The Study Abroad Newsletter

Tokyo Life & Kyoto Escape

Erin Pihi
Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan

Needless to say that my days here in fast pace, keep it pumping, hardly resting, electric light adventure in Tokyo is not over just yet. I’ve been many places, met many faces and made more memories than I can currently count. Some of my most memorable experiences have been visits to local Japanese schools. Playing and interacting with Japanese students has been the highlight of my living in Tokyo so far. Other notable experiences include teaching basic hula in classes, weekend parties in the common room at our dorm, making idiots of ourselves at Karaoke, clubbing in Shibuya, going to our favorite ramen haunt through a snow storm, laughing during conversation language exchange, backaches for hauling groceries from the next town, passing out on the trains (and missing your stop!), attending Kabuki plays, scarfing down meat at Shabu Shabu, wasting money at the game centers, giggling at maid/butler cafes, anime shopping and last but not the least, making so many Japanese and international friends that I came to love like family.

Photo collage of photos taken in Japan and Kyoto

When the hustle and pressure of Tokyo life got too much to tolerate, I headed to what is now my favorite place in Japan, Kyoto! I’ve been here twice and would visit here again and again. It was such a refreshing experience to meet Japanese strangers not scared to talk to foreigners and strike up a conversation. Even the elderly was kind enough to volunteer help when we were lost. Thanks to this, I even picked up Kansai dialect and am learning it during my free time. The countryside is amazing with its rustic beauty and haunting scent of incense burning through the forests and temples. The ancient history made me swoon and I stayed in each location for a while, soaking up as much as my senses could stand.