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efter många om och men... så nådde det fram.

To quote Katy Perry, I really did feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind when I waited for Japan Post outside for two hours earlier today... And would you look at that, a plastic bag really did drift by. (God damn Japan Post... ) At least the weather was nice.

I finally got my package from Sweden. And oh, I am over the moon. I was just so so happy to receive it, and to find real coffee and Swedish candy and kaviar inside — yeah, I was overjoyed. My mom had written a letter, and I might've cried reading it — but don't tell anyone that. I got three photographs that I'm guessing my dad has taken of my parents house back at home, and now they're secured on my wall beside the picture I have of my parents.

I'm doing fine and I don't miss home in the sense that I long to go back, and because I'm busy, I don't think about the distance so much, but today I thought about it and everyone back at home and realised that rather than the country, for me, I miss the people. You take giving someone a hug for granted until they're not within reach, I guess.

I'll see everyone eventually, and my parents rather soon since they'll be visiting at the end of next month, so I'm not despirited, but today I have thought about my family a lot and I hope they know that I'm doing well.

Jag tar hand om mig, så för ni det med. Älskar er ♥️

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Japanese Sword Museum and Meiji Shrine

The white house in the first picture is where I live~

Yesterday our School had arranged for us to go to a Japanese Swords Museum ( Katana ) located in Yoyogi/Shibuya, so I got to see another part of Tokyo again.

The swords museum was really cool. There’s a lot of history behind the Katana, their differing shapes through the eras as well as the fact that most of them were disposed off in the past when the government started regarding them solely as weapons rather than art, which they had been viewed as up until that point. Thankfully, some people got together and protected the swords, which is why we could get to see them like we did yesterday. (Amazing work.)

There’s so much detail into one blade, and I especially liked one of them that was had a very sleek and narrow shape. Other than that, the incredible work put into the sheaths and the handles is astounding and you can probably tell from my pictures that that’s what I liked the most, hahaha. Katana are very beautiful swords.

Before we left, we wrote in the museums guestbook, but rather than making it easy for us we decided that I who am Swedish would write what my friend’s from Columbia told me to write, and they would write what I said in Swedish. Of course the result was a little… Perfect. Of course.

Afterwards we went to Meiji Jingu in Yoyogi Koen. It’s a huge shrine in the middle of the park, and it’s very serene. Especially cool are the huge gates throughout the park that you walk under leading to the temple. We got so lucky too, because just as we arrived we were told to step aside because there was going to be a wedding. So we got to see a couple in traditional Japanese wedding gowns walk down the pathway in the temple grunds and get married to one another. It was really beautiful. She was so beautiful in her white gown, and her husband was very handsome. I wish them a long and happy marriage!

We went to Harajuku (since it’s exactly outside the park) and strolled around before we headed to Ueno where we studied for the rest of our evening. We’ve got a test coming up on Monday, so everyone is trying their best to do well.

Today too, that's what we're going to do. I hope everyone at home is doing well, I'll try to talk to you all more often when I have time! Xoxo!

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Yesterday was Valentines~

Here in Japan it's celebrated by girls giving chocolate to boys that they like. There are two types of chocolate 義理チョコ (giri-choco) which is an (so called) "obligation" chocolate that you give to your friends, family members or coworkers. The other type is 本命チョコ (honmei-choco) which is usually homemade chocolate that the girls make by themselves and then hand to the guy they are romantically interested in. It's a sweet gesture and a day for confessions, and a month later, on the 14th of March, the guys who have received chocolate have to give something in return to the girls they received it from. (This is called white day.)

I bought some 義理チョコ and made little cute bags for my male classmates and friends at school, and when it was break-time I went around and handed it out. Everyone was really happy to eat chocolate and the mood in school was really great! I even received some from friends in class and people who were handing out candy to anyone who wanted some (and I never turn down a chance to eat candy, so of course I gladly accepted)

The Japanese tradition is very different from Sweden (or the western world in general) since most of the time it's the other way around for us — the guy buys chocolate and flowers for the girl or takes her out to eat or see a movie etc. So it's interesting to see it be the other way around (but then again, something like white day doesn't exist in Sweden. Japan = more equality?)

After school, we went to Asakusa and played around at an arcade. I played a game where you play Japanese drums to a song of your choosing with a friend and we accidentally chose the hardest level from the start. We immediately regretted it but it made us laugh a lot. One of the guys was boss at the UFO games and won us all teddys of different kinds (I got a raichu!)

I brought my Instax camera with me and took pictures throughout the day, it was really fun.

All in all it was a very nice day~

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I pimped my bag a little with stuff from my favourite Kpop-band. I'm really pleased lmao!

