Posts Tagged ‘Waseda’

It has been more than 9 months since Japan was hit by  the destructive triple disaster: earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima reactor blow. The large scale destruction had not only a huge impact on the affected regions but also on Japan as a whole.  Ten thousands of people were lost within one day. Some of the villages or cities were completely wiped out. And even after all the survivors were evacuated a new danger was threatening their lives: leaking radioactivity from one of the nuclear reactors. The tourism branch experiences a full blow caused by the fear of contamination. Regional products had to be destroyed, energy in the whole country had to be rationed and the political leadership had to restructure after massive critics about their crisis management.

Not really the best starting point for me to come to Japan! However I arrived more than 3 months ago in Japan and since then I am still alive. I live now in Tokyo, which is quite far away from the disaster site. That is why I am not worried at all about any radiation here. I just recently read a German article that found out that the general radiation levels in Berlin and New York are higher than in Tokyo. Also the energy is nearly completely restored all around the country.  I can however still notice that compared to 4 years ago (when I came the first time to Japan) most things like traffic lights, escalators, freezers etc. don’t speak as much to me as they did before. Also my student dorm and my University are still following energy saving programs and I can discover everywhere stickers that are telling me to switch of the light. (more…)

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Wasedasai is probably one of the biggest events of the Waseda University. It is a cultural festival that was held on the first November Weekend. Many of the various Clubs and Societies in Waseda are preparing weeks, sometimes even months, before the actual festival in order to show good performances.  Some groups were holding for a whole week a pre-festival, where students could get already a little taster of what they can expect on the actual day.

So I went together with some of my friends on Saturday to the festival. I thought it would be less crowded in the morning but that was a mistake. Already on the way to the main campus I could witness endless masses of students moving towards Waseda. Once I got there my normal human walking-speed got reduced to a slow snail-walk. Everywhere were people and little stalls that were selling food. It is incredible how much different food was sold. From Spanish Churros to Arabien food and taco-balls. I made one huge mistake when I arrived in Waseda. I was wearing a bright red sweater that had the name of my hometown on it: BERLIN…. With this I became the new target of every ‘Frankfurter’ Sausage seller on Campus. And there were a lot of them. One stall finally could persuade me to buy a sausage from them. All the girls where screaming at me “Ich liebe dich!” and after I told them that the sausage is actually quite tasty the whole crown got mental and everybody was screaming “Buy our sausages, even the German says it is delicious” and they pointed all at me. (more…)

That’s an article I wrote for the website: this-is-japan.com

(The website is tries to show Japan from the foreigner’s point of view)

Being in Japan can be quite a cultural shock. Everything is so different, so big and crowded and especially in my case it can be very frustrating not being able to communicate properly, because of a lacking knowledge of Japanese. Many foreign students are therefore often sticking together with other foreigners, since it is easier to speak with them and they share the same feelings in the same situation and in some cases the lack of language can even cause a feeling of being completely alone in a city of 30 million people.

I believe that it is often necessary to have friends you can speak with and they actually understand every word, nonetheless I also believe that being in Japan means eventually also making Japanese friends. In the beginning it can be quite difficult, especially if one is shy or does not feel confident with his or her Japanese language skills. What helped me most when I arrived first at the Waseda University was one of the many international Clubs. Waseda International Club (WIC), Waseda International Festival (WIF) or Niji-No-Kai are just some of the many Clubs that were created in order to make it easy for foreign students to get in contact with Japanese people and Japanese culture. Many of the members can understand English very well but they will try to speak with you in Japanese as much as possible, what I think is a very great idea. Beside of the huge variety of international clubs, the University has even its own little event-department for foreign students, the ICC, that is organizing language exchanges, sport and cultural events and many more. I guarantee you that you will make some friends here. (more…)

I just went to this really nice small festival (Matsuri) and I took some nice pictures and a little video clip. The Festival itself was not really big, but the atmosphere was so nice. They sold food everywhere and the people where so friendly. I really enjoyed myself there. But see yourself…

Orginal erschien am 06.10.2011 auf Seite 12 in der PNN

Ein Jahr in Japan leben! Diesen Traum habe ich schon, seit ich mich nach einem zweiwöchigen Deutsch-Japanischen Austausch in das Land verliebt habe. Es war nicht nur die Verbindung zwischen Tradition und Moderne, die von so vielen Reiseführern und Japan-Büchern beschrieben wird, sondern es war der tiefe Respekt gegenüber den Mitmenschen, der mich an Japan und seinen Bewohnern so begeistert hat. Nach ein, zwei fehlgeschlagenen Versuchen habe ich es nun endlich geschafft: Seit drei Wochen lebe ich in Tokio, der größten Metropole der Welt.

Meine erste Woche war wie ein Sprung ins kalte Wasser. Ich wurde zwar vom Flughafen abgeholt und bis in mein Studentenheim begleitet, aber das war’s. Das offizielle Programm der Waseda Universität, an der ich für ein Jahr Internationale Beziehungen studiere, sollte erst in fünf Tagen beginnen. Zum Glück hatte ich schon ein paar japanische Freunde, die ganz in der Nähe wohnten und mir alles zeigen wollten. Selbst die einfachsten Dinge, wie einkaufen oder nach dem Weg fragen, fallen einem schwer, wenn man die Sprache nicht vernünftig sprechen geschweige denn irgendetwas lesen kann. (more…)

A little collection of my first impressions of Tokyo ( I know 3 weeks is not much but there are still some nice pictures)

Eine kleine Auswahl meiner ersten Eindrücke von Tokio (Ich weiß, dass 3 Wochen nicht so viel Zeit ist, aber es gibt schon ein paar nette Bilder)

(you can click on each picture for a bigger view – Man kann auf jedes Bild klicken um eine größere Ansicht zu erhalten)

Hello Kitty

Impossible to resist – Man kann einfach nicht wiederstehen.

My Neighbours/Meine Nachbarn

That are some of the crazy people who are living in the same building with me. There are many foreigners but also many Japanese.

Das sind einige der verrückten Leute, die in dem gleichen Gebäude wie ich wohnen. Hier sind viele Ausländer aber auch viele Japaner.

Tokyo

(more…)

This is the english article, bitte hier klicken für die deutsche Version.

My 10-steps instruction of how a simple thing like printing one single page can turn into a 2 hours odyssey, where you will get to know nearly all of your campus and will make a lot of new friends!

Step 1: It is 10:30 and you want to print a page in your own dormitory, but the Internet doesn’t work. But hey, don’t worry you have to submit the paper by 1 o’clock (more then enough time) and you life next to your own University. So you decide to go to one of the many printing-places that are shown in your campus map!

Step 2: You arrive at the Building and everything is closed. You wonder what is going on and decide to go to another Building.

Step 3: After going the whole way up to the 6th floor you are standing outside of another closed Computer room. Confused as you are, you decide to go to the office and ask someone. There someone explains to you that there are only a few computer rooms open, because of the summer holidays. The nice and friendly person sends you to the closest available room which is on another building. (more…)