October 16, 2009

Volleyball Club


After 6 Weeks in Japan I finally decided to join a Club: Volleyball! First of all, I have to admit, that I can't play Volleyball at all. So I need to practice hard to learn all the techniques.Although the training is hard for me, since I have not done sports in Germany for over half a year, training is very nice and fun.

I like the club members and the coach, they are all very friendly and also trying to help me out.
The only problem is that I was very tired last time, because I came home late after training and then I have to eat, do homework, take a bath etc. I usually don't end up in bed before 11 pm, and for me that is simply NOT enough sleep.


October 16, 2009

Basketball club


Now that I have been in Japan for around 6 weeks I have started to get the hang of it. In this short amount of time, I also joined Seiritsu's basketball club. They train 6 days a week so I hardly have any free time anymore!

But playing with the basketball club is very fun. I got to know many new students from different classes. Even though the training is somewhat hard, it is still very fun, and I even get to use my Japanese that I have learned in class!


October 16, 2009



The funniest event happened a few weeks ago. My host sisters were training for their sports day for school. Many times I could hear Dokkoisho! Dokkoisho! Soran! Soran! Coming from the living room. The dancing was actually quite interesting and catchy when they performed at the sports day. Anyone else had enough of s醇vran bushi for a lifetime?

My home stay mother had been practicing for Taiko (drumming). She performed at a stage on Sunday. When Taiko is performed by many people it really sounds powerful, like thunder!


October 16, 2009

It goes by the name of Karagedon


I remember this moment like it was yesterday; it was my first day at school and Ryosuke (a boy in the international group) and I had left class early so that he could show me my way to the cafeteria. When walking in I smelt something like nothing before, a light yet powerful odor was wafting into my nose and I was immediately drawn to it. Upon approaching the counter I told Ryosuke to get me what he was getting and I was given some fried chicken, some shaved lettuce and some rice. Ryosuke put some mayonnaise and sauce onto his so I followed suit and we sat down to eat and at first glance it looked like nothing out of the ordinary, a bit of chicken and rice, what’s the big deal I asked myself, but my question was answered after I took my first bite…my life was never the same again.

It’s known to the Japanese as ‘Karagedon’ and its English translation is just chicken and rice but I have never before tasted something so nice from a school cafeteria and I have been to my fair share of schools so far in life. Costing a mere 250yen for a small and 400yen for a large, the Karagedon is easily worth every penny that I pay for it on a daily basis.
Karagedon provides me with the carbs and protein that I require before training and even though it isn’t the healthiest thing I could be eating before training, it doesn’t matter to me at all because at training I run off the fat that the meal may carry. No matter how much I eat of it, I can’t get enough! Whether it’s the way they fry the chicken, or the sauce that I add to the meal, every aspect of the Karagedon is perfect.

The taste is stuck in my mouth, I enjoy going to school more because I know that everyday there is my bowl of Karagedon waiting for me at 10.30 after periods 1 and 2, and Monday is even better because if I’m early to lunch I can get Karagedon then as well. To me it’s more than just a meal; it’s a way of life. Ryosuke said after 3years of eating Karagedon I’d get sick of it, but I know that after taking that first bite into that tender chicken back in June of this year, Karagedon and I have a long, prosperous relationship ahead.

Possibly the best thing about Karagedon is that I don’t experience it just once; I get to experience it everyday. People from back in New Zealand ask me what life and school is like in Japan compared to New Zealand and one of the first things that springs to my mind is how Karagedon beats any food from my old tuckshop in Auckland for taste and price. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter, and eating my daily serving of Karagedon is definitely something that I will remember well after I have left Seiritsu.

-Liam Graham

October 16, 2009

Fuji TV


Visiting the Fuji TV station is an interesting place to look around while you are in Japan because you can see for yourself what happens at the studios. It only costs 500 yen.
When you are at the globe, there is a fake news studio where you can stand and take pictures. It really looks like you are the news announcer.

Also there was a booklet where if you find 4 stamps, you get a present! I was really looking forward to the presents... but it was presents for kids.... like crayons and glue with Fuji TV's mascot on it... Anyway, its a great place to visit. I had lots of fun!


October 16, 2009

Om nom nom


I have to admit that I've been really into something lately, and what is it? Cupnoodles! People often ask what is my favorite food and this answer gets everyone to offer to make food for me from now on. Unfortunately this hasn't happened yet, though. I'm still hoping for some sukiyaki.

There are different kind of flavors, but I always buy the plain one. It may sound boring but the cashier in mini stop said that is the best flavor. Well, to tell you the truth, it might have been just a compliment, because I practically live in that mini stop with Ai. I wonder how much it would cost to rent a room there...

Also, coffee goes well with cupnoodles. Believe it or not!


October 16, 2009

iphone envy


My two year cell phone contract with Softbank is nearly about to end and I will finally be able to get my new phone!! Two years has been a long wait, especially because everybody around me keeps changing to the newest phone out because cell phones are an extremely important part of fashion in Japan.