Hi~ On Friday I went with a couple of friends from school to 東京ドーム (Tokyo Dome, a baseball arena) — which was flabbergasting!The dome is HUUGE and it was really cool to see up close. We went because one of the girls had her birthday earlier during the week and everyone wanted to take her to the rollercoaster/amusement park that is just outside the dome. There were a lot of pretty lights everywhere (part of me wonders if they're from Christmas and has yet to be taken down or if it's like that all year round.) and it was really beautiful to the eyes. Unfortunately, because the whether wasn't too good i(t was really windy) the rollercoaster wasn't in action, so instead we bought tickets for the haunted house! I'm pretty sure we all screamed, and it was a lot of fun.

We had lamb ramen at a place near the station. Very unique, and absolutely delicious. Will definitely go there again sometime. We also had a lot of candy that one of the guys brought and then we headed out to find an Izakaya but ended up at a shrine in the middle of the city. It was really tranquil and quiet, and so cool to stumble upon among the skyscrapers and houses around it. I paid 200yen for a fortune that you pick out of the small boxes and fortunately mine said that I would have good fortune. I then tied it to one of the ropes around a tree like seen on the picture to make it come true. It was very pretty.

We found a place eventually where we drank and played games until we had to leave to catch our last trains. Compared to Sweden, the trains and metro stop going really early, some as early as 11 P.M. so unless you want to stay up all night or pay for a taxi home, the nights never become too long. That's a funny little fact for you.

On Sunday I headed to Shibuya to do some shopping. (I didn't bring much clothes gdi and you can't keep wearing the same five shirts for months on end) I've gotten the hang of keeping my eyes out for places to eat that aren't too expensive or obvious, and most often the smaller places are the ones with the better food.

I stumbled upon Mario Kart by Shibuya crossing! Doing that is definitely something I have to at some point, but for now it was just fun to watch them wait for the green light before they set off.

My Kpop-band is currently holding a temporary museum in one of the bookstores at Shibuya, and of course I went and bought some merchandise and took pictures with my idols in a photo booth (I feel like such a dork!!) I was stopped by a guy who too who asked me if I spoke English, and when I answered that I did he just went "あっ… そうですか、すみません…" "Ah, I see... excuse me..." and walked away. (??) Shame, because he was kind of handsome too, haha! Makes me more motivated to just learn more Japanese already.

I'm really into caps, and the one on the picture made me laugh when I found it. Feels like something I can relate to, but I didn't buy it.

Tomorrow's Valentine's Day, and here in Japan it's tradition for girls to give guys that they like chocolate, preferably homemade chocolate too. (But I'll admit, I'm way too lazy for something like that.) The guys shamelessly told us what to get them — their confidence was really funny. I guess they'll just have to wait for tomorrow and see.

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I found my favourite coffee place for now, Doutor. Besides coffee, they have really nice (and cheap) Sandwiches too.

Oh my guys, it's been such a long time! I'm sorry~ I promise all of you at home, I'm still doing fine, haha!

So I've been pretty busy — with school, mostly — and a lot has happened over the past two weeks, so this will probably just be like a quick recap. One of the more fun things we got to do in school was participate in the welcoming of spring. Here in Japan they have a cermony where you throw beans at Oni (demons) to shun away the bad from last year and welcome spring in good spirits. We were quite startled when someone suddenly slammed their fists against the door of our classroom in the middle of class, and in came two Oni to invite us to participate in the cermony at the first floor on our break. We were handed small bags of beans and threw them at the Oni when they appared (how funny is the staff at our school? They'd all dressed up and everything. They're all really very nice.) Afterwards we got to eat the beans — you should supposedly eat the number of your age, but they tasted so good no one exactly listened to that — and then we went back to class with smiles on our faces. I kept one of the bean bags as a souvenir and have it in my room.

One of the evenings we went and ate hot-pot, which was really nice. The broth was amazing! I've been to a lot more foodplaces, izakaya, chinese, korean ramen, katsudon e.t.c. but I haven't been taking so many pictures because my mind has been occupied with other things — so the hot-pot is all you get!!

Last saturday, the 4th, I went to Harajuku again, this time with Liz (or as I call her, Riz — because the Japanese don't have the L sound, that's what we call her in class) because there was really not enough time to discover everything the first time! I keep having to remind myself to use mi Instax camera, and now I've taken to carrying it with me in my bag everyday — just in case. (You never know when you'll stumble into a quaint restaurant and end up having the meal of your life! And when that happens, you want to make memories~) I brought it last saturday and we had a blast using it all night when we went back to Champion (the karaoke bar in Golden Gai.)

