I made it home safely and am enjoying the sunshine and summer weather! With all the preparations before I left Tsuruga, I didn't really get a chance to update my blog so I have a bit of catching up to do... I apologise now for the long post... 英語ばっかり－ごめんね！
Firstly, the weekend before I left, my host dad took me to a onsen (hot spring) hotel in Ishikawa, the prefecture above Fukui. I had never been to a Japanese public bath or hot spring before so it was an amazing experience. I ended up going into the bath 4 times in the one night and morning we were there. Meanwhile, outside, it was snowing which just made the steaming hot baths that much more appealing. At the hotel, there was also karaoke, a game centre, a manga library and a buffet restaurant. The next day, we got up early and drove back to Tsuruga where I was dropped off at school (Lol). Anyway, here's some pics...
Later that week came my last day at Tsuruga High School ’;n;` Along with it came a snow storm *-*
As a normal school day, everyone had club so I had to make my goodbyes quick before trying to clean up six months worth of stuff in my locker and desk... thankfully some people stayed behind to keep me company but it was hard to say goodbye to them when it came time to finally leave!
|(Sorry, this isn't everyone...)|
But, due to the huge amount of snow that fell in the storm...
... all the trains were stopped the next day. Me and my host dad were waiting at the station in the morning until they announced that nothing was running, so I asked if I could go back to school to have lunch with my friends one last time (my host mum had made me a bento for on the train and it was about ten minutes until lunch at school).
When I turned up at school I went and surprised my teacher in the staff room but, as it turned out, she had a surprise for me -- a personalised chocolate with a picture of our class on the wrapper. She had ordered them the week before but they hadn't quite made it in time before I left. It was an awesome, awesome surprise.
The best part came, however, when I went back to my class. I waited outside while my teacher went in and told everyone there was a little surprise. That's when I walked in :P Everyone was so surprised, thinking that I was already on the way home -- you should have seen their faces! The whole class gasped and one of my friends came right up and hugged me. I got to eat one last bento with my friends, just like normal (except for the fact I wasn't in uniform) and then, after lunch, the teacher came in and announced that afternoon classes and club activities were cancelled due to the snow. I got to hang around with my friends at school for a bit to say some proper goodbyes (and take a million more photos lol). Even though I was still sad to go, seeing everyone one last time let me leave Tsuruga feeling happier than I had the day before.
But actually, leaving wasn't going to be that easy...
... When we went back to the station, the snow kept up and the trains still weren't moving. So, we went back home and I got to spend one last night with my host family. We went and got okonomiyaki because it's one of my favourite Japanese foods and I spent my last night with my brother and sister playing with the snow and icicles outside my window
The snow didn't really stop, but it slowed down a little. The roads were open again but the trains still weren't running. My host dad ended up driving me and the other exchange student in Fukui to another town about an hour away to catch the bullet train. If we didn't leave Tsuruga that day, I would have missed my flight so (as much as I wanted to) I couldn't go back and have another lunch with my friends... ^0^
|The snow outside the station...|
Then came the bullet train ride to Tokyo. The further away we got from Tsuruga, the less snowy it got. I was also quite excited to see Mt Fuji on the way as well...
And my host mum made me another last bento... :D
In Tokyo, it was sunny and comparatively warm. Me and a Columbian guy stayed with a host family who had previously hosted a few other AFS students. They took us to a few places around Tokyo but, because I was supposed to arrive the day before, we didn't really have that much time. However, we still managed to get some good sight seeing done.
First was the Tokyo Sky Tree, the newest installment of the Tokyo skyline. It is taller than the Tokyo Tower and still isn't properly open yet.
We also went through Ginza, the most famous shopping street in Japan.
And then there was Akihabara, or Electric Town...
|The AKB Cafe... *Sigh*|
|The lines of people waiting to get into the AKB cafe...|
|Some of the crazy things to be found in Akihabara -- a flexible keyboard! (I'm sure you can probably get these everywhere, but I had never seen one before...)|
|A 3D capable visor for watching movies.|
Just before going to the airport, we went and got some eel because our Colombian friend hadn't tried it before (my host dad really liked eel, so we had eaten it quite a bit). It was really good, anyway..
And, finally, it was time to leave Japan and come home... I was a little bit sad but I had already said my goodbyes in Tsuruga and was looking forward to seeing everyone back home. The plane ride went surprisingly fast and, before I knew it, I was seeing New Zealand again!
Now, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped make my time in Japan the wonderful, unforgettable and amazing experience that it was. Thank you to AFS for making this exchange programme possible. To 敦賀高校, my friends, teachers, 2-3, Tonko Kyudo Club and everyone else who I met along the way ~ ありがとうございます！！（僕のことわすれないで！）