Japan: The Core

Indiana Christoffersen


I have been in Japan for 3 and a half months now and I can honestly say I am well and truly settled in. I know my route from home to university like the back of my hand I don’t even need Google maps or broken Japanese to ask for directions anymore! I know my favourite tabemono (food): okonomiyaki, tempura fish udon noodles and strawberry mocha balls. As well as my favourite nomimono (drinks): peach flavoured water and Calpis soda – a vanilla flavoured, yakult-like soda.

Navigating the trains have become a breeze – though not literally they are overcrowded and feel like a sauna – the infamous morning rush hour scenes where you see commuters pushed into trains is a) true and b) my everyday regular morning experience.

It’s now coming time to wrap things up in Japan, final exams are upon us and anticipation to return to Australia is both exciting and mildly frightening. Exciting because I miss my beautiful, supportive family; the stunning beaches and endless supplies of fruit and vegetables (a luxury here in Japan!). However, it’s mildly terrifying that my semester abroad in Japan is almost at a conclusion. Where have the past four months gone? How am I so comfortable and ‘in-routine’ in this foreign country id never before visited? How will I cope with reverse culture shock? And will I be able to stay put in Sydney now that I’ve seen a whole new world and way of living? …

I have summarised the 3 things I will miss the most about my experience here in Japan:
1. The large variety of cheap, delicious food and drinks
2. Meeting so many foreign students
3. The kind, helpful Japanese people

… and the 3 things I will not miss

1. The overcrowded trains every morning
2. Lack of taxis and Uber (lazy life)
3. The days of 90% humidity

That’s about it! Time for me to return to exam study and packing up my dorm room.