torstai 29. marraskuuta 2012

go go juice

Moikkaa! Lot's has happened lately, so let's get down to business. Things done within the last month or so, excluding the most mundane tasks of studying etc and last weekend, which deserves its own post altogether.

This is really late, I know, but we went to Sendai! Sendai is the capital of the Tohoku region and a city about the size of Helsinki. It was so nice to actually see people running about for a change. Akita is nice and all, but even the city is awfully remote and quiet, especially for Japan. I thought I'd basically be running out of fresh air here with all the 127 million others, but Akita is the perfect spot for a claustrophobic. No complaints though, 365 days in a place like Tokyo and some sort of city version of cabin fever is guaranteed I am afraid.

Sendai's city life was a nice change but personally I enjoyed the school's trip to place called Oyasukyo Gorge even further. On our way there we made a stop at the Akita prefecture amusement park to enjoy all the local fun we can have here in Akita. To be honest, the park was quite silly but definately worth seeing while being slightly hungovered and dead tired made it funny on a whole another level.
Getting to the final destination, Oyasukyo Gorge was breath taking. It's a spot for natural hot springs and even with the distinctive smell of sulfer it would be impossible not to enjoy the view and the atmosphere there. Scroll down to the pics to see what I mean.

In addition to these beautiful trips we've made here, there's also been some partying going on. Halloween came and went with three separate parties, naturally with three opportunities to dress up! FINALLY, we had a proper night out in the city with my home girl Ayami. We hit the club in Akita and enjoyed the Halloween party to the fullest with some real nice people and good drinks. Since uni students never miss out a chance to party, of course this magnificent day was celebrated throuhgout the campus on several occasions as well. Pics are a bit creepy because my outfit, but we definately had some awesome times. Ah, what's wrong with Finland with not celebrating Halloween? Dressing up and free candy (I also took part in the activity of trick or treating for the first time ever as well while doing some voluntary work with local elementary students), what's not to like?

Another nice opportunity to party came with a "Hungry in Akita" event, which was basically student from the campus taking action to ensure an easy way to get to the city and back at reasonable hours (this is usually a struggle when going out with really poor bus services). Eventhough the partying was rather nonexistant we ended up having some good dinner and getting fairly drunk in an all-you-can-drink with whats-his-face ;)

All in all, Japan continues to treat me like a royalty. I will soon post about last weeks and especially the past four days which have been amazing! Travelling to the north island of Hokkaido was an adventure I am going to share with you lovely folks as soon as I get the pics on my laptop.  For now, hope you enjoy my and other people's faces in these ones here!

Sendai city.
Traditional Sendai delicacy; beef tongue.
Our religious leader Loan Loverboy.

From hangry to happy.
Scenery just outside Sendai is supposed to be one the finest in Japan.
Daredevil say whaat.

Pretty yey!
Omnoms at the most magical conveyer belt sushi ever!
Hot springs! Smells bad, looks nice.
Now we're only missing the bathing monkeys.
Teeny tiny waterfalls that made me want to stay there forever.

Partay time! Halloween number uno.

Why so serious? Me and Ayami, second party edition.
Yaasaa-san! Hazy days at the park with the guys.
From hazy days to dizzy evenings. Izakaya for two got us well there.

Love, Sonja

sunnuntai 11. marraskuuta 2012

things that make me happy


So an update with "things done" is coming soon. In the meanwhile, here's a few things that make me happy here in Akita! Yey!

1. Autumn foliage

It's proper autumn again! The whole world around our campus is yellow and red and brown. Ahh, gotta love the crisp morning air and smell of moist ground. Wow, that sounded weird and corny.

 On my way to the library.

2. COS

Community outreach service. Our uni organizes voluntary work possibilities several times a week so that the students of AIU can work with elementary school kids, farmers and all that. The nicest stuff and an amazing way to get to know the locals and the surrounding areas.

 Kids and me cooking some bad ass kiritampo. Oishii desuyo!

3. Thoughts of others

Me thinking of people and people thinking of me. Aww.

 Wall invasion.
 Andrea's gift to the sickling. Worked!

4. Arts and crafts

Due to the increasingly cold weather and dark nights, I find myself spending more and more time eatching classic films, knitting mittens for everyone and drinking tea. When I stop talking and start communiting with Totoro-noises instead, you know that hibernation is not too far from happening.

 Creative corner.

5. Christmas time

Finally, it's here! The cheesy carols, smell of cinnamon everywhere and maybe, just maybe I'll the first Japanese snowflakes soon enough. I guess the proper Finnish way would be to grunt at and disapprove anything christmass-y before two days of the actual holiday, but I'm am consumed by consumerism and proud of it! Love the theme decorations, peppermint candy canes and red nosed animals of any species (they're a bit confused by Rudolf over here in Japan)!

 Christmas omnoms! Glühwein from the foreign food store and a massive package of goods from back home. Made my day, big kisses to the folks at home!
 Ayami and me checking out Starbuck's gingerbread latte, fully approved!

Right at this moment I am retrieving to my bed with a cup of liquarice tea and the newest episode of Grey's anatomy. Thank to the all mighty all this drama only exists in the telly.

Oh, and as for as a bonus round for the list; this face!

 Won't you look at that.

Love, Sonja