Sunday, January 17, 2010

Visa Obtained

Hello everybody! I'm not in Japan yet, but I decided that I would post just a small bit to test out my journal and talk a little bit about some of the things I had to do before going to Japan! After waiting nervously, I got my visa and passport back in the mail. I'm pretty much ready to go! (And I'm relieved to have my information back). It's strange how long it takes to get everything confirmed, even though the process started at the beginning of last semester.

I believe that people from both my university and my family/friends will be viewing this journal to see what I am up to while I am away from home. If you'd like to leave any comments, please leave your name at the end of them, or I won't be able to tell who sent me the comment.

For those who don't know already, I will be attending Kansai Gaidai (Foreign Language University of Kansai) in Hirakata, Japan. (Hirakata city; Osaka Prefecture). I think that Kansai is the regional name for Osaka. I will be studying written and spoken Japanese, Shinto (One of Japan's main Religions), Sumi-e (Japanese Brush Painting), and I have a Japanese Culture class. It's exciting.

I chose to live in the dormitories because I am way too shy to stay with a host family! (Dorm building 2 to be exact). The dorms also looked really cool. Oddly enough, I will also be traveling and rooming with my Mount Union roommate and friend, Melody Brown! Lucky. Only 4 students from Mount Union College are traveling to Japan this semester.

I'm looking forward to riding on the Japanese trains. I used public transportation while I was in Australia and New Zealand. I'm hoping that will help me with using the trains in Japan. Since Melody and I are arriving to Japan on a Sunday, we will not be able to use the pick-up services. We'll have to get a train ticket and make our way to Kansai Gaidai ourselves. (Although, we might have help from an old friend who studied at Mount Union College and now teaches English in Japan)!

If you'd like to find out more about Kansai Gaidai, you may visit their website:

Thank you for reading my boring introductory entry. :) My next entries will be full of pictures, I promise!


  1. I hope you will enjoy in Japan.
    It is very easy to buy a ticket for Shinkansen so don't worry about it, maybe JR staff will help you.
    You can buy a student discount train ticket if you show your Mount ID in the ticket counter called Midori-no-madoguchi.
    In Japan, if we do something earlier, we have some advantages. For example, if I book my flight ticket from Hiroshima to Tokyo at least 1 month before I leave, I can get it at the half price for sure.
    Japan is awesome as well as the US.
    I know Osaka is so cool because I have often visited my cousin and my sister there. My cousin is living in Hirakata city and my sister is living in Suita city, Osaka.
    You can ask me any questions if you have them.
    Have a safe trip!
    Keisuke Okamoto

  2. Thank you for your advice, Keisuke! I am glad to have someone to look to for advice! ;)

  3. :) I look forward to many stories.

    Thank you.

  4. Mom's nervous and excited at the same time. I do think you will have the time of your life. Lots of LOVE to you and HUGS~

  5. Whoohoo... she made it. Thanks for posting on FB! Will be looking forward to seeing photo's and stories here. LOVE YA!