Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Meeting Fellow UCEAP Students, JWU ILP and Hopy Again~

So I moved out of my hostel on Monday and am now in Sugamo. We were going to take the ILP (Intensive Language Program) placement test. I didn't study for it AT ALL. I went out drinking instead with Shotaro -.- so I already know I got placed in the bottom one.

I ended up going with my friend Kevin to the JWU. We got to meet other students that are part of the EAP program. But not all these students were going to Keio, some were going to Waseda, Osaka, Tohoku, etc.

After we took the placement test the ones that finished first were the ones who had lower levels of Japanese. I ended up meeting Eileen (who I met during the Japan orientation at UCI). We ended up bonding over the test's difficulty lol along with another guy named Eugene.

I quickly noticed that those who were in higher level Japanese tended to stay with the advanced and not pay attention us lower level Japanese students. It was really annoying, it felt like high school all over again.

But I was happy I just met people that I got along with. Eugene was nice enough to take me to the city hall to get my address registered and stuff so I can try to get a wifi adapter or phone. It took too long to get registered so I wasn't able to get my phone. But I was meeting with Hopy later so I decided to get it with her if I could.

Me and Hopy met up, ate, and walked around Harajuku and Shibuya. We were going to Softbank to get a phone or wifi adapter but the wifi adapter at softbank was $300 so I said fuck that -.- the other place I went to was cheaper. And the process to get a phone would have taken too long and I didn't want Hopy to be waiting there bored. Also, I wasn't too keen on the phone idea either when a pocket wifi seems to make more sense.

So me and Hopy just went to my hotel to chill. I had ranted to her about the fellow UCEAP students earlier when we were eating udon and we ended up running into them. It was pretty awkward, and she could see what I meant about them being cliquey -.-

Honestly, I'm really happy I already have friends in Japan because if I didn't I would totally be lonely and would feel like shit. Thank goodness for Hopy especially.

Me and Hopy just hung out for the rest of the night talking about random stuff and then I walked her to the station to go home.

Hopy is leaving soon, and I am so bummed :[ I wish she could stay longer or I wish I could have come earlier to Japan /sigh I am seriously going to be lonely without her :[ She is having a farewell thing next weekend at the Trump Room and she wanted me to go over to her place to get ready and attempt to do my make up.

I am so excited >< but so sad, because it's her last weekend in Japan :[ seriously depressing.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Reunion with Naoya and Shotaro.

Yesterday I ended up hanging out with Naoya! :D The last time I saw him was at Shotaro's going away hang out thingie lol. Me, him and Shotaro were suppose to hang out but Shotaro was working.

We ended up meeting in Akabane, and for the most random reason lol. Naoya was like "I really like the name, so lets meet there" he's so weird. But I know he also wanted to meet there since I was close to me.

After we met up we were just going to drink and possibly karaoke lol. We went to 3 different izakayas, the first one was super expensive and fancy O__o Bad choice on Naoya's part LOL and then we went to to another izakaya that Naoya said was the typical salaryman izakaya.

After than we ended up going to karaoke. It was pretty fun :]

☓ ☓ ☓

The next day, I hung out with Shotaro. Naoya was working this time, and Shotaro was free so we decided to meet up in Nakano.

I was pretty excited to see him, since the last time I saw him was in California. It was so weird to see him in Japan.

We ended up going to eat and then shopped around this one place, I forgot what it was called -.- lol and then he showed me how to play this ghost game, it really really fun ^^ I lost :[ lol

Shotaro said he really likes Nakano because it's really retro. There were all these stores with collectables and what not.

I saw the old digivices and was totally mind blown because I have been wanted one so bad! But they were so expensive :/

After that, me and shotaro went to karaoke and had all you can drink from 3-8pm~

It was lots of fun, and I love the karaoke in Japan! Way more choices, we sang a bunch of indie/rock songs :]

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Downpour During the Hanabi.

For the most part, Japan has been treating me well so far.

I sadly haven't been able to get my wifi adapter, I went with my friend Masa and long story short, still needed some gaijin things before I could but that is stuff related to my school. I think I am just going to have to wait for when we get to our orientation I guess -.-

I also need bug repellant, I read this when going to Japan but decided to just buy it when I got here. First time since I was in 4th grade or something that I got mosquito bites O_O they are small and not too much of a bother but still would feel more comfortable if I got something to take care of that.

Anyways, yesterday I went out with my friend Mariko! It was our first time meeting up as well ^^ we met at harajuku station again since it's the station I most comfortable going to lol.

We were planning on going and izakaya and then possibly clubbing or to see the hanabi by the Tokyo Sky Tree. They said they were going to be cancelled because of the rain but it wasn't raining so they still had them so we decided to go.

