The Imperial Palace

To be honest. I don’t really know what I should write about at the moment. I started working and living my daily life in Kyoto. Many things which were at the beginning totally new for me and different than at home became just normal. I don’t have another opportunity than to get used to the lifestyle. I appreciate many things here. Japan has lot of things to offer, that we don’t have in Europe. Some other things are a bit harder to accept and to get used to it.

I am not sure if it is interesting for you, to hear how a normal, boring day in Japan is like. But before coming here, I didn’t know how it would be like. There are so many little things, that I haven’t even thought about it.

One thing, which was super annoying and confusing is, how the garbage is separated in Japan. Everyone has between 3 and 5 different trash cans with garbage bags in different colours. One is for pet bottles, cans and glass bottles, the next is for plastic containers, packages and bags, the other one is for combustible garbage and plastic which is not a package or a container and so on. They are very strict about it. And more confusing than that, is that every different kind of garbage has a separate pick up day. It is probably super uninteresting and unhelpful for someone who is just here to travel or doesn’t even want to come to Japan, but it is a part of it, when you are living here.

Another thing, which you probably already know, is that no one speaks English. Okay, very few people do. But anyway. Not even in the supermarkets are the product described in English. When we are buying something in Germany or Switzerland there is usually always a description at the back in French, English, German, etc. In Japan only Japanese, which makes it for foreigners definitely not easier.  I am usually just guessing what the product might be. Just some foreign products, like Spaghetti, are written in English and Japanese. But the price is ridiculously high in comparison to Europe, America, Australia or anywhere else in the world. Nevertheless, I am already used to it.

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Every week I am getting lots of advertising and post. I don’t have another opportunity than ignoring whatever they send me. The pictures there doesn’t really help to understand what is written there. I am just hoping that it is not something important I need to know.

One morning a super loud alarm woke me up. I thought I overslept! I was so shocked and went immediately to my phone. There was a big emergency message about an earthquake or something. Just bad, that the message was in Japanese. What a surprise. It could happen the biggest disaster here and I wouldn’t even know what’s going on. Later at work everyone spoke about it. Everyone got the alarm. It is usual when something like an earthquake is happening, that everyone in Japan get an emergency message. But it wasn’t anything we needed to worry about. The 11thof March 2019 marked the 8thanniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in north-eastern Japan. It is like a Memorial Day of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. I guess that was the reason, why everyone got this message.

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So, but what am I doing when I have a day or two off? Especially when I am just free for one day, I am usually not doing anything. I don’t have the motivation to make a huge excursion or something, when the last days of work were so exhausting. Therefore, I am most of the time in my room, but I always go out to have a little walk along the Kamogawa river, through Kyoto downtown or just to the next supermarket to buy food. Depending on the weather, of course. For dinner I am usually cooking something for myself.

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When I am two days off, which is not often the case, I am more willing to do something and see new sides of Kyoto. The last week I went around 2pm for a walk outside. I wanted to check out a park, which is very close to where I am living. I was actually really surprised how big the park is. I walked around and passed by a shrine, a little lake, a beautiful ume tree and last but not least the Imperial Palace.

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I didn’t plan to go inside. I just wanted to have a quick look how the park is like. You could spend there definitely more time than I did. But when I saw, that the entrance to the imperial palace is free, I took the chance to go inside. I mean, when I am already here. Why not? And the weather wasn’t that bad either. Just windy!

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Many busses just arrived. Many people entered as the same time as I did. Probably not the best timing, but it was alright. The Imperial Palace isn’t just one building, it’s a big area full of traditional temples, buildings and beautiful gardens. I really liked it, even though I don’t really know anything about the history of this place. It was definitely worth to visit.

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Afterwards I headed to Nijo Castle. On the way I passed by many different shrines. You can find them here everywhere! It took me about 45 minutes to get to the Nijo Castle.

I didn’t even want to go inside, because it was already kind of late. Furthermore, I wanted to keep this attraction for the cherry blossom season. Nijo Castle supposed to be a good spot to enjoy the flowers.

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The actual reason, why I came here was because of a supermarket. I know! Lame. But I still haven’t found a big one. After I walked around the Nijo Castle wall, I finally got to the “Life” supermarket. You have no idea how happy I was when I entered the shop. It was definitely a bigger diversity of products than in the supermarkets before. Of course, there aren’t many European products, except Heinz Ketchup, but still. I can live with that. Even though it wasn’t any cheaper. In the first floor I also find a drugstore, which is selling clothes, kitchen tools, etc. as well. I finally bought a little kitchen knife. The past days, I always used my little pocket knife, which I brought from home. Haha!

I took the subway back home, which was super uncomplicated. I cooked dinner, skyped with my family, watched Netflix and went to bed. To be honest, I am feeling sometimes a bit lonely here. Especially when I don’t have to work, I don’t have anyone to talk with. When I am in my room I always need to listen to music, movies or videos. Otherwise it is just creepy quiet. The other interns always tell me the same. But we are all living separately and have different days off. Therefore, we haven’t really done anything together. But we will see. Perhaps and hopefully it will change. Or I will get used to the lonely life.

 

 

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