Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

Hello, all!  Amazingly enough, I made it to Japan!

Yes, after a good 35 hours of travelling, I touched down in Osaka on Tuesday, and have spent the week in orientation.  It’s been pretty busy, but these last two days I’ve had time to look around a bit, go grocery shopping, and make it to a big デパート!

Seminar House 2 – or, Home!

Hirakata itself is a nice, cozy city in northern Osaka prefecture.  Near the school it’s a little hectic, but once you cross the river towards Sanko you get a feeling of small-town peace.  And the seminar house is super nice – best dorm I’ve ever lived in.  As long as you’re okay with sleeping on a bean-pillow.

Shady alleyway on the Hirakata streets

Today, we ventured outside the realm of neighborhoods and grocery stores and took the bus down to a department store.  Hirakata T-Site is an amazing, 8-story building that houses a huge bookstore, multiple designer clothing brands, 3 restaurants, and more things I wanted to buy than I’d ever seen in my life.  Everything was an excellent mix of cute and classy.  And everything seemed to remind me of my friends back home!  It was so hard not to buy souvenirs for everyone.

These socks were so soft!


I went with a group of people who live in seminar house 2 with me – Ai and Mark, who also herald from America, and Selina, from Austria.  Mark and I were very excited – I think we might have kept Ai and Selina out longer than they liked.  Still, it was a lot of fun!  And now I know how to get there by myself whenever I want.

The square near Hirakata Station/Hirakata T-Site!

There’s also a grocery store inside of Hirakata station. (At least, I think it’s inside it.)  It seems a lot more international than Top World or Sanko.  It carries a few items I couldn’t find in the others…MAINLY JUST A QUARTER POUND OF HONEYCOMB FOR 2000¥.  So yeah, I’m going back.

All in all, my first days of freedom have been successful!  Once I learn to ride the train, I’ll be an unstoppable force of travel.