Harajuku Adventures #2

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I’m sure that everyone living in Tokyo has their own favourite place. Mine happens to be here in Harajuku, a place that I’ve blogged about before. It’s a place where the platform shoes are as high as the stars, the stores are a wonderland of multi-coloured shiny things and the people roaming the streets are fearless and creative in their fashion choices. Since going to Harajuku for the first time, I’ve joined in and am well on my way to becoming the kind of Harajuku girl that Gwen Stefani always sang about. As such, although I will definitely be blogging other things, this beautiful place which is now a big part of my life will be fairly heavily featured on the Durham Students Abroad WordPress site! Don’t worry though – Harajuku will never fail to entertain you. Continue reading

Toudai 東大

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It’s not obvious, but I did actually come to Tokyo to study! So now I’m going to talk about my university – the beautiful amazing historical Tokyo U!

Here are a few facts about life at Tokyo U before we start: 1. There are a fair few campuses, and they’re all for different subjects and different years. As an exchange student you can utilise either one or two (just Komaba, just Hongo, or Hongo and Komaba). They both have a great studenty atmosphere. 2. The academic day is 8:30 to 20:30. Yes, I did type that correctly. However, you’re unlikely to ever have a full day. Most people have one, two or three classes a day. 3. Each class is 105 minutes long. Again, not a typo. This fact has no redeeming quality. 4. The ratio of male to female students is 4:1. FOUR TO ONE. As somebody who is fond of the idea of being surrounded by smart Japanese men, but also somebody who is saddened by the results of deeply ingrained societal sexism, I am in two minds about this. 5. It sounds a bit scary, but it’s actually really awesome and enjoyable. Let me tell you why~! Continue reading

My Tokyo Pad

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Okay so week one had to be dedicated to Harajuku, but this week I’m actually going to tell you about my immediate surroundings here in my Tokyo pad. There’s quite a lot to say. …It’s quite different.

Dorm set-up

So the dorm is made up of about forty students. Forty girls, that is; there’s a partner dorm for guys just opposite. Most of the girls are Japanese home-students, and they’re mostly Tokyo-U students apart from a few who are Waseda or Keio (Japan’s other renowned universities…) which is cute because it means lots of student friends to have lots in common with! The catch is that English really isn’t very widely spoken, so be prepared to have to make an effort to make Japanese friends! Right now I’m getting along okay with some people’s English and my limited Japanese. This being said, the girls are really sweet and friendly so if you show that you want to make friends they’ll usually be just as keen. 🙂 Continue reading

First time in… HARAJUKU!!!!

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Okay so you were probably expecting something about my new daily routine and my immediate surroundings as a first post from me. This will come very soon. My priorities in life, however, have always been 1.Harajuku 2.Everything else.

So Harajuku. What’s that? Basically it is the actual best place on Earth. It’s known as the fashion capital of Tokyo (which is one of the fashion capitals of THE WORLD) not just for its abundance of big brand labels, but more importantly its rich rich fantastical amazing magical colourful artistic fashion subcultures and individual stores. I’ve been all over fashion in Tokyo online for years. I actually have my own blog dedicated to fashion in Tokyo. I’ve always had an out-there dress sense, and what I’ve seen of Harajuku online – the designers, the stores, the famous models, and just the snaps of ordinary people looking fabulous in the street – is a big part of my inspiration. Naturally, it was to be my first port of call.  Continue reading

Just one more bake-off till Japan 

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That’s right, I measure time in Bake-Offs now.

As you may have guessed from the title, I am not yet in Japan. I’m still sat at home jealous of all the Australia year-abroaders who jetted off forever ago. But my departure is just a few tiny days away and now it’s definitely far more real! For the past eight months I’ve actually doubted that I would even get to Tokyo, dreaming up every ridiculous scenario ever that could possibly ruin my year abroad plan. I guess it felt too good to be true? Well, now everything is actually completely 100% sorted. I’ve even paid my first two months’ rent (to the detriment of my bank account lol). Anyway, since I’m not there yet, this is a blog entry dedicated to those little pre-departure things.  Continue reading

Japan: A Tale of Three Cities

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“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again”

– Charles Dickens

About six weeks ago, the news broke in Beijing that the whole of the city would have a weeklong holiday to coincide with the summit of 21 world leaders for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. It seemed too good to be true, but after Peking University confirmed that we would indeed have seven days off university, I rushed to figure out options for seeing a bit of China. In a wonderful coincidence, my Dad had planned a business trip to Japan during this time, so flights were booked and plans were made.

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