I haven't posted here in almost a month because I have been really busy, also, I have been posting photos on Facebook instead, telling briefly about what I have been up to. But today I will elaborate a little bit! :D
At schools in Japan there are usually a ton of different activity clubs (circles), ranging from different sports, dancing, reading manga, calligraphy and so much more. I had already looked into Fukuoka Women's University's circles before coming to Japan, and already decided that I wanted to join the Kyudo circle. Actually, I wanted to join the scuba diving circle, but it would be really expensive, so I decided against it. Anyway, kyudo is the Japanese martial art of archery. I think it's really beautiful to watch and I believe it would actually be quite relaxing for me. There's a specific technique to handling the bow and arrows, it seems almost meditative.
Competition between some of the kyudo circle members.
I ended up going to kyudo lessons only two times. If I had joined the circle, practice would be two three times a week, three hours each. I'm extremely busy with school and homework and I also want time to experience Japan and have fun. After all, I'm only staying for haly a year. Besides that, I might never have tried actually shooting with one of the bows. I was told that I had to practice with a small rubber bow for four months before I could move onto handling the actual bows. At that time, I didn't think there were any kyudo clubs in Denmark, so I wouldn't join, knowing there was a high possibility of me never truly experiencing what kyudo is. But it seems like it is possible to practice kyudo in Denmark, so I might take it up again when I get home.
Gomuyumi, rubber practice bow.
I experienced what a blood moon looks like. It was a total lunar eclipse of a full moon and luckily the evening sky was clear that night. A lot of students gathered on the roof of the dorm, eating snacks and watching the moon. Line's room is at the top floor, so I watched it from her balcony while eating dinner. It was really beautiful♥ I couldn't get a decent photo of it, but Hansi Marasinghe did get a great shot - so I can show it to you all!
The day after the blood moon, me, Line and our JD-mates went to Tenjin together. I figured I would get them an introduction on my blog, since they are such a great help♥ My JD-mate is Miu and she is actually going to be studying in Denmark! Hopefully then, I can repay her, helping her like she is helping me here in Japan. Line's JD-mate Yuri already studied in Denmark and can say a lot of Danish sentences, it's really cool. Miu and Yuri took us into the city, Tenjin, where we ate a lot of delicious food (and crêpes! oh how I've missed Japanese crêpes) while shopping a bit. Before going home, we took some purikura :)
Yuri, Line, me, Miu
Some high school students came by the university as a part of an "English Camp". We basically just had to talk with them in English. They interviewed the international students and then picked some countries to do a presentation about. They all seemed very sweet (and quite shy, haha). In the evening, we made okonomiyaki together with them. The school had also bought pizza and people almost seemed more hyped about those. Sometimes I almost forget I'm in Japan... but then something reminds me that I'm on the other side of the world. Like a high school student pouring dried seaweed strips all over a pizza...
The same day, Kashii Lantern Festival was held. I went and checked it out together with some of the other exchange students, it was very pretty. I actually went during the day, but had to return to the university before they lit the lanterns, since we were cooking okonomiyaki with the highschool students.
After eating I said good night to the other students and headed to my apartment. But as I stood in front of my door, I couldn't make myself go in before I had seen the lanterns lit up at night. So I headed back alone, taking a bunch of pictures and enjoying the atmosphere. A band was playing music at the festival and it was truly a nice and warm evening.
On another note, I finally met my host family, the Hirayamas! As part of my stay here, I'm going to spend time with a host family at least once a month. They picked up me and Line at our dorm and drove us to Kirin Beer Farm. My Japanese is not as good as I wish it was, but it's fun to tell them about Denmark and hear about their lives :)
They took us to Kirin Beer Farm to have a look at the 10 million cosmos flowers there. I have never been at a flower park like that so it was a great experience. The weather was really warm, the flowers were beautiful and I just had a really great time. We ate food from different stalls and relaxed in the sun. Our host mother also bought us a beer bread! It was a kind of dark bread - and since I really miss the dark rye bread I usually eat in Denmark, it was sooo delicious. I have only been able to find white, sweet bread up until now, so I appreciated it a lot♥ After Kirin Beer Farm, they took us out to eat udon.
Our host family drove us back to our dorm at three o'clock, since we had to get ready for a Halloween party that started at five. It was called "Pumpkin Fever" and urged a lot of international students to join. I love dressing up, so I took my time getting ready. I had all my costume-stuff in Denmark, so I had to make due with what I had been able to find up until that day. Luckily, I had passed by a lot of wig shops and was able to find a colored contact lens that fit me :D I had a rose-textured dress, so I bought a fake rose and glued it to my face~ I think it turned out quite good, considering I had been really busy up until that day.
Me and Line went into town, but since we didn't have internet on our phones and wasn't able to make calls it took some time finding the right place. Maybe because it was on the 6th floor of some building and Japanese people apparently aren't fans on writing streetnames anywhere.
The party only lasted from five until nine, which is different from the parties I usually go to. In Denmark, I go out around ten/ eleven and return home around four or seven in the morning. But I had a really great time! I met a lot of fun, sweet people and drank tasty drinks while listening to music. When the party ended, we had a few drinks at a small bar and ate some food at Mos Burger before heading back to the dorm.
Rikki and Topper!
Take care everyone♥
Me and Line stumbled by an owl café down in Hakata town. It sounded too weird not to pass up, so we went inside to check it out. We bought some juice while we were told how to treat the owls, how not to behave and other important facts. After that, we could stay for 45 minutes, taking photos of the owls - and even having them sit on our arms (and head!). There were so many different kinds of owls, all super cute and weird. I love owls, especially their eyes♥ So beautiful.
Afterwards I felt kind of bad though... Owls are birds of prey, they are not supposed to be kept as pets, I think. It seemed like the staff really loved and cared for the owls, but I couldn't help feeling like they should be out in nature and free. I hope they get to be outside too.
Aftwerwards me and Line went to Canal City, a big shopping mall in Hakata. It's really beautiful, with vines, trees and water fountains. There's also quite a lot of neat shops, though some of them are pretty expensive. We even saw a fountain show with music and a magician there, haha :D
The reason we went to Canal City that day, was because I was hungry and had seen a Moomin Café! I wish I could have taken Damien with me♥ And Lasse too! I think I know a lot of people who really love Moomin.
The café was really cute, Moomin decor all over. They even had a small gift shop with Moomin stuff! We were seated together with Sniff and Stinky and I ordered a Moomin omurice. All the people in the café ate together with Moomin characters, it was so funny. My omurice wasn't very good, but it was a fun experience none the less.
My new boyfriend♥
Last Sunday, me and Lines host mother took us to Saga International Balloon Fiesta. The competition started early and we had to drive for a bit, so she picked us up at five(!!) in the morning. Because the weather wasn't very good (it might had started raining and the wind was a bit strong), sadly, the balloons couldn't fly that day. But they did inflate them so everyone could take photos :)They were verey cool and big. I especially liked the one with the astraunaut sticking out of it, it looked like it was waving to people.
There were a lot of stalls at the balloon championship, so afterwards we browsed the different shops. We ended up buying roasted chestnuts from a man who had come all the way from Kyoto to sell them. They were really good! I had expected them to taste kind of salty, but they were actually quite sweet. We also bought korokke, dumpling soup and some kind of fish cakes. I was so full when we eventually headed home, haha.
We had to head home because the balloon fiesta was on the same day as the Fukuoka Women's University school festival, Kasumi-sai. I will tell about the festival in my next post :)