These pictures were all taken around my local suburb of Inage in Chiba.

This is the view from my little shoe box room.
When I first got here, the light emanating from that vending machine used to keep
me up at night.

Typhoons come and go.

Last weekend there was a fire.

All of these abandoned bikes have been taken away now, but I enjoyed them so much
while they were here. Among the exchange students we kind of have a running joke
going about the lack of upkeep around the dorm buildings.  It makes me miss my
Sydney home and garden a lot.

I love this beautiful pink and blue house. It's right across the street from the
dorm buildings.

Nearby, there are a few supermarkets and fruit stores.
I like this one the best. 

You know a decent apple costs about 500円/5AUD here?? Ridiculous. On the other
hand, stuff like: toilet paper, alcohol and tobacco is really cheap here. Go

Nearby one of the supermarkets there are two black street cats- a mum and a kitty.
I call them, The Inage Black Cats.
I haven't seen them in a while and honestly I
have grown concerned for their safety. 
I considered kidnapping one and taking it
back to my dormitory but then I realised it had a mum and we aren't allowed pets.
Also, my room is SMALL and I am not about the smell of kitty faeces in the morning
(or ever).

Bikes are an integral part of life in Japan.

I ride my bike to school everyday (when it's not raining).

I ride by this vending machine every day.

And this house:

And If I'm lucky, I get to hang out with this pretty alright Canadian guy too!

Then I go home!

Recently, I've been taking a lot of trips to the beach too. From the dormitory, it
takes about 20 minutes by bike and there are lots of wild cats and you can watch
the sun set into the ocean.


Last weekend I watched the sun set into the beach and then ended up staying up all
night and watching it rise in the morning! 

I am a person who really loves sleep and being in my bed, but lately I've realised
that I am missing out on so much living by making sleep such a huge priority.




Some pictures from my last few weekends around the place. Not many photos in this entry, I'm saving them up for my next one which will be all about life in my local suburb of Inage, Chiba!

Two lovely ladies, Genevieve and Gracie at an exhibition we attended together in Harajuku.

Last weekend we did a small DIY Lost In Translation tour! First stop: The Grand Hyatt!

This is the view from The New York Bar.. 
The pictures from this night are all pretty blurry, but I like them anyway.

Next stop: Karaoke-kan in Shibuya!
You know the big screens around the Shibuya crossing used for advertisments? Well, on our way to karaoke we noticed one of those gigantic screens had crashed. You could see someone operating the cursor trying to restart the ads. It was actually so hilarious. 
Must have been someone's first day.

We stayed there until the sun came up and the first train arrived. Shibuya was an absolute filth pile that morning. There was trash everywhere. I actually couldn't believe I was in Japan- being the clean place it is. According to my friends, there are volunteers that come and clean it all up. VOLUNTEERS. Very Japan. 

My exact feelings that Sunday morning, returning from Shibuya on the Sobu Line.

This day, Moe and Aki took me to a cafe called Latte Graphic- Oceanic Style Cafe. It was awesome. Being here has made me appreciate Australian style cafes so much. The late nights and early mornings on the Sobu line, the amount of homework and the dramatic temperature drop has driven me to start drinking canned coffee from vending machines.
Maybe when I get back to Australia I can drink a flat white without making a face.. Although I will probably be more like one of those 'cappucino with extra chocolate' people.

This weekend that just passed I went with some friends to Yoro-Keikoku to see the autumn leaves in the woods of Chiba-ken. Even though I lack stamina and endurance and actually hate hiking, I had a truly wonderful day.

About 25 of us sat together under this big old tree on some picnic rugs and ate lunch together. Matt (the other Aussie who is studying at Chiba with me) shared around his Vegemite sandwiches and I loved watching everyone's reactions. Personally, I'm not a vegemite fan. We even saw monkeys climbing the mountain around us. Other than being the best place in the forest to see the changing leaves, the spot is also a historically significant one where samurai used to gather and drink together.
How cool is that!

So many genki old people were out and about that day. I think that once Japanese people retire, they really know how to live out the rest of their days. Odds are they have really really worked for it.

The other evening while I was watching some Japanese firemen put out a gigantic house fire in my suburb (pics in next entry) I met an elderly lady on the street who told me she had been to Australia a few times and goes to Canada every year to go skiing! That's livin', Barry!