Visit From a Friend!





It’s still winter break here, and my friend from America, Sabrina, came to visit me for a week!

Together in Japan!

We did all kinds of things – hung around in Osaka, went to Tokyo, stayed a night in Nara…it was so much fun!  I had been missing my friends back home, and it was great to be able to share Japan with one of them!

On the first full day she was here, we went to Universal Studios Japan – it’s right here in Osaka, but I’d never been before!  Since it was a weekday in the middle of winter, it wasn’t all too crowded.  She was really excited to see their Hogwarts part of the park, and compare it to the one in Orlando!

In front of Hogwarts!

Her overall thoughts were: small, but still good.

We didn’t spend much time in Osaka, and the next day we headed out on the Shinkansen for Tokyo.  On the day we got there, it was already late when we arrived, so we settled into our hotel and and went to get something to eat.  It was the next morning that things really started rolling!

Today’s main event was something I was calling “The Surprise”…something I had been planning for months, and it sure paid off.  Sabrina is a huge bird lover, so I figured what better place to take her than to a bird cafe?

Well, it wasn’t really a cafe, just a room full of birds screeching and flying around, but you could hold them and feed them!  She was very happy, I think.  And I had a lot of fun too!

Birds on me??

We got to stick around in there and play with the birds for about an hour.  After that we headed out, got some lunch, and started going back to the area of Tokyo we were staying in.  On the way, we decided to stop by the Shibuya 109 building – a huuuge shopping mall, with 109 stores!  I can’t lie, we bought a lot of stuff…but it was worth it.  We even managed to snag a classic picture of the sign on our way out.

The 109 building at night!

By then we were exhausted, so we went back to the hotel and got right into bed.

The next day was reserved for Akihabara – we walked the streets of Tokyo’s anime district for a full day, playing games, singing karaoke, winning things from claw machines, making impulse-purchases – you name it!  It was exhausting and fun.  Tokyo as a whole is not my cup of tea, but I really would not mind living closer to Akihabara.

The streets of Akihabara…

It was a full day of fun, and after getting something to eat before getting on the train, we crashed in the hotel.

The next day was a little up in the air – there were lots of things we could have gotten up to, but we weren’t sure what to prioritize.  We ended up heading out to Harajuku for the day – walking up and down Takeshita street was the main attraction!  We went into almost every store, and stopped to get some of those famous crepes.

Sooo good!

Harajuku is also a full day, so we lugged out purchases to the hotel to try and cram them in the suitcase before heading home the next day.  We got up nice and early and, after some confusion with the tickets, got back on the Shinkansen to Kyoto.  We stopped by my dorm to drop some stuff off, and I found out they were going to make me change dorms before the new semester started…which meant I had to collect my belongings and clean my room by the end of the next day.  I was stressed, because we were supposed to spend the night in Nara before Sabrina left for home the next day.  I managed to take her to Nara and help her with which trains would take her to the airport, but I unfortunately had to go back to Hirakata for the night.  Still, it was my first time in Nara!  There wasn’t a lot of time, but we managed to see a few things before the sun went down.

Torii in front of a Nara shrine

She went home, so now I feel all alone again, but the new semester will start up soon.  People will be coming back, new people will be arriving, and I’ll have something to keep me busy again!  I’m excited for everything the new semester will bring!