When we got there we could see the fireworks, but they were behind some buildings so we decided to go around. 

When we were getting closer it started to sprinkle, and then it started to rain. We were almost to the other side of the river but while we were crossing it starting to pour hard core! 

So many people took out their umbrellas and there were a lot without them. They honestly looked like they jumped into a pool lol. And even with my umbrella I got drenched and so did Mariko. 

We decided we just wanted to go back and of course the fireworks got cancelled so we had to go around basically. It was raining so much that the streets began to flood O__o so many people were hurrying trying to go to the nearest station. We finally did but it took forever to go to the train.

We were packed like sardines waiting to cross the ticket gate lol. People walking by that were on the other side stopped to take pics -.- haha

We finally got on the train, drenched. Mariko was so surprised that the rain came so suddenly and said she wished we would have just gone to Shibuya. But I thought this was definitely a crazy/fun experience to have haha.

We rode the train for 40mins and went to an izakaya in Shibuya. We drank, talked, etc.

That was honestly so crazy but definitely loved the experience haha. But hopefully mu next hanabi we can actually see more fireworks. Good think I didn't bring my camera O__O

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Meeting Hopy in Japan.

I was super excited to finally meet up with Hopy, and so happy we got to meet up in Japan :D I have been following her blog for a while and we had a lot of stuff in common. 

We ended up meeting in Harajuku at the Takeshita exit. I still suck with trains and Hopy thought this would be easier since Harajuku only has 2 exits and so I wouldn't get lost. I still managed to get lost -__- those damn trains lol. It will take me a while to get used to. --> typical American right hurr <--

Anyways we met up :D I was so excited to see her, and the first thing we got were crepes :3 but we actually got the non sweet ones because we were so hungry. They were good but they tasted a bit weird since the bread was still sweet LOL

Me and Hopy just chilled, walked around, went into stores and stuff. Went to Shibuya, Shibuya 109, etc.

We also took the obligatory purikura, which made me look so weird O__o straight up alien. Not going to wear lenses when I take purikura next time LOL Hopy told me I should squint next time LOL.

I also got Mcdonalds for the first time in years. We got this new ice cream float drink which tasted good. We sat and just talked a lot again. 

That's pretty much what we did most of the day actually. Just walked around, ate a bit, sat and talked. It was so chill, I really like it :]

We have a lot of stuff in common and have the same taste in guys :D haha omg it was so much fun ranting about the guys we have dated and the hot Japanese actors we like. And guys with tattoos xD we both automatically think a guy gets hotter with tattoos and if he plays an instrument thats a plus and if he rides a motorcycle, hell yes. Hahaha <3

Afterwards we went to Shimokitazawa :D she said it is a hisptery place to go to. 

"Mexican" food lol

I had okonomiyaki for the first time. It was so good! And the restaurant we went to played Mr. Children in the background :] lol

After that, we walked around some more and talked a lot more and then we got tired so we decided to go home lol. 

I was so happy to hang out with her, and we already made plans to hang out again! She invited me to go to the beach Saturday but I am meeting my friend Mariko already and we are going to a hanabi festival and stuff.

But, still I am planning to hang out with Hopy again next Tuesday after my Japanese test :/ need to study for that shit T__T

Hopefully today I will be getting my phone with Masa. I honestly need wifi, google maps will save my life. One thing I noticed and seem to definitely not like about Japan is the lack of street names T__T I know it would be hard since there are so many little streets but it sucks not knowing where you are going and just having to memorize the things around you /sigh

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Meiji Shrine & Rabbit Cafe.

Yesterday I spent the whole day out. I met this girl Carrie who is one of my roommates at the hostel and she was going to Harajuku today so she invited me along. I was planning on heading to Shibuya to go to Tower Records to get some cds anyways which is close :]

Carrie had a list of things she wanted to do since she is leaving in 2 days, and I didn't mind tagging along.

We first stopped by the Meiji Shrine, Masa had told her about it. It was of course very pretty and green! :D

Afterwards we just wandered around Harajuku and Shibuya for the rest of the day. We stopped by random stores, and decided to look for this rabbit cafe Carrie heard about.

