Japanese daydreaming

22 Jan 2020

Psychology student Saira Wahid is preparing for 4 months in Japan. She is going to study there, far away from Nijmegen and the comfortable Radboud life she has created for herself. For Vox, she blogs about the time leading up to studying in Japan, and eventually about her time there.

Hey guys, happy 2020 to you all! I hope you all entered the new year with enough energy to survive the current exam phase. I have been on the silent side for the past two weeks because of my thesis, but now that that is finally done I can concentrate on what’s ahead of me – Japan.

So, how do I feel about going to Japan soon? Although I am stuck in exams right now, I can feel that the pre-happiness is kicking in. The contact with my Japanese university has increased – I just received news on my student housing over there for example. I chose the option of university student housing instead of a private apartment because I was curious what the life of a typical Japanese student looks like.

And so, I will be staying in a shared apartment with a few other Japanese students now: private room, shared bathroom and kitchen. In other words, close contact is guaranteed! Although I still don’t speak Japanese, I am really looking forward to living with Japanese students up-close because in that way I can experience the country and culture in the most authentic way.

I have also started looking up videos about life in Japan, and I started to make a top 5 list with the things I am most looking forward to. Until now, the list looks like this: No. 5: Singing in one of the infamous karaoke bars like there’s no tomorrow. No. 4: Gearing up to cosiness-level 1000 in a cat cafe (or bunny cafe? Equally fine by me). No 3: Standing in the city center of Tokyo and getting lost in its anonymity. No 2: Eating sushi, sushi and more sushi. No 1: Experiencing a Japanese temple during the cherry blossom blooming.

This list is only comprised of things that I came up with without actually knowing much about what’s to experience in Japan. So probably once I actually dive into the topic of sight-seeing, the list will be prolonged by 50 more items. And even if I manage to explore many different places in Japan, grasping a feel for the country is what I am actually aiming for. My student apartment will already help me with that I hope! But for the time being, I am going to dream about these five things on my list at least.

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