The biggest reason as to why I've been absent is, of course, school — more accurately, schoolwork. We've started Kanji, and while our normal homework only increases in difficulty (not by amount) there's still a lot of studying that has to be done both in the mornings and evenings to keep up with all the new phrases and rules, as well as the five-kanji-a-day-pace that our teacher's have set for us. Every third day we have a test on Kanji where we only get around 5~6 minutes to read and translate between Kanji and Hiragana on a paper. Like I said, we learn five a day, so every test is of the ten we learnt the two previous days, and it goes on like that. Kanji is difficult, I'll admit. They're complicated to learn, since one sign can be read in five different ways depending on the word they're used in. Some are easier than other's, because the only have two readings, but some are a real pain to get the hang of, and the general tip is to just get it into your head. Just shove it in there, read them over and over again until you know the five words where the same Kanji is read differently in each and every one of them. Just learn to tell them apart and know which is which. There's really not much more to it. To quote Shia La'Beouf "Just do it."

Honestly, it is stressful, but the stress comes and goes, and reality is that you just deal with it. As long as I study, I'm fine. It'll only become a problem if I slack off (which I don't plan to) and so I'll just keep at it. Studying Japanese is very busy.

On another note; our homeroom teacher, Yoshitani-sensei, challanged our class last week to learn all 47 prefectures of Japan — if we could make it, she promised she would buy us おかし (Okashi — candy), and thanks to everyones effort (and mostly Riz who learnt all of them) we pulled it off! She wrote them onto the whiteboard as we counted them, and we held off our break just to get the last two onto the list — it was amazing. The next day that we had her she brought different kinds of Japanese candy and poured them into a bag she kept at the front of the classroom, and everyone could go and grab some whenever they wanted. It was nice, and we even shared with the other classes too.

The last picture was one I took from the bus when I was headed to the city-office in Adachi (something about mail that couldn't be delivered — which still hasn't been solved lmao eyyy, it's pretty complicated.) This is the Arakawa river that I go over every morning with my metro, and the blue bridge on the picture is actually the one my line crosses. It's a very nice picture to start each day off to.

I've done so many more things, but I'm goign to let this off here and just remind myself to do regular updates rather than once every other week.

I haven't gotten sick, even though the weather here in Tokyo has turned towards the colder side of the coin. (We've had two evenings with snow, and the wind is freezing) But the days are still sunny and warm. Many people in our school are sick to and from because of the swaying temperatures, but so far I'm still doing good!

Hugs and kisses, and all that jazz.

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Shinjuku & Harajuku

This weekend I was in Shinjuku and Harajuku!

Saturday morning I got up early to go to Shinjuku where I met a Japanese friend I met on the Go Go Nihon event, and together we headed to this cool restaurant located in a basement where we ate some really nice food (although I didn't take pictures of it...) Afterwards we went to Animate, which is like a multi-storied shop with Manga and merchandise from different Manga and Anime — it was really cool! My Japanese is still too lacking to make proper conversation, but she was nice and I had a lot of fun!

Afterwards, in the afternoon, I went to Harajuku and met up with one of the Swedes and we went around and checked out the many stores along the crazy shopping street of Takeshita. There's so many people!! And also a lot of places to eat crepes (which we did, of course) and we also took Purikura! It was my first time, and it was completely and utterly ridiculous, which made it equally as entertaining, and I'm definitely going to get tons of Purikura while I'm here!

I actually bought a sweater, but most of the tour was just browsing everything there was to see. There's a lot of unusual clothes and types of fashion here in Japan — surely you're able to find about anything you can imagine among the many small stores in this area. I found Justin Bieber and Kanye West, as well as tons of 'English very well' signs... It was a lot of fun!!

We walked to Meiji-Jingumae (another metro station) where we took the Chiyoda line back home (lucky me because I could go all the way to Ayase on it) and we found that that's where Tokyo Plaza (a big shopping mall) was. I'll have to go back and visit that as well, because it looked absolutely amazing. That's where the last mirror picture is from.

I was supposed to go to a Rave in Shibuya in the evening, but when I got back home I accidentally fell straight asleep (I was so tired after all the new things I got to see and do) so I never went.

My Sunday was leisure, and today, Monday, school felt strangely easy (??) and since coming home I've gone shopping for groceries, cleaned my room, ironed my clothes, made dinner, eaten dinner, finished my homework and now I'm just chilling in our lounge while my other housemates are ranting about this thing or the other.

I'd say I'm doing rather good over here still.

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Playing around with Japanese photo apps prove to be very amusing...