I was so obscure omg, took us like 2 hours to find it haha. At least I got to practice my nihongo :o just realized how rusty I am and how badly I need to study D:

The bunnies were so cute! The only thing was that there weren't many bunnies out, there were only 2 and there were like 6 people in the cafe (it was pretty small). It would have been nice if there were more. But we got to feed them and stuff :3

After that, we just wandered around a bit and people watched. I got my first nampa that night, a group of 4 guys -__- they were really annoying D:

Today I am meeting up with Hopy :DDD I cannot wait to meet her :3 just going to be chillin' in Shibuya and Harajuku again :]

I'm excited! Because Carrie isn't really into fashion or stuff or doesn't know much about Japan since she came to visit from China so she wasn't really interested in the stuff I was interested in. I'm sure me and Hopy will explore a bit more :]

Today I am going to try to look decent. This humidity is killer when it comes to trying to look good D: I see Japanese girls with flawless faces full of makeup and look at my gross face covered in sweat T__T LOL hopefully my skin will get used to it soon enough D:

I am using my iphone as a camera for now because I want to get used to Japan >< once I know my way around more I'll bring my camera and take photos :]

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flight + Arrival in Japan.

I left LAX at 1:30ish, I was messaging the Lyy the whole time I was waiting lol. The flight was not bad, people told me I would have bad jetlag and that it would be very tiring but I was fine for the most part.

I listened to music, watched movies and TV shows. They had Game of Thrones :D but I felt extremely awkward since it had nudity, luckily no one was next to me LOL 

By the time I got off the plane I was nervous because I had no idea where to go. I just followed the signs and the crowds of people. While I was waiting for the tram I noticed a white businessman that was on my flight. We smiled at each other and said hi.

That's when I asked him if he knew where to go and he told me what to do and helped guide me. He was really nice! We were talking about why we were both in Japan. He works for Mitsubishi so that was why he was there. 

He was kind enough to let me use my phone to call my mom since the wifi at the airport wasn't working. We ended up parting when we were with the entry section, I was hoping to find him again during luggage but no luck :/ I wanted to thank him again.

A nice security guy helped me get my luggage and then I went through customs which was pretty quick and managed to get out. 

My friend Masa was already waiting for me. I was worried I wouldn't be able to find him because I couldn't message him. Luckily, since my hair was so red he spotted me quickly lol.

We went on the train to Tokyo. I really liked all the green we saw on the way to entering the city. Masa told me it was the countryside. I even saw Gyu-kaku :D hahaha

I'm lucky Masa was there, I'm pretty sure I would have been completely lost without him O__O I was so lost when getting the tickets for the train.

My photo skills are so lovely in Tokyo -.-

We arrived to the train station and found my hostel which was pretty hidden lol. Hopy told me already it was a bit tricky to find. It was pretty humid so I was all gross and sweaty since I was wearing leggings and crap to not show my tattoos, so I took a shower and changed.

We ended up going to eat, we were a bit hungry and afterwards Masa showed me Lawsons and other stuff. Since Masa had class the next day we ended up parting ways. I gave him a gift for picking me up and everything, I am seriously grateful.

I wasn't sleepy at all though. I wanted to keep walking around but I needed the wifi lol. I don't think I can survive Japan without my smart phone. I am going to try to get a phone and/or wifi adapter ASAP. I need my google maps.

I might explore around Tokyo but not sure, Lyy keeps telling me I should but I'm so paranoid with the trains. Have to try some time right?

Still feel like it hasn't hit me that I am in Japan.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Modeling for Tia + Last Time Together Before Japan.

Half of Thursday and all day Friday was spent with Tia. My mom dropped me off with Tia after looking at the church. I just kept her company while she sewed her design and we caught up since the last time I saw her was in March O__O we were both busy with school ><

I was with her in her class for 2 days and met her friend Tammy. She was pretty cool and we all bonded over our dislike for the sun haha.

Tia was currently taking a fashion design class, where she was suppose to make two outfits. Unfortunately, her first design was so elaborate that she didn't have time to make the second one. She decided she would do it on her own time though :]

Her design was so pretty though! She had so much detail and definitely showed her personality.

Top: Red Kimono Shirt with Black Silk Lining
Corset Skirt: Marie Antoinette Inspired Skirt w/ Black Boning for Cage

Tia always said that I would be her model and model her designs when she became a fashion designer. I always told her I would be too old by then haha. But I was very happy I modeled her first design ever!

I usually don't post any pictures relating to me modeling on my blog because it's embarrassing but since this has to deal with my darling Tia I had to post her design come to life! She also made the headpiece <3

It was so nerve-wracking, I really suck at modeling and am so awkward. I am not so uncomfortable when it comes to strangers I can make do with my friends though lol but it was her teacher who was taking the pictures.

Tia kept giving me pep-talks LOL because I kept wanting to chicken out but I'm glad I went through with it because it was her first design, and to me, that's such a freakin' honor! I can't wait to see her other pieces as time goes on.

After the shoot, with the designer ;D

I love my darling Tia so much <3 I wish she could come with me to Japan T__T

To be honest, that's what most of our weekend consisted of because she was busy with her class but I was still happy I got to spend time with her before I went to Japan.

