Archive for the ‘Pre-Travel Thoughts’ Category



Today I feel a bit like this. Except without the crazy makeup and fake tan. Or the neon attire.

(If you are wondering why this young lady is dressed in such an atypically Japanese way then google ‘ganguro’ – its a kind of alternative trend that is seen in certain parts of Tokyo.)

Nearly there… this time tomorow Ill be on a plane, and this time monday I’ll be in Nihon. Yipppeee! 🙂

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Packing. Ugh. Effort.

I did a half hearted attempt at packing the other day to see how much it everything would weigh and it came to 18kg. Now I’m packing for real, and I thought I only added a couple more things but its jumped up to 23kgs. And so it begins. I imagine my room in Japan will be very bare to start with as I am packing to Oscar’s specs:

Pack the bare essentials (clothes and biscuits and Ribena) and buy everything else out there.

I have a sneaking suspicion I am forgetting something extremely important but I shall have to cross that bridge if/when it arises!

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According to my INFORMATION FOR NEW STUDENTS fun-pack:


During winter the temperature goes down to about -4°C (25°F).

In the very hot and humid summer, (June-Sept)  temperatures peak at around 35° (95°F) and humidity will sometimes exceed 80%. 

About 10% of earthquakes that occur throughout the world take place in Japan.

A ballpoint pen costs about 100 yen (50p) and one litre of milk costs about 180 yen (90p)


So the next question is: how to pack enough clothes for all the dramatically different seasons, as well as all my other junk, into just 20kg…

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I’ve finally booked my flights now, so I’ll be leaving on the 31st August and I’ll be in Nagoya for the 1st September. I’m excited and wondering what its all going to be like: who I’m going to meet, what the classes will be like and what Nagoya is like too.

I’m not really so nervous but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how much I’m going to miss London, friends and family, and even the over-keen socialists of SOAS! Having been to Japan before I have some idea of what to expect; I am preparing myself for a drought of bacon, and cheese, and Sunday roasts. Bad times. But on the plus side, Japan offers a lot of things which I wish we had here, most notably vending machines 【自動販売機】every 50 metres which serve tea and coffee in cans (hot in the winter and cold in the summer – amazing) and obviously all my favourite Japanese foods such as Tempura, Yaki Soba, Okonomiyaki, and Takoyaki – good times. I’m even excited at the thought of eating my first humble Onigiri again (rice-ball with fillings/flavourings and wrapped in dried seaweed) at newsstands and convenience stores.

I’m going to have to find a way of getting regular red meat in my life since Japan observes a predominantly fish/rice/vegetable based diet. The business minded amongst you should start buying shares in Kobe beef NOW. No Meat = No Meal.

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Well, I’ve finally found a flight and will be booking it tommorow; finally everything seems to be falling into place! I’m still waiting for my Certificate of Eligibility so I can get my visa sorted, but that should come in the next week or two.

Im also starting to realise I need to brush up on my Japanese before I go… hmmm. Been trying to teach my parents a few words for when they come out to visit, and luckily mum has memorised “where is the toilet” which I’m sure will be useful. Must test them again soon, they’re slacking off.

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