This week has been busy — with studying mostly. On Tuseday (I think it was??) I tried my hand at making Onigiri for myself, and I'd say it went pretty OK! It tasted good, but I forgot to wrap them in paper before I put them in their cases, so I got very sticky when I tried to eat them. (Thank god for wet-wipes, はは~)

Last week was a cold one, but today the sun shone really beautifully and the wind was warm, so it was really nice walking through Ayase when I headed to school as well as through Ueno when I was heading home. There's a lot of impressive wire towers here in Ayase, standing between buildings and really towering above them. It's not the most exciting thing you could possibly look at, but I find them really impressive and fascinating. In Sweden you'd only see them far out on the countryside, never in the middle of the city like this, so it's pretty cool to me.

This week I finally got around to purchasing a commuters pass between my boarding station and the station closest to my school so that I don't have to pay a fair everytime I go back and forth between my home and Intercultural. I was assisted by a guy in my house who studies at the same school as me whom helped me check out whether or not we'd save money actually getting one, and turned out we would, so both of us did. It's quite a relief going through the gates and see the amount on the small displays staying the same even though you're riding the subway. (I know I paid for it, but it still feels like you're riding for free.)

There's a lot of funny food here in Japan — The Coca Cola with ginger in it makes me question why. You want ginger to stay healthy, but god knows you need that sugar dose too, or what? ははは, doesn't make a lot of sense to me... I'll have to buy one and see how it tastes.

A Swedish couple live in the same area of Tokyo as I do (Adachi) so yesterday after school I was invited to their place and got to check out what living in an apartment would be like. We made Tacos (like true Swedes) and studied together until ten in the evening, because today we had out first test.

Honestly, I'd like to say that I felt confident taking the test and that I think it went rather well, but at the same time you can't be too assured of your own success, because in most of those cases, you end up doing worse than you think you did (Does that make any sense to anyone else? No? Alright.) But I did study, and the test was of Lesson 1 through Lesson 3, which were the first lessons we were taught during our first week at the school. This week we've advanced all through Lesson 4 to 6, while continously repeating the previous lessons every morning, so at this point I would say that those shouldn't be a problem. I actually want to score 100% (because that's always fun), so I'm not worried whether I passed or not, because I'm sure that I did, but I can't wait to get my test back on Monday to see how I did.

Before heading home today, we went for a walk through Ameya and wound up at a small, cozy pizza place located in a basement where the pizza was 500yen. All of us ordered in two each and left happy and stuffed. The waiter noticed that we were ordering in Japanese and wound up talking to us and asking us questions about Sweden and why we were in Tokyo. They even brought out one of those fake instagram frames (do you know which one's I'm talking about?) and asked if we would like to pose for a picture with it, which we of course did. All in all, it was a really nice little place, and I'm sure I'll go there again as the pizza was really good too!

Tomorrow I'm getting up early because I have to be in Shinjuku by 12, so I'm going to call it a night early today.

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It's been chilly today, probably because it's a really windy Monday.

I wake up around 9 nowadays, which is nice. I try to get up as soon as I do too, but it doesn't always work out that way, haha. My room isn't too big, but it's definitely big enough, and I quite like it.

I used the washing machine for the first time over the weekend too, and it was surprisingly easy even though the machine looks slightly intimidating with all it's buttons.

Today I got up at 9, and I left earlier than I really had to as well. A few of the pictures are of Ayase from this morning as I walked to the station, and since I had time to kill, I got off at Ueno rather than Naka-Okachimachi or Akihabara (which are the two stations closest to my school) on my way to class and took my time strolling down アメヤ (Ameya-Yokocho).

These small streets with all of the shops and restaurants and people really are charming, and today I got to see a guy in traditional clothes walking casually among all the other civilians, which was pretty cool. (I didn't creep a picture of him though, sorry. I figure that's a little too intrusive.)

There really is colour to this city.

School was school. I can follow along fine, but it's still a lot to grasp. Thankfully, our teachers are very good at keeping the lessons entertaining and interactive, so even though it makes my head tired, it's a lot of fun.

The final pictures are of Ayase when I returned home earlier this evening. There's this really extravagant cake shop just outside the west exit gate, and looking at all the treats is really satisfying. (Because they're just so pretty.)

The trains are quite the ways above ground level, as you see in the second-to-final picture, and the last picture is of my attempt at real cooking. It was dinner. I got to eat something, so it was fine.

Now I'm going to go ahead and do my しゅくだい (homework) and then take a shower before I head to bed.

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Did some proper shopping on Sunday. Now I'll be able to cook (somewhat) decent meals and save a little money at least.