I also talked to her mom quite a bit, which I really enjoy her mom's company. She said when she was my age she was the opposite of me. She used to love Mexican food because of her friends and because she grew up in East L.A. so she was tired of Japanese food lol.

My little sister was going to pick me up in Irvine so Tia and her mom took me to eat Korean BBQ for our last meal together and gave me a parting gift before I left to Japan T^T

They told me to let them know when I arrived in Japan and they hugged me goodbye.

I'm so happy I met such amazing friends in the Orange County T^T <3
I will see them in a year, 2 more days till Japan.

Wearing this to Japan.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Picking Up My Visa & Pasadena With My Mom.

Thursday morning I went to LA again to pick up my visa. The traffic was insane, as LA traffic always is weekday mornings -__- luckily, it was pretty quick to pick up my passport, my mom just drove around while I went to get it that way we wouldn't have to pay for $12+ for parking.

I was really annoyed with myself because I brought my new camera getting ready to take pictures but my dumb ass took out the battery and forgot to put it back in -___- oh well~

After we picked up the visa me and my mom were going to meet up with Tia, these were going to be the last days I hung out with Tia before I left to Japan.

Tia was talking a fashion design class at the Pasadena Art College so we drove to Pasadena. Pasadena is really close to LA so we got there quickly and had some time to spare because Tia was eating lunch with her class.

I was invited but felt weirs about it and thought it would be better to spend some more time with my mom since I would be gone all day Friday.

I was really craving Mexican food which doesn't happen much to me because I have it all the time -__- lol but I think because I haven't been eating it every weekend for a year now I actually crave it :D

The closest Mexican food place was King Taco. They had good tacos, it's known as a pretty authentic Mexican restaurant since it was only found in LA and just started branching out a few years ago.

Anyways, I was really happy with my tacos :D <3 I need to eat my Mexican food before I go to Japan T^T

We still had lots of time to kill so my mom wanted to go shopping but I remember when I was in Pasadena with my older sister we saw a really pretty catholic church! It looked so old and pretty when we drove by it, I really wanted to see the inside.

My mom is Catholic and we were raised Catholic, so I told her about the church and asked her if we could go inside since it was just up the street. My mom was happy to hear this since I am not very religious (I don't believe in the foundation of churches or the bible).

We went inside, and of course the architecture was so beautiful! I honestly fell in love with it quickly. It was huge with gorgeous chandeliers and marble columns. It had certain areas designated for the Virgin Mary or for Jesus or certain saints. So pretty!

My mom is always pestering me and my sisters to get married in a Catholic church and I've always been "eh" with the idea because I am not religious but old churches are so beautiful. I really enjoy them, and looking at this church I might reconsider (if I even get married lol). I'm such a sucker for old architecture ><

And I absolutely fell in love with this room that was for the Virgin Mary and had candles lit for her. It looked so beautiful. My mom did a prayer for me since I am getting ready to leave to Japan and though she is happy for me she is still sad and worried (as any mother would be).

After going to church she felt a bit better though, especially since I was the one who suggested it and it's out of character for me.

I love my mom a lot. Even though we have many differences and she it completely against my lifestyle of tattoos she is slowly starting to realize there is only so much she can have a say on my life once I am out and supporting myself.

I think me going to Irvine helped her realize that, and me going to Japan is definitely also going to help her realize it even more.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Camera + Hike with my Mom.

I got my new camera a while ago but haven't had time to use it.

My mom invited me to go walking with her so I thought I'd go, it would be a good time to use my camera and have some time with her before I leave to Japan.

I'm a complete newb to DSLRs so it was on automatic which I know is a big no, no for using DSLRs but I haven't had time to read the manual or anything so I was just winging it.

Though I despise my hometown, I can't help but love the location of my house; the creek, hills, view of the city lights, I love them all. I guess it's not so bad after all, still would never want to live here though lol.

I wish I would have messed around with my camera before so I could have taken it with me when I went to the Rim of the World with Derek. I hope I can mess around with it a bit more before I go to Japan but I don't think it will be likely.

I'm going to be in Irvine from Wednesday to Saturday morning because Tia needs me for her fashion design class. I am hoping I won't be gone that long since it's my last week in the U.S. and I still need to do things (finish packing, looking at my schedule, stuff to do when I arrive in Japan) and I want to be with family a bit more and I have some other friends to meet up with.

In other news, I finally received my CoE (Certificate of Eligibility) in the mail today so me and my mom are driving to LA to go to the Japan Consulate to apply for my visa. I should get my visa in 3 business days.

So much work to do still, but Japan soon!
6 more days.