December 19, 2012

School field trip: Chase's web post

On the 13th of December, on a clear but chilly day, the three Seiritsu international students had an excursion with the two international teachers.


This excursion went through the middle area of Tokyo, and past the important landmark that is the Nihonbashi Bridge.


Nihonbashi, literally Japan Bridge, was constructed during the Edo period, and was an important part of the travel routes in and out of inner Tokyo. The first bridge was constructed in 1603, and it was made of wood, which was later replaced by the current stone version in1911. However, the bridge and canal have been overshadowed by a highway since 1964, which was constructed to go over both in order to provide traffic access to Tokyo for the Olympics of that year. There are now plans to relocate the highway underground so that the bridge isn't covered, but this would be incredibly expensive.


The modern bridge is an interesting look into the past, and the various cultures that influenced its construction, with western style dragons and street lamps adorning it, while still being the same size and shape of the original. Overall, a pretty important bridge, and a nice piece of architecture to go and see.

December 19, 2012

Jesse's final web post

Jesse here;

As it is my final few weeks in Japan, and I am also leaving Seiritsu school, I would like to write my final post.


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These nine months has been the most amazing time, with awesome teachers and awesome students all throughout the school making the experience that much better. Although there were tough times, and there were occasional misunderstandings, it's the bad that makes the good look so much better, and the experience wouldn't feel complete without doing something stupid on my part.


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From the sports day at the start of the year to the final event with my class, potato picking, I had a fantastic time, making friends within my class as well as in the clubs I was in. I would like to thank all of my teachers, who taught me Japanese and everything else I could have hoped to learn about and more, and also my fellow students, making the experience that more fun at lunch time, on the way home, or in classes.


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I wouldn't trade this experience for the world, and I am extremely glad I came to Seiritsu.

Are you interested in experiencing life in Japan? Take a look at our range of study courses and see what a great time you could have at Seiritsu!

December 18, 2012

School field trip: Annariina's web post

Annariina here;


On Thursday December 13 we went to Sophia library and walked around Nihonbashi. The last place where we went on our trip was the old Imperial grounds. The place itself includes parks and old buildings and also remaining of the old castle. We walked around and went to see the place where the story of the 47 ronin happened.


There was other stuff, like how the entrance was built to trap unwanted visitors, which we had studied during our Japanese history lessons, which were interesting to see. The place was really beautiful, because of all the fall colours on the leaves of trees. It was also a peaceful place although we were in the middle of Tokyo.

December 17, 2012

School field trip: Jesse's web post

Jesse here;


On Thursday December 13th our international class went on a field trip to Sophia University and Nihonbashi.

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The three International Students outside Sophia University University Library.


The University was very impressive compared to the universities I am used to seeing. While at the university we went into the eight story tall library and looked at various books in order to research topics that we were currently working on. The amount of books in the library was amazing; it felt as one could get lost just trying to find the book you were looking for. After we had read some books and seen the library we went to the school’s cafeteria for lunch. I got a large bowl of ramen which was very good and fairly cheap.


The overall feeling of being at a large university and its atmosphere of young adults learning about where they fit in the world has a very inspirational feeling and this trip into the university has made me look forward to when I will be applying for a university myself when I return home.

December 15, 2012

Jesse goes to the National Karate Championships

Jesse here,


On the weekend of the 8th and 9th of December, the All-Japan Karate Championships were held. This is an annual event, with the final being televised on national TV.


Because the two Seiritsu international teachers are karate coaches, they of course had tickets and, thankfully, had a spare one for me. I arrived at around 11 in the morning and the womens kumite (sparring) was drawing to a close.


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As I sat there watching the best karate practitioners in Japan give it their all, I didn’t have a clue what was going on. However, lost as I was, it was all very impressive, the sheer speed of the kumite and the refined and deadly grace of the kata (presentations of fighting patterns) wowing my untrained mind. Once Peter arrived, he told me roughly what was going on. I still didn’t understand it that well.


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Oh well, one day I’ll have a clue as to what is going on in a karate tournament.

December 13, 2012

Annariina's December web post

Annariina here,


It is December already, but I have been struck down with cold for the past few weeks! However, previous to this on 25th of November when I went to Sanrio PuroLand with my friend Yuri.


