Sunday, September 30, 2012

Biking Adventures around Akita

Here are pictures from my biking adventures around Akita. Overall despite getting lost, I am happy that I bought a bicycle. With my bicycle I am able to explore the beauty of Akita and get a lot of exercise before it starts snowing. So far I got pictures of rice fields, a shrine, a wild deer, and a water fountain nearby the university. In addition, on Thursday, I had the opportunity to ride my bicycle late at night. Compared to Hawaii, Akita does not have many lamp posts in the rural areas so it gets really dark outside. Thankfully my bicycle comes with a flashlight, and the drivers are very friendly here so I do not have to worry about getting hit.

A house I saw while biking around Akita

Akita's famous rice fields are almost ready to harvest

One of many shrines near the university

The perfect drinking spot for  a thirsty biker

A power plant nearby AIU

Some place I want to visit in the future

This park at Akita City reminds me of Hawaii

A wild dear in Akita city

As of right now my Japanese is slowly getting better, but I am not happy with it. I still struggle with saying simple phrases in Japanese, reading kanji, and listening comprehension on tests. Although I am in Japan, I still need to study kanji, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension. The only thing I do not need to practice as much in Japan is speaking because I can talk to Japanese students in Japanese.

In order to solve my dilemma, I joined the Japanese Conversation with Friends club. This club meets every Tuesday at night, and I get to speak with Japanese students in Japanese for one hour. Although I do not know a lot of Japanese, the students are very patient with me and try to teach me useful Japanese words and phrases. In addition, I get partnered up with a Japanese student so I can practice speaking Japanese and get someone to hangout with. My conversation partner is from Okayama and she is currently thinking about where she wants to study abroad at. I am not sure if she wants to study abroad in Hawaii, but I am sure she will pick a good school.

Exploring Japan has been fun, however compared to Hawaii, finding places to go to is a lot more challenging.  A lot of Japanese restaurants do not have websites or their menu is only in Japanese. In addition, in order to find certain stores, I need to ask someone to tell me the store's address or show me the location of the store. After living in Japan for about a month, I miss being able to rely on technology to solve my problems.

Currently my roommate cooks for me most of the time, but occasionally I cook for him sometimes. He seems to like cooking a lot and does not mind cooking for me as long as I help pay for the ingredients or do the dishes. So far because he is from Taiwan, he likes to cook a lot of Taiwanese food. I want to cook some Hawaiian food, but I am unable to find the right ingredients. Therefore I am asking my parents to send me some food from Hawaii so I can start cooking things like poke, loco moco, and spam musubi.

I am not sure what he made, but it was good

Next Sunday will be the Akita International University Festival so I hope I can put pictures from the Hawaii booth. A lot of us will be busy this week trying to prepare for it. We are hoping to having things like hula, kikaida, and pidgin. Anyways I am looking forward to the festival.