not easy, I cannot talk to my parents as often as I can. Sometimes I wish I hadn't come back to Spain for Christmas, this is being so difficult... Is not that I want to cry, I honestly don't feel like I need to cry. I just need to face my problems. I took a decision, and now I need to face this second phase. At least I know where I'm going, I speak the language (fairly lol!) and I know people there, right? It's tough yes, but that's nothing new. 

Bad thing about this is, I'm forgetting that next Wednesday I'm flying to Japan. Japan, you know right? That has been my dream since I was a kid, a seven year-old kid. All this unnecessary stress is eclipsing the fact that I'm MAKING ONE OF MY DREAMS COME TRUE IN LESS THAN 4 DAYS. Do you see how selfish and stupid I can be sometimes? But I can't help it, that really hurts me. I don't want to see my mom and my dad crying again, knowing that I won't see them for the past 8 months, and that once I'm back I have NO idea of what to do. Glad we have technology, but still... It's not easy, I'm an only child.



Well, if you have read until here, congratulations! I appreciate your time reading my random fears and thoughts. If you've just read the first lines of each paragraph, you're a smart reader (that's what I do sometimes when I feel something is too long lol!).

Now really. Thank you. This has helped a bit, even if it's just a tiny bit. Now it's time to face the truth, I'm flying back to Seoul in less than 4 hours, and I need to shower and get ready! As always, thanks for reading. I'll keep you all updated, and see you in Asia! I'm planning to bring my laptop with me to Japan, so expect blog posts about sightseeing in Japan next week ;)


Just like my mom says "You have to do it, whether you like it or not. So you better have a positive attitude about it".

Farewell,
CL