Hejsan! 
No I'm not going to start speaking Swedish.. But I met 2 Swedes taking same lessons I did, they had apparently come here in October and are going to leave in August. Nice to meet fellow scandinavians, they were also surprised to hear I'm from Finland.

Starting this weeks Friday, there is something called "Golden week". Basically it's 4 national holidays in streak combined with weekend so for many people it's 7 day holiday. But alas, next Monday is not a national holiday.. So I'm going to have one lesson. I have no plans yet, though I have to check out some places and go somewhere since it's such long holiday!

I might start uploading video entries (through Youtube) here also.. If I feel like it sometime.

That's all for now, till' next time!

PS. On this morning's lesson, teacher said you can buy 1 TB harddisk for 3000円 nowdays! I need to find out where, definitely not in Finland!

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Okie dokie, finally I got these pictures uploaded 

A picture outside the castle, see the moat and the trees.


Sadly the main tower was under renoval, and I couldn't see it. It has been "drawn" to the wall of the renoval scaffolds.


The gates were huge.


Samurai armors, too bad they didn't let anyone try wearing them!


Small shrine nearby the castle.


And last, "few" fish.

That's all for now, if you want to see more, I can put some more... but these are the best ones I think.

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I got a job 
Yes, I'm going to start teaching Finnish at language school.. They we're desperately needing Finnish teachers apparently!
The pay is quite good, and it doesn't take too much time either. Perfect for a student like me I guess.
Buut, I need to fill one application once more, this time something called "permission to do other things than earlier permitted", so once again some mysterious office awaits to be explored...

On the school field, nothing special so far. As expected, the lessons are quite hard to understand. we will see how I will fare in the few next weeks...

On Sunday, I went to see Himeji Castle, which is UNESCO World Heritage site (Thanks Sakke! (old:(maailmanperintökohde vai mikä se on))). It was really amazing place, I will sent in some pictures as soon as I get them from my friend.

That's all tonight, laters!

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Still no pictures, sorry! 
Okay, lot's of things have happened in this short period again.

I'll go it through partly:

The party on last friday was pretty nice (bonus: free dinner!). On saturday I went to Osaka, to vote in finnish election. I met few finnish people who had been living various times here. We had lunch together and talked about quite few things, it was fun.

On sunday, I went to a BBQ held by my roommates club (called ESS, English Studying Society), there was quite a lot of people. On monday,
I went to school to do few things.

Tuesday morning I thought a bit and realized that the courses start actually this week, even though I have to submit the registration until the end of april.. Oh well, missed just one class luckily.

Later that day, I got e-mail from Student affairs, that there is a student who is interested in student exchange at TUT, and if I could answer her/his questions. We promised to meet tomorrow and talk about it.

Today, my bank transfer apparently came to the bank, they called me and asked about it. They seem to be pretty careful. I think I will go there tomorrow to try to explain something like that I'm going to get a monthly pay from Finland + I might make more transfers personally.

Well, that's all for now folks. I'll try to be back later this week!

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Some days after the last post 
Monday:

I got a ride from my roommate to the 東灘区役所(Higashi-Nada Regional Office (or city hall if you will)), where I applied at the Alien registration. After that I was told I should also join the 国民健康保険(Japanese National Health Insurance), which I did, and which costs approximately 2000円 (about 20 euros) a month. It might be enough so that I don't need the insurance from a private company, which costs more.. I haven't decided yet.

** A side note: I'm basically calculating 円(yen) to € by dividing by 100. It's close, but little bit wrong, since 1€ is about 116円, or was last time I checked. But 100 is easier. **

I then left the 区役所 and went on to find the bank, called Sumimoto Mitsui Banking Corporation. After going around once where it should've been, I asked someone and found it, I had walked right past it. Soon after I was opening an account with help from an enthusiastic bank clerk.

In the evening, I went to check out one mobile phone company (AU) with another roommate. More about mobile phones later!


Tuesday:

I went to the university for the first time. It was sunny, rather warm, day, and I had decided my route as walk to train station -> few stations west -> walk to university. I should've taken map with me though. I wandered almost randomly trying to find the first station, although I finally found it. At this point I was sweating a bit, since it was quite warm and sunny day. Well I got to train and off without any problems. Then I started walking towards the university, which I did, in a way, although I walked bit too far at first. It was also uphill whole way, so I was really sweating after I finally decided it couldn't be that far from the station. So I went little bit more east, and finally found it (although I was at wrong department, but there was a campus map outside so it was fine).

Next I wandered around the Engineering department's building trying find the Students Affairs Office until I finally asked where it is and was guided to it. Then, I got my student card, more documents to fill out (like application for host family program), some guidance about following weeks and so on.

So I started my way back, and carefully made notes in my head about the way so I wouldn't get lost next time.

On the way home I went to check other mobile phone companies (Docomo and Softbank).

A word about mobile phones in Japan: They're expensive (I heard they're about the same in USA too later, but I'm of course comparing to Finland). Roughly said, I have to pay about 10 times a month compared to what I pay in Finland. For example, internet without restrictions(eg. able to browse "PC sites") is 5900円 (=almost 60€ !) a month, while in finland you get it for just 5€ a month. Phone calls, well, without a call plan with free minutes, it's 33 cents / minute. With a call plan with 55 minutes free time, it's 15€ a month, and 30 cents per minute of what goes over the free time. Japanese phones, although nowdays also SMS compatible, use E-mail as main text based messaging system. If you take a call plan, using mail will raise the price of the internet fast to about 40€/month, although it won't go any higher ( ei paljon lohduta silti :D ). Oh and one thing is, if you don't make 2 year contract, you have to pay about double per month, and you need to buy the phone itself.


Wednesday:

I took a 2 year contract with mail plan at Docomo, meaning I can use mail as much as I want and the monthly pay is around 10-15€, phone calls are 33 cent / minute (receiving is free though) and if I use internet (for example, loading a map to use with gps) it's up to 40€ (or about 55€, if I happen to view "PC sites"). Gotta be careful with this and use mail only..

Well, the benefit of taking 2 year contract was of course the cheaper monthly pay, and also I got the phone for free. Mainly I made the deal with Docomo, because their "0 yen phones" had one over others, it has touch screen, and wireless qwerty-keyboard too. Most japanese phones are able to receive TV broadcast (for free, whew), and this model is able to do it too.

The bad thing with 2 year contract is, that it's 2 year contract, and I'm staying in Japan only for about a year. So, I need to break the contract and that will cost about 95€ at that time.

Today(Thursday):

I went to the university for the second time, to turn in some documents I had filled and to show the National Health Insurance card I got in the post. I found my way nicely this time!

Then I went to a placement test for japanese classes, and the result was upper intermediate, which is actually better than I expected. ^^

Tomorrow there is a bazaar for exchange students, I might go there and try to find a cheap bicycle or/and rice cooker. After that there's orientation, and welcome party for new students.


The post came out bit long, hope you have fun reading it!

I might add a picture later, it's a view from the university over the city.

cheers!


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