Monday, January 4, 2016

The most exciting things I did in 2015!

It's already 2016 and I hardly can believe it. In a little over a year, I will already be coming back to the United States. While it has probably seemed like a long time for my family and friends, it has gone quite quickly for me.

Anyways, I wanted to sum up the two most exciting events that happened to me in 2015. First was my trip to Kagoshima/Yakushima, and secondly was my annual Halloween Party.

In early September I took a short trip down to Kagoshima to see my Japanese family again. I had not seen them in quite some time, which is really a shame, because Kagoshima is only an hour away by shinkansen. Also, since this was the last opportunity for me to travel with one of my Chinese friends, we wanted to do a big trip. The first two days we spent in Kagoshima, with my relatives graciously hosting us. I really would like to thank my Japanese relatives for being so kind. I always have such an amazing time with them, and get to visit some amazing places.

After an amazing two days of sight-seeing, we next took a ferry to the southern island of Yakushima. Originally we wanted to go to Okinawa, but since the travel time was limited we decided for a closer location.

Yakushima by far was the most amazing place I have visited so far in my life. From the ecological, biological, geological, and sociological perspective, this unique island has something for everyone. We were also particularly lucky in that we were there when it did not rain. Yakushima usually has a 90% chance of rain, so we just managed to be there during the best time! One of the coolest things is that the island's fresh water is so pure that it can be drunk straight from the streams and rivers.

We managed to a great tour package with a tourist company called Yes Yakushima ( and our tour guide Mr. Steve was such a great guide! He knew all about the history, culture, and natural beauty of Yakushima. We were able to go to a lot of spots not known to tourists, and with little to no people other than us. It was a really magical experience. We even managed to see some of the natural fauna of the island.

I hope I can go back another time! Overall, it was probably the best vacation I've had since coming to Japan, but I still have another year and a half to have an even better one.

A month later, the summer heat finally subsided and school had started once more. This time of the year I always prepare for my annual Halloween Party, which is one of the few events where I ask both the Japanese students and International students to come and have fun together. Thank you to my parents and family who sent me candy and decorations all the way from the USA to Japan just for this party. It really made a difference, and I know my friends really enjoyed it.

We had some usual games and some new ones to enjoy Halloween Night! While the turn out wasn't nearly as much as last year (thank goodness) we had a really good time. However, I am not sure if I will do it next year or not, as most of my friends will have already graduated! It's a shame, but we will have to see.

Here's hoping 2016 will be an even better year! Happy 2016 everyone!