Oh Japan, Japan…
Such a beautiful country rich in history and culture, with its sophisticated yet elegant-sounding language, and with its modern cities being like salad bowls, where bits of futuristic gadgets and highly advanced technologies being side to side with thousand-year-old temples and shrines; all mixed-up but somehow, they co-exist well together.
That’s Japan for you.
Many people love Japan for various reasons: Anime, manga, pop culture, Harajuku fashion, Japanese language, etc. But as for me, I started to fall in love with the Land of the Rising Sun when I first started learning the language. That was way back in 2010.
Just for the “Diploma Plus” Certificate
As someone who somehow got interested in foreign languages, I began learning Korean first, after a sudden wave of K-Pop boy bands and girl groups started to attract the international audience. I stopped my Korean language private class after 3 months, due to the start of my 3-year polytechnic course. I told myself that perhaps I could continue learning Korean by taking up Korean classes in polytechnic. But unfortunately, there were already no more slots for students. I looked for Japanese classes, but those too, were not available for registration. In the end, I chose French since I was so keen in taking up foreign language classes. However, after just 1 semester, I chose to not continue going for the next level of French classes. I decided I wanted to go for Japanese classes, since I could attain a “Diploma Plus” certificate upon graduation if I manage to complete all the courses (6 courses in total); something which you don’t benefit from, from other foreign language classes.
Japanese Cultural Immersion
Fast forward to 2013, I did manage to complete all 6 Japanese courses, all the way from Basic Japanese 101 to Intermediate Japanese 202. The entire experience was really amazing. I got to meet Japanese high school students from Shizuoka and Tokyo as well as Japanese interns from Osaka. I even brought some of them around Singapore as part of the program. I attended Japanese festivals for the first time too! All of these enriching experiences made me like Japan more and more.
1st Trip to Japan
Apart from all these experiences I enjoyed in Singapore, I also got to visit Japan for the first time! That was in February / March 2011, and oh yes, I loved that trip! Gosh, talking about this, my mind is suddenly flooded with memories from that trip. Perhaps I should write a separate post just for that trip?
But anyway…yes. This was exactly how I started learning Japanese and their culture, which had ultimately lead me to a slot in a university in Kyoto right now (: