Owl & Penguin cafe

9 February

Today I visited an Owl and Penguin cafe with Kanji in Hakodate. Japan is famous for its cafe with animals such as cat cafes, rabbit cafes and so on. When Kanji told me there is a penguin cafe in Hakodate I couldn’t believe him. He has never been there himself as well.

We ate cake and were able to pet two owls. It was a very special and nice experience! However, photos and a video are much more fun than words so here you go!

Posted in Day trip, Holiday | Leave a comment

Dormitory Meiji University has been decided

4 February

In about three days I’ll go to Japan and I’m very busy this week! But it’s mainly filled with enjoying quality time with my family and friends.

Even though I have experienced living abroad in Japan for one year, this time it’s a bit different. I’ll live on my own and a lot of information is still not confirmed or unknown. But yesterday I received an e-mail with information about my dormitory I’ll stay during my study semester at Meiji University.

Meiji University offers five different dormitories and everyone was supposed let Meiji know their preferences from a scale from one (really want to go) to five (not really want to go). Two are very close to the campus, two are a bit further away and one is a girls-only dorm. When I received the e-mail I was a bit surprised that I was placed at the dormitory of my fourth preference. But after reading carefully I’m actually quite satisfied with the decision. I’ll stay at DK House Shinkoiwa (新小岩) and my room is about 7,6m2. My room is furnished with a bed, closet, desk, chair, fridge and air conditioner. The toilets, showers and kitchen are common areas. For me, currently living with my parents and having everything I want, this is going to be a new experience, but certainly a good one.

The dorm is owned by a private company. There are 163 rooms and 33 are reserved for exchange students from Meiji University. Amber, my classmate at Hogeschool Rotterdam, is also placed at DK House. It’s a mixed dorm which means there are as well as international as Japanese men and women. I’m looking forward to the diversity and I think I’ll learn a lot of new things and I’m hoping to make good friends.

Below, I uploaded some pictures from the website of DK House Shinkoiwa. On 22nd of March I’ll move in. The pictures look perfect so when I’ll move in I’ll show some actual pictures of the dorm. But people who stayed in DK House were very satisfied and positive so I think it will be fine!

The last two photos are the travel distances by Google Maps to the two different campuses. You can also see Mickey and Minnie Mouse below. Did you know my dorm is only 1 hour away from Disney Sea? hehe 😀

TreinticketAt this moment I’m busy with preparations, but mostly what kind of souvenir I should bring. Because I still have quite some time from the end of February to 22nd March, I decided to travel. I’m planning on meeting my host family and several friends I made during my exchange, at school in the Netherlands and during vacation. Later on I’ll tell more about this. However, I already received my only-for-tourist-train ticket. Because I’ll travel from Sapporo to Fukuoka by train!

Posted in Dormitory, Meiji University, preparation | Leave a comment

Officially accepted!

20 January

meijiI would like to announce that I’m officially accepted as exchange student at Meiji University!

The acceptance letter (入学許可書) is actually just a formality, because I was ‘unofficially’ accepted already.

Anyway, I don’t have to much to tell except that I’ll go Japan in 18 days. And I bought new suitcases which you’ll probably see in my next post.
At this point I don’t really realize I’ll go to Japan in 18 days yet. But maybe that is because I still have to finish some reports and have a few exams next week.


Posted in Meiji University, preparation, Trade Management for Asia | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting the Japanese embassy

2 November

VIBE-PNGTogether with Ms. Inoue, the Japanese teachers and the exchange students from J.F. Oberlin University and Meiji University and a class mate, I visited the Japanese embassy. We visited the embassy because of the VIBE scholarship. VIBE means Vision on International and Business-related Education, and is a project between four universities: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Meiji University en J.F. Oberlin University. The scholarship is provided as a grant by the European Union and Japanese government.

We were kindly welcomed by ambassador Tsuji and the employees of the embassy. We entered a very old but beautiful meeting room. During this ‘meeting’, Ms. Inoue introduced the VIBE project and the exchange students shared their experiences with the ambassador. Luckily, I could understand 75% of the meeting. In the room was a very long table and the most important people, the ambassador, the embassy employees, Ms. Inoue and the Japanese lectures, sat in the middle. The people sitting at the end of the table are considered least important, guess who! Yes me and my classmate. Well, okay, for this case maybe the ‘rule’ didn’t apply but it happened to be this way anyway. Me and my classmate introduced ourselves shortly in Japanese. The ambassador and employees still recognized me from the Speech contest, which was very nice!

Continue reading

Posted in Geen categorie | Leave a comment

Japanese speech contest 2014 & 2015

7 March

2014, 1 March 2014

Theme: The kind of Japanese culture that I would like to introduce to the people of the Netherlands.

Since my last post from 2013, about the 26th Japanese Speaking contest, changed a lot! In the mean time I’m a college student and study Trade Management for Asia. This time I also wanted to participate the contest, not just as Michelle, but also as a representative of my university! This is the second time I participate, I knew what I could expect so I was quite nervous.
My speech was about the Yosakoi Festival in Sapporo. The people who followed me during 2012/2013 know how much I like Yosakoi Festival. You can read the blog post here.

However, I was not the only one who came with the idea to talk about Yosakoi. The other candidate even participated himself in Yosakoi when he studied in Japan! He wore the traditional outfit and presented him as a member of the team. Unfortunately Yosakoi wasn’t the best choice for this speech contest, we both didn’t win a prize.

On the other hand, Maarten did win a prize! He was, just like me the last year, a high school student. But unlike me, Maarten has never been to Japan for a long period and learned Japanese all by himself. He is a really kind guy from the South of the Netherlands which I will write about again in the next paragraph.

2015, 7 March 2015

Theme: What I like about Japan and don’t like so much about Japan. Continue reading

Posted in Geen categorie | Leave a comment

DUJAT Annual Dinner 2014

12 December

Every year there is an annual dinner for DUJAT members. DUJAT stands for Dutch & Japanese Trade Federation (蘭日貿易連盟). Almost every company with a connection with Japan is a member of DUJAT. The most important guests were the ambassador Tsuji and the executive vice president of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Every year, the dinner is held at Okura Hotel in Amsterdam. The restaurant of this five-star hotel has an authentic Japanese kitchen with a Michelin star!

Our Japanese teacher, miss Inoue, has good connections with DUJAT. Since a few years students are asked to help with the front desk.
Continue reading

Posted in Geen categorie | Leave a comment