Back in December I took (and found out mid-February) passed the JLPT. I will be taking the next level in July. I’ve been studying a lot and attending class twice a week to prepare. In May and June, I may add a few extra classes to give myself a boost.
I also had to travel to the US back in February which caused a nice little case of jet-lag. I made the mistake of sleeping the day away when I returned to Japan (an accident really – I even slept on both planes and on the train – I never sleep much on planes!). This caused some issues since I had work the day after that. It took over a week to readjust.
In March I went to Kyoto for a day and then to Osaka for one day of the Grand Sumo Tournament. Sumo is a lot of fun to watch live. I seriously recommend that if you plan to visit Japan, time it so that you can attend one of the six tournaments held yearly. Seriously. It is worth it even if you just go for a few hours – in which case I recommend later in the day. There are more spectators the later you go, which means more excitement in the stands. That is because later in the day is when the big names come out.
I also decided to stay in Japan another year. In the next two months I have to get my residency card renewed. Hopefully they will take a new picture! My current card has the picture from when I got my work visa. I don’t look the same as I’ve lost weight living here (not that I’m complaining). It would be nice to have a picture that reflects that, especially since I’m supposed to carry the card with me at all times.
Golden Week starts Friday of this week. Originally I was going to travel to the US but plans changed and I am going to Ulan Bator, Mongolia for a few days. I’ll be staying in a hotel, which is a change for me. And I fully intend on checking a bag even though I’m only going to be there for two full days, plus two half days. Why? Camera equipment. The checked bag is actually carry on sized and will be packed with clothes and toiletries. My carry on will be camera equipment. I’m looking forward to getting some shots of city life in Mongolia. My cameras are also all capable of shooting video, so I may experiment a bit with that while I’m there.
Sadly, I am in need of a new laptop. I’m typing this from my iPad, which makes getting photos up a little difficult. I hope to purchase a new laptop in May after returning from Mongolia. Until then, photos will be limited. Trying to edit/convert large files originally shot in RAW on an iPad isn’t exactly my idea of fun.