When I first came here I didn’t really care about which phone I got, but recently I think I am beginning to think like the “typical Japanese”. People change their phones at least once a year to the latest model I feel like I am being left behind.

Anyway in about another month and I will be able to catch up so I can’t wait.
iphone, here I come!!!

October 10, 2009

Rice Harvesting!

Current international students beside the school's training ground which includes a rice paddy.

A few weeks ago as part of the school's 'Earth Project' to teach students about agriculture & ecology, our international group joined in with the school's rice harvest. Each year the school's first year students will plant rice in the spring and harvested it in early autumn, producing about 110kg.

Since Japan only has a 40% domestic food production rate, with 60% of all food imported from abroad, and the average age for farmers in Japan being 70 years old, there is a growing trend to teach young people about the benefits and importance of agriculture.

Each student had a certain amount they had to harvest, and since the school plot is not that large, waiting & finished students got to play soccer on the school's training fields.

The overall group from one day.

Eric from Italy making a new friend.

Here's what the fields looked like when they were flooded back before summer.

October 9, 2009

School Culture Fair 2009!

Taiko drums on the main stage at Seiritsu's annual culture fair.

On Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, the school held its 36th Annual Culture Fair (bunkai-sai). The purpose of the fair was to open the school to family and friends, letting them enjoy games, try fun food and see the many school clubs in action.

Classrooms were changed into a variety of interesting themes, with some that became mazes with temporary walls, some had floor-to-wall displays of art or calligraphy and some classrooms had all sorts of games and activities for guests. Several homerooms set up food stands selling things like choco-banana and yakitori, while on the main stage there were demonstrations by the karate club, dance club, taiko drumming group and cheerleaders. In the gym several exciting sport's games were played and in the school auditorium there was a live play, plus a string of student rock bands.

A classroom reorganized to show off displays of the school trip to Paris a few months back in June.

The pounding of rice to make sticky, white rice cakes (mochi), actually from rice grown and harvested by the students from the school's rice fields by the Washimiya soccer/baseball training ground. 110kg were produced starting from this year as part of the school's 'Earth Project' Awareness in conjunction with the school's National Geographic educational initiative.

One of the many food stands run by students!

The 9 foreign students also participated in the bunkasai by assisting with their homeroom's activities, while also getting a special shirt or jumper just for the occasion.

The International Department & English Conversation Club joined up in one room to run a fun fortune telling booth manned by Nick Sensei dressed as a fortune teller. This allowed visitors to practice their English, plus receive a unique fortune to discuss as well. The room also included a short video of the English Club interviewing foreign tourists in Tokyo, a gallery display of self-introduction posters made by the international students and a series of short films made by students as well. By the end of the two days, we had a large number of visitors so for sure we'll repeat this type of set-up next year, perhaps next time with the department's students taking turns being fortune tellers!

October 9, 2009

The "culture shock" of arriving in Japan


The first thing I noticed since I arrived was the vending machines. They are all over the place at Narita airport. Later when I came to my host family’s house I saw vending machines all over the city. The drinks are really cheap compared to Finland.

I spent my first day in Japan at a camp somewhere near a town called Nasu. The bus ride was really long and bumpy. After arriving at the camp, we got into our groups and got into our tents. In the morning we ate a Japanese breakfast and then headed off to Tokyo.

In Tokyo I got to ride the subway and it was really interesting to see all the lights and activity. Meeting my host family was great. My host family is really friendly and understands me quite well, even though my Japanese is at a beginner level. My new school seems nice and its not a long way from my home. I ride a bus every day to school and walk a bit. It is interesting to see lots of Japanese people walking to their jobs, and I mean LOTS of people.


October 9, 2009

Hey everyone!


I have been in Japan since the 22nd of August, but unfortunately I have not experienced that much of Japan yet. I`ve spent most of the time with other exchange students or English-speaking people. But still some things stick out, for example, the food! I have experienced it and found it to be very delicious as well as low in fat, which is very good for any girl I know! I love the food. My favorites up to now are Curry and Taiyaki.

Also very impressive are the many rules in Japan. For example on which side of the escalator you have to ride, depending on whether you just want to stand on it or walk. Actually, I think this is a pretty useful rule. Another thing I experienced, that foreigners are something very special in Japan.  Everyone looks at me a little bit since I stand out. It is actually not bad, because the Japanese People are not rude with it, but still it feels kind of strange.

What I like the best so far about the Japanese style of living is the bath. It is quite relaxing to have a bath every evening. And at the same time it is very eco-friendly, because they do not use fresh water for every person. My host family, for example, even uses the same water after wards for doing the laundry.


October 9, 2009

My experience in Japan so far


I didn`t prepare much at all before I came to Japan. The first week here was quite interesting. Even though I haven`t had much time to explore yet, I am really enjoying my time at school.

The two things that struck me the most at the start were the vending machines and the toilet. There are vending machines EVERYWHERE, walk a 100 meters and you would see at least 2-3 vending machines. Also the toilets all are multifunction. They are not only for the big stuff and the small stuff, but have lots more features as well.

I`m really excited about school, and hope for a wonderful, unforgettable year in Japan.




about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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