Hello, hello, party people, how is everyone? It’s been too long since I have last blogged and quite a few things have happened since then. First and foremost: I have been in Japan for over a week now! One week and two days, to be exact. Crazy that I managed to survive an entire week! I still feel a little out of place here, and I still make tons of stupid mistakes, and I still don’t really know Kyoto at all … but I guess those things take longer – way longer than just a couple of weeks – to learn and get used to … right?
What else happened? Oh yes, I had my Japanese placement test! The written part was yesterday (Wednesday), and the interview part was actually today (Thursday). All in all, the placement test was somewhat harder than I expected. I actually started kind of panicking approximately five minutes into the test because I couldn’t even remember some of the really basic grammar or particles, ugh. I know that I made a lot of stupid and careless mistakes, and therefore am really not sure what level of Japanese class I’ll be put into … but oh well, I guess there’s nothing I can really do about it now, except hope for the best until the results are published on Tuesday next week.
I’m actually going to write more in detail about the Doshisha placement test in another post, because I didn’t find much information about it online but do think it could possibly be useful for future Doshisha exchange students. But in today’s post, I want to talk about, well, today.
That dude on the bike totally ruined my photo, ughhh, how dare you!!!!
Today, a couple of my friends and I decided to go to Gion, a district of Kyoto that is known for its traditional-looking, beautiful houses, and for Geisha! In the evening, it’s absolutely beautiful there as all the red, colourful lanterns in the main street and the little alleys are lit up.
Gion is pretty easy to get to: you pretty much just have to walk straight on Shijo-dori, the main shopping street, towards Kamogawa River. When you get to the bridge, you cross it, and keep on walking straight on the main street that follows after (not sure if that one is also still called Shijo-dori) which is lined with souvenir shops and restaurants. After walking for a few minutes, you will notice a big gate on the right side of the street, and if you go through there, you get to the main parts of Gion.
We walked from our dormitory in Imadegawa to the big junction between Shijo-dori and Karasuma-dori, where Shijo station is located. The walk itself took around forty or so minutes, but was pretty easy and straightforward as we just had to walk straight the entire time, and really interesting as we passed some cool stores and buildings. Once at Shijo, we waited for some other people before heading to Gion together.
In Gion, all we did was pretty much just wander around. The main street and little alleyways were beautifully lit up and bustling with people; the atmosphere was just amazing, I don’t know how to describe it. All the lights and all the people and all the noise was just giving everything a really … alive feeling, if you know what I mean.
We were pretty hungry after all the walking
(well, actually, I already started getting hungry when we were still at the dormitory, oops, heh), so we decided to just get some food at a nearby convenience store and then go sit by the Kamogawa river and eat there. Kamogawa river seems to be a pretty popular hangout spot and there were a lot of people – locals and tourists – there when we arrived with our dinners, just chilling or talking to their friends.
After finishing dinner, all of us felt pretty tired, so we decided to do just a little more side street exploring before heading back to Shijo station and back home. We walked into one of the side streets close to the bridge crossing Kamogawa river … and spotted a Geisha just as she got out of a cab! It was pretty exciting since none of us had ever seen a Geisha before! She seemed to be in a hurry though
(or maybe she was just scared of the creepy gaijin stalkers) and disappeared before we could even try taking a picture. It was really cool seeing one in real life though!
Anyway, after that, we just walked to the station and each of us went home to their dormitories. And yeah, that was day nine! Sorry for the lack of pictures – most of them turned out either too grainy or too blurry for me to post. And sorry for the shortness of this post, the next one will be a bit longer and more interesting, I hope. But thank you for reading, and see you next time ♥