The Slightly Longer Way Series - Table of Contents
|Day 0 – Friday, May 05 2023 to Sunday, May 07 2023||Flight from Edmonton to Tokyo||-|
|Day 1 – Monday, May 08 2023||Train from Tokyo to Kyoto||-|
|Day 2 – Tuesday, May 09 2023||RSJP Orientation Day||W1D1|
|Day 3 – Wednesday, May 10 2023||Placement test, Kinkakuji/Golden Pavilion||W1D2|
|Day 4 – Thursday, May 11 2023||Kyo-Yuzen Dyeing Workshop||W1D3|
|Day 5 – Friday, May 12 2023||Mori Touki-ken Pottery Workshop||W1D4|
|Day 6 – Saturday, May 13 2023||Ichihime Shrine, Nishiki Market||-|
|Day 7 – Sunday, May 14 2023||Nara, Todaiji Temple||-|
|Day 8 – Monday, May 15 2023||Urasenke||W2D1|
|Day 9 – Tuesday, May 16 2023||Nijojo Castle||W2D2|
|Day 10 – Wednesday, May 17 2023||Tojiin Temple||W2D3|
|Day 11 – Thursday, May 18 2023||Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street, Tsubomi||W2D4|
|Day 12 – Friday, May 19 2023||Kyoto Station||W2D5|
|Day 13 – Saturday, May 20 2023||Kamogawa River, Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 14 – Sunday, May 21 2023||Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 15 – Monday, May 22 2023||Kimono-Pro||W3D1|
|Day 16 – Tuesday, May 23 2023||Ritsumeikan Library, Hama Sushi||W3D2|
|Day 17 – Wednesday, May 24 2023||Domoto Insho House, Kamogawa, Ichijoji||W3D3|
|Day 18 – Thursday, May 25 2023||Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Hama Sushi (with Kel)||W3D4|
|Day 19 – Friday, May 26 2023||Super Karaoke||W3D5|
|Day 20 – Saturday, May 27 2023||Nothing special|
|Day 21 – Sunday, May 28 2023||Demachi Masugata Shopping Street, a long walk home|
|Day 22 – Monday, May 29 2023||Nothing special||W4D1|
Wednesday, May 17 2023 (Day 10)
This is a weird business sign near my apartment lodging. Have an elongated rhino to start off your morning, why don’t you.
One thing I do lack in the apartment is a large bowl, though that thought only comes into play when I think about making a large batch of soup or wet instant noodles. I do have a small bowl I use for soup and such but that’s actually meant for rice…
It seems like once every morning or so these days, I find that my phone’s camera shutter noise has come on and I need to disable and re-enable my Canadian virtual SIM card before it disables itself again. it’s very weird and annoying. My phone’s extremely conflicted on whether it’s supposed to have the shutter noise on or off, since I think the Sakura Mobile physical SIM in it is trying to force it on and the Virgin Mobile eSIM in it is trying to force it back off. Usually these days if I toggle the eSIm off and on again, the shutter stays off for the entire day, and then resets itself in the morning, but during the first week or so here it never even did reset itself in the morning and just stayed off entirely (after I discovered that it had turned itself on during the first day that I was in Tokyo, and then discovered the trick to turning it off via toggling the overseas eSIM.) Another Japanese specialty annoyance.
My morning breakfast and lunch were about the same as always, to the point that I forgot to take a picture of either one. Neither was anything to write home about, but both were cheap as always.
My Japanese class today was held by the Mr Katsuki, the sensei that I said I didn’t like two days ago during his first class. Well, he turned around today and delivered probably the most fun and interesting and non-stressful class out of all the classes that we have had yet, so there was that. Maybe because he brought in a can of coffee today, or maybe because the last time was just Monday being Monday. It helped that the third class block was just us going through the lyrics of a song — Suzume by RADWIMPS feat. Toaka, from the Suzume no Tojimari anime movie. The English lyrics in the video are very, very badly translated, but the gist is there I suppose, Mr Katsuki went ahead and basically translated everything line by line for us and dropped a lot of information about the meanings of the verbs and the old adages used in the lyrics and so on.
We also had a test in the second period (it was supposed to be the first period, but he kind of forgot about it until Aurora reminded him of it), so that also ate up a little bit of time today and broke up any monotony from the lesson. The test was fine, although I wish we were given details on what was going to be in it so I didn’t waste my time studying some stuff that I didn’t have to in the end. It had a section where we were given kanji in a sentence and had to provide its furigana, a section where we were supposed to conjugate some verbs in the context of a sentence that we were given for each one, a fill-in-the-blanks section based on a list of options we were given, and a very short short-answer section with two questions relating to either the topic of the chapter we covered for the quiz, or using vocabulary from said quiz.
Outside of all those though, the regular class portions were still fun, and we blazed through the rest of the chapter so we seem to be about a day ahead of the schedule now. Tomorrow we get the Thursday/Friday sensei, Ms Hara, back again. We were given a worksheet to fill in as homework so I will need to go do that after this blog post as well, but it’s exactly the same format as the first one we did last Friday, just on a new chapter.