Hello~ This weekend I didn't do much. I was so tired on Friday, I just went home and fell asleep after school was done in the evening. I've found that attending school during the day hours (afternoon) is really tiring — because your energy levels just get lower and lower with every hour and when you get out, the sun has already set and you're just completely beat. I really would've liked to have classes in the morning (because hell yeah, free afternoons) but for that to happen in my school, I have to improve my Japanese first.

On Saturday a few of us Swedes met up in Akihabara, just to sightsee a little and hang out. We ended up doing some shopping and eating and we even got to pet an owl, which was cool. Supposedly there are owl cafes here in Tokyo. I'll have to go to one some day when I've got time to spare. We also saw some really strange (yet kind of cool??) motorbikes. They were unusually low and close to the ground, so of course I had to take a picture.

Sunday, I went to the スーパー (Su— pa—)/supermarket and stacked up on food. Eating out is cheap compared to Sweden, but it will become expensive in the long run if I were to do it everyday, so I'm trying to look after my wallet and cook at home for dinner and breakfast (even though buying onigiri at the 100yen shop is less work.) I filled the whole basket with whatever I could find that looked edible, and it still didn't cost me a lot, so cooking is definitely something I'll save money by doing. (I also bought melon pan with chocolate chips — it was good.)

I cleaned my room, did my homework, and spent some time with my housemates in our lounge. Some of them spent the weekend making a game, which is really cool in my opinion. I also found out that a guy from my school lives in the same house, even on the same floor too, which was pretty funny. (He looked at me in the kitchen and went, "Wait, I know you!")

So far mostly everything has been exciting and new and interesting, and my days have been filled with new impressions and people and languages (obviously.), but now I think all of those things will begin to settle and an everyday-rhythm will start to gradually take over until I have made my own habits here in Tokyo.

There's still a lot I want to see and do and try, but I can't be in a hurry. First and foremost, I am here to study, to learn Japanese, so most of my focus will be towards doing just that.

I'm still going to go exploring, some new little street or corner every day, to the best of my ability at least, but mostly I'll try to do my best as a student.

I wonder if Tokyo will ever become mundane? Honestly, I highly doubt it.

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Tokyo is such an impressive city - it makes well for photos はは〜

So, earlier this week I said that I feel like school is going more smoothly this week than last week — and I'm going to go ahead and take that all back. Yesterday we went through so much I just sat in class like a gaping fish. (I'm up early today to study before class... so glad it's gonna be weekend after today so that I can go through everything ten more times)

I've been walking around trying to locate some good shops and stores, and I found one that I especially liked so far. It's called GU and is part of the UNIQLO (ウニクロ) franchise, but with a lot more modern/edgy fashion. It's interesting, because when I visited South Korea last summer, UNIQLO was an expensive brand in Seoul, whilst here in Tokyo it's considered a low-price brand with cheap and affordable basic clothing. (Pretty much like H&M back in Sweden) Dully noted for future basic purchases.

My journeys bring me to nice views every now and then at the very least, and Tokyo really is beautiful no matter what time of the day you happen to walk down the streets. It really is nice.

The other night I decided to study in our lounge which turned into a really nice and cosy evening with my housemates. Me and another girl were studying by the table while another girl was playing dark souls on the TV. Some of our Japanese housemates were cooking in the kitchen, and then to our surprise they offered us the dumplings (Gyoza) they had made. So all of us who were present ended up eating the Gyoza together — and it was really good! Some of our English housemates dropped by too. It was a really nice evening, although I feel like I should've studied more than I actually did hahaha. My share-house is a nice place, and I consider myself pretty lucky in that aspect.

Yesterday our school held an event, 餅つき (Mochi tsuki — Michu pounding) where we got to both watch and try for ourselves to make mochi! Mochi is pounded rice that becomes rather soft and fluffy and chewy (??) I can't describe it properly, but it was really cool! I even got to try doing the pounding, although I wasn't very good at it haha! Afterwards we got to eat the Mochi we made ourselves and it was surprisingly good, especially with red bean soup (a very sweet soup). It was surprisingly hearty too, for just being pounded rice. It was worth getting up early for!

I bought a new jacket yesterday in Shibuya after school (a coat that I had found online that was on sale, so it was really cheap, yay~) and as I was headed home I got to ride a really packed subway. I've ridden a full subway a few times now, but yesterday it was more so than the other times. You couldn't even move your arms and it got really, really, almost unbearably warm inside the train. But that too is an experience~

Today it looks like it might rain. Or snow(??) It snowed briefly earlier when I went to the combini (convenience store) to buy coffee. It didn't settle or anything, but it surprised me. I'll have to remember to bring my umbrella to school today, just in case.

Now I'll go back to studying. I'm just procrastinating at this point ㅠㅠ Another time!

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