Thursday, April 09, 2009

One Year Anniversary

Already been in Japan for one full year, to be exact, till date, it's one year 1 week. One full year in a foreign country, it's a very interesting, eye-opening experience. Yet, amongst all these excitement, it has a hint of sadness, homesick-ness and sometimes difficulty especially in communicating with the locals in broken Japanese. Could be frustrating sometimes. So and so, nevertheless, in one word, I still had an amazing year (or 6 words).

Taken in Matsushima last summer. Photo taken by Zhan Wei.

One of the most amazing experiences is of course experiencing the 4 seasons. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Last year this time, I arrived in Japan with Sakura welcoming us newcomers, except appreciating the beauty of Sakura, it didn't mean anything more. However, now, awaiting Spring has more meaning than just to-see-flowers. It's like new life sprouting after the dreadful winter, kidda like representing new hope.

I am not trying to be emotional. Spring 2009

Also, always from the TV, the most happening event, or the most romantic love story, always happen during summer. Now I can understand why everybody enjoy Summer that much. (except the loooong 2 months school break), it's the only 3 months throughout the year, you do not need to wear 4 layers of clothes whenever you go out, or have to tip toed to the freezing toilet and have your butt touch the damn cold toilet seat. Also, it's the only time to show off your body in bikini. :)

Puffy ice and just-woke-up-eyes in Winter, Takayama

In addition, after the 4 seasons here in Japan, finally it reminded me how much I was in love with the sunshine in Malaysia, the beautiful sandy beach during any evening throughout the year, and also how much i miss the rumbling thunder and howling wind during thunderstorms in the tropical.

Momiji, Autumn in Hakone

All the amazing people I met had given me massive supports and dear friendship. Finally meeting Professor Ando in real person was a total shocker. Imagine all you know about him was his name appearing in journals, papers and through google, finally meeting in real person, it's quite unbelievable. Also, lab members not only willing to provide advice and help in academic wise, but also during outings like to Kusatsu Summer Camp, the warm "tourist" guide in one step towards understanding the beautiful culture of Japan.

All (except some who couldn't make it to the party) the beautiful people from the lab. Taken in Professor Ando's home party

One of the happiest moment is also during the Japanese Intensive course. All the crazy classmates and wonderful sensei aiming to strive for better Japanese language for ourselves and for the students.

The Happy People

However, I spent most of my beginning of Japan year with fascinating people below. I first met Mint and Oo on my first day. And I spent most of the summer holidays last year with Kenny, Ahmet, Yap visiting places like Hokkaido, Nikko, Sendai, Matsushima, Kanita, Hakodate Furano, Sapporo, Otaru Canal, Aomori for Nebuta Festival, Fuji San.

Birthday Celebration.



When Kim Ean was here in Japan, we had the chance to Himeji, Kyoto, Universal Studio, Osaka and etc.

Fushimi Inari 伏見稲荷大社 Kyoto.

But the most awesome experience was still Fuji Q! Until today when I looked back the pictures I took in Fuji-Q, I can still feel I am falling 10floors straight down with my butt strap on a chair.

Yeap, the red track behind. Eejanaika. Awesome ride!

In addition, it's definitely one eventful year. I had the opportunity to catch Radiohead Japan Tour 2008 in Tokyo International Forum. It's was one of a kind of experience to see a live gig from one of the favorite band.

Radiohead Japan Tour 2008

Went to support a friend of mine in Tokyo Marathon 2009.

Tokyo Marathon 2009.

Flashing back the events like Sumo competition, Tea ceremony, Summer fireworks! Tokyo Drift in Odaiba, Kabuki .......

Sumo-san with their sexy and expensive underwear.

Its no longer something that belongs in the sport section of the newspaper but experience the event in real person. You could feel the quake and deaf yourself in the thumping sound of the giant sumo stomping the floor, you could hear the piercing scream of the fanatic crowds, and you could smell the sweat of the sumo wrestlers in sniffing distance during their leisure time walking around the stadium. (Although I strongly advice not to provoke the gentle giant.)

Drifting in Odaiba

You could hear the race car tire screeching in the sharp corner of the drifting competition. Again, the screaming of the crowds cheering in the event make everything seems so surreal. But when you wanna make sure you are not in a dream, you pinch the guy next to you and you get that anger stare, you know that this is all real.

Only after arriving in Japan, then I realized the artistic side of mine. Try to imagine visiting art gallery from Picasso, staring at the Ophelia painting by Sir John Everett Millais, or admiring the Thinker Man sculpture.. I mean come on! Do I look that sentimental to you? but surprisingly, I was enjoying every second of that moment of me trying-to-appreciate-art-self-indulgence foolishness.

Hakone open-air museum.

Of course, there are also many interesting and fun museums, like the Ghibili Museum , inspired by the very talented Miyazaki Hayao's animations.

I was hoping that Toro was really gonna sell me tickets.

Science museum likes Miraikan in Odaiba, which were just few steps away from my ex-dormitory and etc.

Finally, concluding this one year anniversary post: I wanna be America's next top model. No no!! hahaha! I mean it's truly eye-opener experience and I am grateful to have this opportunity to experience in this amazing place.

For the next coming years, I have a set of targets for myself to achieve. As high as the peak of Fuji-san, as passionate as the burning larva inside the crater....... hopefully academic wise, social wise, nihongo everything smooth sailing.

Fuji-San peak

Summarizing things I achieved:

1) developed a phobia towards touching metal object after countless time of electrocuted.

2) the needle on the weighing scale goes towards larger number every time i step on it. My younger sister is preparing to write a thesis entitled "How 4 seasons affected my sister's weight."

3) one year ago, my most fluent Japanese sentence was,
"Sumimasen desu nga, otearai wa dochira desuka?" (Excuse me but may I know where is the toilet?)

4) one year later, my most fluent Japanese sentence is,
"Sumimasen, to-i-le.... doko?" (Excuse me, toilet, where?)

Lavender in Furano

2 more years to go....

Himawari, Furano.

Ganbarrrreee!!!! Yosss!!!


§nóflèk said...

こんにちは!hey there, kim :) found your blog while wandering around... i'm assuming you're a fellow malaysian studying in japan too? i think your photos are really something! ^.^

Kim Huey said...

yeap! malaysian studying in Tokyo. Thanks for dropping by.


Khek said...

haha.. siao poh.. it's ur 1st only..wait till your 3rd year..haha, then ur post sure become very melancholic!!

siao poh!! :D

Xweing said...

Beautiful summary of your life in Japan!

Love your blog!~