We had no afternoon activity today, so everyone scattered to the four winds after lunch with the Ritsumeikan Buddies. We were told that there would be more people joining us soon for lunch from different RSJP-like study abroad programs, from three different Universities from the USA I believe. And that we would have to help chat with them or something as well I guess, as their senpais. Sorry, but this sounds kind of weird. Our Japanese levels are nowhere near that and we would just either resort to English or not be able to correct them or help them find their correct words anyway. They’d also be joining us for some, though not all, future afternoon events.
I guess this is why our schedule, which had an activity every afternoon from the day that we started until now, empties out from this point onwards, giving us lots of free time in the afternoons on something like 2-3 out of 5 days every week for the rest of the program. Starting with today, as they were doing orientation for one of the other groups.
Anyway, Zian and I took the chance to walk around Ritsumeikan University, visiting their bookshop, two convenience store type places, and then their stationery shop. They had some interesting papers in the last shop:
Those are Ritsumeikan-branded resume papers, some just single sheets that one could write on and then submit to an employer, and others that came with envelopes and that could be folded and put into there and then those could be given to said employers. Depending on what format they wanted resumes to be submitted in. Imagine submitting resumes in anything other than electronic formats in this day and age! Even back in the early 00’s in Canada though, we never used specific branded paper for that, and I don’t think these existed in Singapore either. I didn’t buy anything from here, yet, but I likely will return at some point to do so, I like weird paper like this and want them for my collection.
And they had lots of other things for sale too, like hoodies, badges, and metal buttons, for some uniform that we have never seen and that they didn’t even seem to have on display. I do have a uniform blouse from Dunman back home that badges and metal buttons can be inserted into though!
I discovered much to my delight that the student co-op convenience store in Ritsumeikan sells that Sangaria Maroyaka Banana Milk bottle that I really like, though it’s a little more pricey than usual at 138 yen a pop. I still bought a bottle though. Basically all the stores on campus are owned by a University co-op that students can buy shares into when they first enter the University, and then get a discount on for their four years or whatever here, and then re-sell the shares once they leave the University. Weird and interesting system.
After this, Zian and I visited Tojiin Temple, a temple just south and west of the University that we had been eyeing for a long time. The cemetery that I had seen on Day 1 and commented about on Day 3 is called the Tojiin Cemetery, the train station just south of the University is called the Tojiin Ritsumeikan University Station, and apparently the neighbourhood our school (and the temple itself) is on is called Tojiin Kitamachi (Tojiin North Neighbourhood), so the temple name is very much ingrained into the identity of the school in various ways.
It was a fairly small temple though, all things considered, but still quite interesting, with a large garden and koi pond out back, and a tea ceremony room that overlooked that pond and garden rather marvelously.
There was also a room with statues of all the former shoguns of the Ashikaga Shogunate save two of them, the 4th and the 14th or something like that. Pictures weren’t allowed in that entire wing of the temple though, nor of the main hall itself. But we did pick up a goshuin on the way out, it wasn’t hand-drawn but wasn’t a separate piece of paper to be stuck on either, they just did a stamp directly on the book itself and added an insert sheet of some art of the garden on nice paper..
On our way out of the neighbourhood, we also stumbled upon Rokusho-Jinja Shrine, which was a little Shinto shrine that used to be attached to Tojiin Temple but that was separated during shinbutsu bunri, or the separation of Buddhism and Shinto, during the early Meiji period. It was really small and there was no one around so we basically read the sign out front (placed by the City of Kyoto, it said) talking about the separation, and then went in for a quick stroll around before leaving. Zian knows a lot of Chinese and that’s really helpful in decoding all the information on the temple and shrine information signs even if neither of us fully (or even mostly) understand Japanese yet, so she’s really helpful to have around when exploring old temples and shrines!
After this, we looked around for a place to have dinner at, and noticed a Singaporean restaurant somewhat nearby, about a 15 minutes walk away or so, so we headed that way. Restaurant was probably a bit of a misnomer for that place, it was a counter where the singular owner and cook stood around at, with a small eating space with two tables and four chairs set in it, and that was it. It was a very hot day and we were planning on buying food and bringing it back to our homes anyway though, as Zian had an online meeting to attend at some point after 6:30 pm, so we just ordered mochikaeri, or takeout, from the store. We still had to take the bus back from there, so I ordered a non-soup dish, Hainanese Chicken Rice, as did she.
Other things they had on the sign included Bak Kut Teh, Laksa, Nasi Briyani, and various curries. The chicken rice portion was a little small for 950 yen, and left me a bit hungry afterwards still. The taste was also close but not quite there, though the soup in particular was quite good. It was very much acceptable though, minus the small helping. Somehow, I had noticed a bit of leakage from my bag onto the floor even on the bus, but about 90% or more of the soup still made it home in its original packaging, its just that that styrofoam cup or whatever it came in had sprung a tiny leak even though it was wrapped in plastic clingy film.
I then actually fell asleep for a couple hours before waking up confused and realizing that it was only 8:00 pm or so. I did, happily, manage to finish this blog post in just over a mere hour though, which is about what I need to be able to hit to make a daily post schedule sustainable over a long period of time.