Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting ready to leave Japan!

Hello again! What are you doing here?!

It's been quite a while since I posted on this blog but there are plenty of updates to come in the next few weeks. I've been very busy recently with a whole host of things such as final reports to send to both my company boss and the prefectural government, as well as very mundane tasks such as sorting out my shinkansen ticket back to Osaka and finalising my health insurance plan so that the Japanese government doesn't come looking for me once I've left the country!

As some of you may know, it was my birthday just over a week ago and I was very lucky to receive plenty of birthday wishes from my colleagues, friends and family. While I actually spent my birthday alone in an internet cafe looking at the flood of birthday wishes on Facebook, a couple of days ago two of my dearest friends actually came all the way from Osaka to see me (you know who you are and I love you both!) from the 14th until the 17th. We were hoping to go somewhere in order to get a nice view of Mount Fuji but a combination of 90% bad weather and 10% laziness on my part meant that we couldn't quite accomplish our goal. Nevertheless, I had a fantastic time with my friends, talking about some ... intimate.. topics (you know what they are) and drinking plenty of alcohol. It was both nostalgic and strange to finally hear people speaking the Kansai dialect again, but I was thankful to hear "se ya na-" (sou desu ne) and "honma ni" (hontou ni) once again.

I'm heading to the prefectural government headquarters on Friday to hand in my final report and give a presentation about my experience over the past two months, after which I'll grab my suitcase and head directly for the shinkansen back to Osaka. I'll be on the plane before midnight on the 23rd, marking my last day in Japan (FOR NOW MUWHAHAH!)

I will try to post one last update before I do, indeed, depart from this beautiful country, but if I don't quite have time, I'll definitely have plenty of updates and a wide variety of photos to upload once I get back to England and settle into my student halls.

While you're waiting, let me leave you with one photo!

I was very lucky to be taught Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) by Mrs Ikegaya last night!
  I have a lot to thank Mr Ikegaya for! He's been my boss, my mentor but most importantly, one of my best friends over the past two months. Whenever I was in trouble he would come to my aid in an instant. He always explained things in detail so that I would understand but without ever making me feel stupid. 
Although we are separated by a hefty age gap, I know you're still only 21 at heart. Despite the difference in age, rather than a father I want to think of you as my big brother! 

I'm not sure if he will read this, but I just want to say:

Thanks Mr Ikegaya, 

Thanks Ken!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meeting a very important person

me and the boss!
Today I was quite lucky to meet a very important person not only in the Shizuoka area but someone who is well known through Japan and even internationally! If I were not working at this company, I definitely wouldn't have any chance of meeting a person in such a high position. He is an old friend of my boss and they rose in the ranks of their respective companies together and eventually both became "erai" or people at (or very close to) the top. Today proved that business really is all about people, people and people.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wait... what exactly is an internship?

I've been going on for a while about internships and my experience as an intern at a Japanese company, but exactly what is an internship? The words "intern" and "internship" don't really have any legal definition or basis in UK law, but there are a few definitions scattered around the web to give us a bit of an idea of both what interns should expect and what should be expected of them