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We met at Harajuku around 1pm where we took the metro to Tama Center where PuroLand is situated. Since Yuri had sales tickets to use after 3pm, we first went to eat some crepes and take purikura. After 3 we headed to the actual PuroLand and it was so cute! It was like a whole little world of just cute, pink, Hello Kitty stuff. We just walked around the place and were talking about how everything was so cute and. We took pictures with Hello Kitty’s boyfriend, Daniel, and went to Hello Kitty’s house where we took pictures with Hello Kitty. Since the place itself was kinda small and well more like a family place for younger children, we walked around a bit more and saw one show about making cakes and stuff, before we left.


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After we left we took more purikura, talked about when we should meet again and how us girls (Yuri, Kie - another friend of mine - and I) should all have a karaoke party during Christmas holidays. I’m really looking forward to that!

December 10, 2012

Jesse Takes the JLPT!

Jesse here;


On a fine yet chilly Sunday afternoon, the second of December, I, along with thousands of other students across the world, undertook the challenge that is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), level N3.


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Funabashi Daigaku, where Jesse took his test.


The JLPT is a standardized test aimed to measure someone’s level of Japanese skill. There are currently five levels of the test, starting with the easiest at level N5, containing basic grammar and about 100 kanji, all the way up to level N1, with complex and rarely used grammar and vocabulary, and around 2000 kanji. As I was taking level N3, the middle level, I only needed to know some moderately complex grammar and vocabulary and about 600 kanji. Still, this is a lot to study for, and in preparation for this, I wrote several thousands of copies of kanji and words, as well as going to night classes for two nights a week.


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At Seiritsu, we use the Ask Publishing 'Nihongo So Matome' series, as well as numerous other books, to help students prepare specifically for the test. They are also very useful when learning Japanese for everyday use.


As I took my seat among the ranks of students, the examiner began to explain the test, and what you could and could not do. The test consists of three sections: Vocabulary and kanji, grammar and reading comprehension, and listening. After the introduction, we started on the kanji and vocabulary section. This was probably my weakest area, but I didn’t feel as if I went too horribly, and after the break in between sections, I was ready to tackle the grammar and reading comprehension. Again, it was difficult, and I don’t think I was the only one struggling, but in the next section, listening, I made up for it. As the test is aimed at not only people who have lived or do live in Japan, but also at people who live overseas, the listening is very clear and sharp, usually much more so than regular Japanese conversation, making it easier. After this grueling 4 hour long ordeal, everyone let out a sigh of relief, collected their things, and headed home for a well deserved rest. It was tough, but it was certainly worth it.

December 10, 2012

Chase's December web post

Chase Here,


This has been my second month of being in Japan and life is getting a little easier.


Because my Japanese is getting better it is easier to get around with the trains and buses. Lately I have been doing more exploring around my host family's area and have been trying to find points of interest.


On the weekends I often borrow my host family’s bike and just head out in a direction and find things. I have been trying to keep track of how many little shrines and temples I come across; at this point I have found 5 shrines and 2 temples.


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Oji Shrine, nearby Seiritsu Junior and Senior High School.
Source: http://japanbits.blogspot.jp


I find it fun to just bike through the endless winding urban sprawls that lead me to interestingly styled houses with gardens filled with mandarin orange trees, to multileveled shopping malls with all sorts of interesting merchandise inside. I plan to keep exploring the area around my house but also start traveling around Tokyo more, there is so much to see!

December 7, 2012

Seiritsu English Conversation Club's Christmas Party!

Chase here;


On Monday December 3rd we had a Christmas party with the members of the English club. We had lots of fun! I changed costumes several times with all the Christmas hats and fake Santa beards we had.


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We played several games like a m&m eating races with chopsticks, and pictionary [Peter - Pictionary is a game where you draw clues to a word on the board, while not being allowed to say anything. the other members of your team must guess what the word is before a minute runs out!].


One of the games I enjoyed the most was "pinning the nose on Rudolph". A picture of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (without the nose) is drawn on the magnetic white board. One person puts on a blindfold and is given a red magnet [The nose - Peter], then is spun around three times and must find the picture of Rudolph and put the nose on it. It was really fun telling people where to go while they couldn’t see.


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At the end of the party we had a gift exchange where we all had gifts which we had bought before hand and had wrapped up, then while playing music we passed the gifts around until the music stopped. Whatever present you had after the music stopped was then your new present!


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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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