My New Life in Japan

Hello, I’m Anna, nice to meet you! I’m a Spanish girl from a little mountain village near Barcelona. I started learning Japanese four years ago; at the same time I started my bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Communication in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. After learning Japanese for three years and seeing the number of kanjis growing daily, I decided to participate in an exchange program in Japan—a decision I do not regret at all. And that’s it, after applying to the exchange program I made it, and now I’m living in Japan, specifically in Tokyo, studying Japanese at Waseda University.

What you might be wondering right now, and the question all Japanese people will ask you when they know that you’re learning Japanese, is: “Why do you study Japanese?” “Why?” Well, that’s easy to answer. Since I was little most Spanish TV channels broadcasted cartoons from Japan. Doraemon, Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, and Dash Kappei, were just a few. The most relevant cartoon or anime in my childhood was Cardcaptor Sakura. After that, my interest for manga culture and anime grew; and drawing manga became one of my favorite hobbies.

Right now things are a bit different; I’m still following some Japanese series, but my interest in Japan has been growing exponentially, not only for its anime, but also for its culture, society, and the many beautiful places I have yet to discover.   

After eight months living here, near Takadanobaba station, a thirty minute walk from Shinjuku, I can say that, barring the language, I can live perfectly by myself. The transportation system here has evolved from my worst nightmare to the most useful thing that could ever exist. You can almost go anywhere without a car!

Being in Japan teaches you a lot about Japanese society and the different ways Japanese people do things, which is really interesting when you come from such a different society as I do. After a few small trips I can say that my favourite parts of Japan are the charming temples of Kyoto and Kamakura, and the small temples you can find anywhere in Tokyo, which, as you walk around, convey feelings of contrast and tranquility in this big city.

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