What would it be like to imagine a week at our Kyoto Japanese language school?
Kyoto – a city of tradition, a city of history and a city where people wear kimonos to go out to get groceries. Right? What is the best way to find out? Spending some time at our Kyoto Japanese Language school is the best way to see if Kyoto is everything it is hyped up to be.
They say that the best athletes in the world visualise their matches, runs etc. Why not give yourself a bit of a boost and imagine your first week in Kyoto? Let’s start your journey of studying Japanese!
You are home
You are at home, sitting in front of your computer, searching for a nice video of Kinoshita Yuka eating another plate of ramen without blinking. Once that is done, after a quick break, Netflix time! Probably Attack on Titan, as you need to know how it ends. (The final season is out). You decided a long time ago that watching content in the language of origin is the best way to do it, but now you are getting a little tired of reading subtitles and splitting your attention. Wouldn’t it be great to learn the language and get to understand all the shows you love so much or even be able to speak to your Karate/Kendo/Kyuudo sensei after lessons and get pro-tips from them in their native language?
It is decided then! Studying Japanese in Japan is the best option! Getting to know the culture, meeting people and acquiring the knowledge to pursue your interests and passion is a Win-Win-Win choice.
You: Can I study for like 4 or 5 weeks?
You: When can I start?
Me: Our classes run on an ongoing basis, so if you have not studied Japanese before any 1st Monday of the month!
You: What about places to say?
– Have a look here for more options
You are in Japan!
So you are at Kansai International, you were lucky as there was a direct flight from your country. There were a couple of options where you could have transferred in Haneda or Narita, and it would have only taken a couple of hours more.
Got your luggage, and after holding your breath going through customs, you are at the arrivals gates. The first thing that hit you is the atmosphere! The humidity is different; the air feels different. The second thing that hits you is that you can’t read most of the signs. Some are in English, and some are in Hiragana (which you diligently reviewed during your flight), but Katakana is a little rusty and kanji are a different game entirely! But your daze was interrupted by a sign you would recognise anywhere – it is your name! Of course, you are getting picked up by a driver and taken from Osaka airport to Kyoto. You are tired but also excited, so you keep staring through the window and taking everything in! So this is what Japan looks like!
After some time you wake up because the taxi stopped. When did you fall asleep?
Regardless, you are now in your room and kind of unpacked. Tomorrow you have lessons at GenkiJACS, and it is always good to be ready. Scan through the welcome documentation, and tomorrow can’t come any faster!
Your First Day at our Kyoto Japanese Language School.
Oh wait, it is your alarm clock, and this is it. It is officially your first day of school. The usual morning routine, and off you go. Now, this is your first time using Kyoto underground, and you are determined not to be lost. First the ticket or should you get a card? If you remember correctly, you read on the website about it, so for now, a ticket would do. It looks exactly as you imagined. Salarymen and women are standing in a daze going to work, school children are on their way to their schools, but it is quiet!
First few minutes
Getting to Kawaramachi station was not as complex as you thought! Thank you, Google maps. Okay, so a 5-minute walk and the school should be on the left-hand side. Hard to miss a massive red circle on a glass door. Shoes off and up the stairs. Welcome to GenkiJACS! There is a number of students starting at the same time as you, and virtually all of them are a little nervous. Some are playing Nintendo Switch on a big T.V.; you are home!
You report to the reception, and you are all taken through the orientation session. Student number, passwords, pictures and rules. Quite a lot to remember, but you should be fine. Then you have an interview with a teacher. Time to try your Japanese! You are nervous, but on the surface, you look calm and ready! In a blink of an eye, you are sorted into your class – Griffindor! Not really; classes are named after a famous places in Kyoto. You are in Nijo-jo castle. You look at your schedule – Standard Japanese – 20 classes per week, four classes per day. Today you have morning classes, and tomorrow you will start at 2:05 pm. You are happy cause it will give you some extra time to sleep.
The rest of the day
Classes are not a mystery to you! You have read about the system of lessons on the web site, but what a rush! You covered way more than what you expected, and you are only on your first day!
Time for lunch, though, and there is a convenient store just across the road, or a コンビニ you learned this today! Do they have the famous egg salad sandwich? Only one way to find out.[さんびゃくはちじゅう円おねがいします] – you hear that, and your heart skips a beat, but you got it! Three hundred and eighty yen. Like a boss!
Home, homework and exploring Kyoto! You read on our site and about some of the best places to visit, and you are determined to hit it all!
Kimono rental and we get to watch films: Wait, what?
It’s Thursday, and you made some friends already. It seems that there are people who love Attack on Titan just as much as you and who also don’t really like Eren and think that Mikasa can do so much better!
Tonight is a movie night, and you are watching Princess Mononoke, or もののけ姫(ひめ）and there is pop-corn! It is not the first time you are watching it with subtitles, obviously, but it is the first time you are concentrating not just on the story but on hearing words you learned today!
After the movie, you and a bunch of your newfound friends and classmates decided to climb Fushimi Inari Shrine dressed to a T!
Kimono rental is an experience you never thought you’d have, but it is fun! Obi belt is a bit tight, and it is a little hard to walk freely, but yes, you do look amazing! Pass through the famous 10,000 gates!
Going to school and learning Japanese is your passion, so the weekend does not feel like a break, just a continuation of an adventure! Maybe you might want to go and see Arashiyama, or Kinkakuji or even go and play samurai at Eiga Mura. The choices are limitless, and if you’re going to explore Osaka, it is only 1 hour away! Who knows, maybe next week you might go and play at the Universal Studios Japan.
Though it has only been one week, you already feel at home here! It will only make the last week that much harder, but you know for sure that the memories of Kyoto and our Kyoto Language school will live with you for a long, long time.
What a journey, and we hope you enjoyed it! If you have been to Kyoto before or studied Japanese with us, please comment here or on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you want to see what it will feel like, follow this page to start your journey!
P.S. We do feel that Mikasa can do so much better.