We’re not in Cairnsas anymore…

It’s 9pm in Kyoto, Tuesday 31st March and I have arrived at my college residence, greeted by the other exchange students from Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland and of course, Australia.

Rewind 42 hours…

I left home on Monday the 30th March at 5am heading for Sydney domestic airport for my flight to Cairns and eventually on to Osaka, Japan. After struggling to keep my luggage at the correct weight I had cleared the check-in desk and was on my way straight to the aeroplane. At 6am I took off from Sydney. I arrived in Cairns at 8am for what was going to be a few hours stop over. After many delayed messages over the loud speaker repeatedly throughout the day, the flight to Osaka that day was cancelled. As a result everyone from that flight was put up for the night in a hotel in Cairns which turned out to be quite nice. After over 24 hours in Cairns I was finally taking off and on my way to Japan finally.

It has been an amazing first few days. Every single thing that I have experienced so far has been great. It is currently spring in Kyoto so the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. The cherry blossoms have only just begun to bloom and so it is a very pretty city. On top of all of this I am very much enjoying being able to speak in Japanese everyday with very few English words spoken. It is such a surreal experience to walk around a city and be able to understand and communicate with everyone in their native language. It has been great going to the shops and asking in Japanese for things I need in order to set up my room.

The food is another plus in Japan. I haven’t had too much of a chance to cook myself yet as I am not settled or organised enough yet but I have found a great shopping centre nearby called ‘Kyoto Family’ with a food court which sells cheap and traditional Japanese food. My Japanese assistant student at my university took me there on my first day and on the second day I was able to act like a local and take some of the other exchange students there.

Delayed in Cairns for 24 hours

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Flying over Japan towards Osaka

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First day at KUFS. Welcome ceremony with all new students from Japan and abroad

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Frollicking amongst the cherry blossoms with the other exchange students

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First proper Japanese meal, only $4!!

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Joshua Parker

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