Oh my gosh, sorry that I’ve been so slow updating and posting. Things have been crazy (good) here at Yonsei and I’ve been either busy traveling around or doing the heaps of coursework I’m getting everyday. Weeks 3 and 4 consisted of adjusting to classes and professors’ preferences and a trip with my sister to Japan for Chuseok.
I realized that I never took a picture of my dorm room here at Yonsei so I’ll start of with that. I live in a single in SK Global which has a private bathroom, little balcony, and a mini fridge. There is AC in every room!
After coming back from China (for my cousin’s wedding), I had to catch up on a lot of KLI information. It was hilarious because I literally did not show up for two days of class (missed the first one because my flight was in the morning and missed Monday because of a flight delay) and when I came in, everyone was like ‘Oh look, it’s no-show Anna.’ I met one of teachers for the first time and he’s a hilarious dude who added all of us on Instagram and Facebook (what the…).
Highlight of Week 3 was going to Banpo Bridge Park to watch the sunset and relax with my friends after a hectic first few weeks. We visited Apujeong and Garosugil before that and tried out the most amazing carrot cake at the Mug for Rabbit cafe. We wanted to go to Dore Dore but it was packed. That night, I had my first taste of delivery chicken which was good but since I’m not a chicken fan, I can’t really say anything about how good it tasted. We didn’t do the chicken and beer combo and opted for soju instead. I tried the grapefruit flavored one for the first time and it was really good in my opinion because I hate the aftertaste of alcohol. I don’t get drunk easily but just as I am a picky eater, I am a picky drinker HAHA.
We also shopped around Edae (the shopping streets around Ewha University) and found lots of cheap deals. It’s my new shopping heaven. Since one of our friends interns around Gwanghwamun, we also hung out around there and went to some of the older streets behind the palace. There were tons of cute and unique cafes there. We tried out a sweet potato one called Cafe Bora and the bingsoo was AMAZING. 10/10 would recommend.
My sister dropped by for two days to check out how I was doing and we visited Cheonggyecheon Stream and Insadong together.
Learning to ride the buses was the greatest achievement ever. Learn the bus routes guys (or how to use Naver Maps) because it can get to places a lot quicker!!
On Friday of Week 3, UCEAP called us together for some free songpyeon to celebrate Chuseok and one of our assistants, Noh, dressed up as a king (prince? because kings wear red) and sorta divorced/had three wives, one of which was a dude.
Week 4, we only had two days of classes and I skipped another KLI class in which my teacher’s reaction was to text me over Kakaotalk asking “Japan? You’re going right now?” I know I’m a terrible student.
For Japan, I took the budget airline, Peach, but it was like the best budget airline I’ve ever taken. Everything was super clean and new and didn’t even feel like a budget airline. Only thing is that your carry-on total can only go up to 10 pounds and you have to pay for checked luggage.
Arrived at night in Osaka where we (my sister and I) got to live in a really nice and spacious Airbnb near Shin-Osaka Station and headed of to Kyoto the next morning from there.
Kyoto was so amazing. I really loved it there and wish we got to spend more time in the city. It’s a smaller city and thus less busy, but all the same perfect. My sister and I purchased two yukatas before heading towards the famous Fushimi-Inari Shrine. There were lots of people but it was still really breathtaking…although I got attacked by mosquitoes. The bites would plague me for the rest of the trip. We also visited the Gion district where they had a lot of handicraft and food places. We tried out Kyoto style sushi which is wrapped in a really thick piece of seaweed (which you remove before consuming). It was really good food but every time we burped, we tasted something fishy for the rest of the day.
I wanted to get everything I saw. At 4pm, we headed into Yumotokan which is an onsen place around twenty minutes away from Kyoto. The tatami room was so nice…okay everything was nice there. The view of the lake, the food (Kobe beef anyone?), the staff, the free food, the onsen.
The next day we headed back into Kyoto where we visited the Golden Pavilion (gorgeous) and Nijo Castle (I kept on saying Niho…) before heading into Osaka. Our next Airbnb in Osaka was seriously apartment goals. The entrance was sleek and although the apartment was small, it was just the perfect size. Like seriously, the restroom was big, there was a kitchen and enough space for a washer, and the bedroom was super neat and aesthetic. I want one.
Next morning, we headed of to Hiroshima for a short day trip. We visited Itsukushima Shrine which was sadly under renovation so the torii gate was sort of covered up and we also saw a traditional wedding going on which was super cool. We made a short visit to the Peace Memorial in honor of the victims of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiromshima during World War II. Some people were smiling and taking pictures in front of the ruins and I don’t know if they knew what it was for…
That night we headed back into Osaka and ate at a super good shabu shabu place called Yakiniku M right next to the river in Dotonbori. Best meat ever and it was all private dining! After that we took tons of tourist pictures and bought lots of snacks in the shopping area. After an hour or so, we also visited this really famous okonomiyaki place but I forgot the name…but I’ll find it because it was so good. My sister and I aren’t fans of takoyaki so we were hesitant on trying it, but it was very fresh. So relaxing.
Next day, we headed to Osaka Castle, which I visited when I was 11 years old so yay mini reunion with an inanimate object. There was a performing arts festival going on with lots of Japan’s universities that day and their dances were all amazing. I’m jealous that they get to dress up in their traditional clothing and participate in these cultural activities. After Osaka Castle, we went to the Owl Family cafe and got to hold the most adorable owls ever. My favorite was Potato who had the softest feather ever and also when he flapped his wings, it was better than any AC in the world. That night we tried out some sukiyaki (once again, my sister and I don’t usually like it) and it was really good. It wasn’t too sweet and the proportion was perfect.
Before heading of to San Francisco (my sister) and Seoul (me), we dropped by Rikuro which is that really famous cheesecake place that’s always in videos and got breakfast. I wish I bought a whole cake with me back to Seoul because it was so good. Next time though! I will definitely come back.