9 Months Living in Tokyo Update

March 02, 2019


I really can't believe that I have been living in Tokyo for 9 months long! I know I have considered Tokyo as my second home for years, but the process of truly living in one city is totally different. I have been here since summer and I always walk through the same path every day for months, looking at the difference of the trees and feeling the season's changed through its wind, it's something that I would never notice or appreciate if I just come for travel every other month

I have wanted to make a post for the 3 or 6 months update, but my life was super overwhelming and the feeling is changing rapidly like a roller coaster. One day I can just love Japan so much, and one day I just want to go back home (caution: winter blues is real!!!). One day I want to meet people as many as possible, One day I want to only hang out with Indonesian, another day I only want to hang out with people who speak Japanese, another day I only want to hang out with people who speak proper english, and there are also days where I just completely shut off my connection and don't want to meet anybody


On another note, 9 months studying Japanese and I still don't know if my Japanese is proficient enough survive let alone working here. It's tough, and many times I was slapped by the reality again about how easy my life was in Jakarta compared to here being a freelancer. It's probably because I have more support from the friends and I know how to make money over there unlike in Japan where everything is strict and controlled

I have been living my life as a digital freelancer, without a regular schedule, and I could take holiday wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. It's totally different now because I have to go to school every weekday, and almost every day we have homework, and every week we have one kanji test and one achievement test. Not to mention gotta cramp all the lessons, new vocabularies, grammars, kanjis, and honestly it's wayyyyy to fast for me to the point I almost broke down many times

There were times when I wanted to quit school and in fact, I thought 9 months was more than enough for me. My initial plan was to only study for 9 months after all. However, upon tons of discussions and thinking, I decided to extend my education for the next 6 months. Which means at least I will be staying in Japan until September when I turned 27.. Would I become a good and smart woman by then? Who knows lol 


I have also started realizing my new year resolutions of doing new activities despite my tight schedule. I started learning Aikido at Aikikai dojo, Wakamatsu Kawada. It's 3 stations away from my school hence makes it convenient to visit after my class' over. I joined once or twice a week and so far I am still trying to remember the basic movement. The class is taught in Japanese and none of my japanese study has given me any result to understand what the sensei is saying about, but oh well, I learned from body movement and saw what sensei did

So far I havent made any friends because usually it's a sport where you need to be really focused on what you're doing, and everyone leaves right after cleaning the dojo. Oh I forgot to tell you
The class is 1 hour, and I can sign up to any beginner class whenever I want, how many times I want. It's 10.8000 yen per month, not included registration fee and the clothes. For me, I think it's a pretty reasonable price since a monthly gym membership is around the same price but since I am living in Tokyo at the moment, might as well trying activities that include Japanese culture right?


I have also signed up for Sadou (Japanese Tea Ceremony). I am studying under Omotesenke, it's the top 3 and one of the oldest Sadou Class in Japan with hundreds of years history. My sensei can speak English but 99% of the time she was teaching me in Japanese because there are other students as well, and it's to sharpen my Japanese skill as well! I signed up for 4 times in a month and planning to study at least 1 year to receive my beginner certificate

I never knew that learning Sadou would be such a zen moment for me because I can really focus in one thing, and appreciate simplicity and beauty in making a tea. I am falling in love deeper and deeper as I study it. So far I have been learning how to fold some clothes, how to drink the matcha, how to eat the wagashi, how to tie the matcha wrapper, and basic stuff. I had been allowed to practice making my own tea too but it's still a long way to go to reach a minimum level to showcase my skill


Although there are hundreds of reasons why I want to go back to Indonesia, there are also another hundred reasons why I still want to live in Japan. I begin to appreciate the beauty of my own country when I am living abroad, something that I could never see when I was living there for my whole life. This whole studying abroad experience has taught me so many things more than what I was taught for years in Jakarta and I am thankful for that

I have also begun to understand myself a little bit better, and appreciate my past life. Moreover, I have made countless of memories for the past 9 months and made many new friends that I can rely on as well. But no matter how much I realize I love Indonesia when I am living in Japan, I am still not over of Japan yet and I still want to continue living in here

But the thought of leaving Jakarta for good has kinda vanished slowly but surely because I realize how I miss the town that grew me up to this point. So maybe one day, one day when I am ready to go back, I will. But for now I cant set my future too far since I have to work my hardest to the next 6 months, figuring out what I should do after my study, and learning as much as I can through this stage of life


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