Whew! May was a literal whirlwind. I’m not sure where to even begin. Well, I guess there’s no better place to start than the beginning, right? Right.
I have to say May was a month of socializing. I started the month off with an impromptu picnic in the beautiful Yoyogi Park to end the Golden Week holiday. A day before that, I had a wonderful dessert date with a group of friends I had met earlier in my exchange. It was hosted and catered by one of the girls who has a real passion and knack for baking. Now, these are not your average home baked goods. We can liken her treats to fanciful top-notch desserts. Take a gander at the photographic evidence if you need further convincing.
The same week, I attended the Élan Tokyo Event, an international party for exchange students and students across Tokyo’s universities. It was quite the gathering. I had conversations with a diverse crowd of people (both in English and my barely decent Japanese) and got to hear about their experiences in Tokyo. The highlight of the event, though, had to be the chocolate fountain. Yum!
Many of you might already know, but the game/arcade scene in Tokyo is quite popular with the kids these days. (By “the kids” I mean myself included and by ‘these days” I mean longer than that.) So, on more than one occasion, my friends and I have found ourselves partaking in the thrilling electronic delights that the game centers have to offer. Our personal favorite is Dance Dance Revolution.
My social butterfly life continued with a wholesome evening spent with a close friend at a cute hole-in-the-wall, game-themed café called 8Bit. I would love to regale you with glorious tales of my victories that evening. Unfortunately, I was properly schooled, even at a game of cards. You win some; you lose some, right? Never fret, I still have some fight in me yet.
Next up? My birthday! I celebrated my T-Swift year in this brightly lit metropolis. I had a wonderful day and I’m grateful for the amazing individuals I’ve met here that made it so special. The icing on the cake was dining at an African restaurant where I enjoyed my favorite meal from my home country, Nigeria. I also had the honor of introducing my friends to Nigerian cuisine (it was their first time!).
A couple days later at the extremely cute invitation of one of my Japanese friends, I dined with some other friends at the izakaya (local Japanese pub/bar) where said Japanese friend works. While there, I tried my hand at making my own takoyaki. However, I rate my attempt as a 5 out of 10. It was edible. In my defense, though, the instruction sheet had a different cooker on it than the one I was given.
The next day I attended a pizza party for a language exchange club I recently started attending. I spoke some Japanese, dabbled in some English, had a slice or two, and got repeatedly crushed in Mario Kart. I didn’t even bother with Smash Bros.
The next weekend I was off to Tokyo’s Jamaican Festival with friends. The cultural festivals in Tokyo are always packed. Between the crowd of festival goers, food stalls/trucks, clothes and trinkets, and performances, we had our hands full. And so, with food in our bellies, music all around us, and the sun egging us on, we proceeded to dance the afternoon away. Most recently, I visited the Nezu Jinja (Nezu Shrine) as well as the bustling Yanaka Ginza street.
Looking back on May, I am quite surprised at all that I did, while attending classes and going to work. Since arriving in Tokyo, it took some time for me to break out of my shell, and it seems I shed the last of my reservations this past month. In short, it was quite an eventful month and I am happy to be making great memories for the future. The countdown has begun, as my time in Tokyo wraps up in a little under two months. Let’s see what June has in store. Until next time Dolphins!
By Natasha Ubani
Natasha Ubani is an international student from Nigeria. Ms. Ubani is a Junior at JU pursuing a double major in International Business and Marketing. She is currently spending her Junior year at Waseda University in Tokyo as an exchange student through the Davis College of Business.