February 2019

Ōsaka – home.

February, 2 nd Osaka

Setsubun. Today I spent my spare day in Namba while shopping a lot of little gadgets IMG_3639.jpgwhich are making my room more comfy and made me feel more home. I got some door curtains (Noren), hooks to hang my clothes and lay out some soft puzzle mattresses in my entrance to cover the old and broken tiles. I also got some storage boxes, so my sleeping bags could disappear in my wardrobe. In the evening there was a sushi roll party for welcoming Setsubun in the common room. Setsubun (節分) is the day before the beginning of spring in Japan. The name literally means “seasonal IMG_3445.jpegdivision”, but usually the term refers to the spring Setsubun, celebrated yearly on February 3 rd as part of the Spring Festival. In the evening we rolled sushi rolls together and when everybody was ready, we all looked in the same direction (direction of happiness, 60°C NE°) and ate our sushi rolls without talking. Traditionally the whole role is eaten in one bite, but only Junya tried and managed it. After sushi rolling we got thirsty and drank some sake altogether. Tomorrow there will be lots of festivals at temples where they are throwing beans. I will not participate, because tomorrow is hiking day and I’m looking forward to climb Mt. Katano.

February, 3 rd Osaka

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Hiking Mt. Katano. When I left in the morning it was definitley Setsubun, the icy arctic cold was gone. IMG_3538.jpegTogether with two of my flatmates we arrived at the meeting point. We took the train to Tsuda station. Several other people met us on the way or in Tsuda, respectively. It became routine so far. Like always, people who signed up didn’t come and people who hadn’t signed up came in the end. Interestingly the travellers tend to sign up, but not come in the end. But this time there was one traveler who managed to come. This trail was Lee’s suggestion and supposed to be a realxed one, the perfect choice after last week’s adventure. After passing the residental area a small trail guided us into a nicely forest up to a viewpoint where we could see the city of Hirakata. It continued on IMG_3544.jpgsmall paths without any steep elevation and since we were much more people than usually we had a lot to talk to each other. You might know that I imported this events from Düsseldorf and during the last weeks I had to realize this event is much different and it won’t be like there. At the beginning I was disappointed, but now I like the it very much. The main difference is mostly the trail itself. Around Düsseldorf exist only small parks within IMG_3555.jpgresidental areas and the hikes are more likely a long Sunday’s walk without any challenges. But here in Japan there are amazing mountains which are challenging us and give us an adventurous real hiking experience. Also the number of participants is quite different, in the end there were up to 50 people each time and it was not enjoyable anymore. Also the hikes became quite the same every week. In the end I just continued, because the people became my friends and I loved spending time with them. At the beginning of this journey I was always imagingIMG_3570what the Düsseldorf group is doing right now and I missed them a lot. Sometimes it was really painful. I haven’t had this thoughts for weeks, but today. Since today’s trail was very easy and the number of people quite high I felt like in Düsseldorf, especially when the trail IMG_3471guided us through a park with naked and sad looking trees and a small lake. We made a break at a picnic place and this in this scenery I felt even more thrown back. This break was the first one which was enjoyable due to the temperature and we lasted longer than usual. When we continued we had to climb a lot of stairs which guided us on top of Mt. Katano. It was a scenery like in The Lion King and on top we had an amazing view. We took a bunch of pictures there and enjoyed. On this heavy rock I saw Hirakata and my beloved Osaka. Again I could see Abeno Harukas (Japan’s tallest building), the place IMG_3589where I live. Happiness flooded my body, yes I’m living in Japan and this is exactly where I want to be right now. I don’t regret anything. I love my new life and I don’t miss my old one anymore. Thing are different, and this is essential. We continued hiking and after several up and downs we walked along a forest street. Usually Osaka delights me with clear blue sky and sunshine, but not today. It became grey and the clouds lost heavy single drops. Each time the group is totally different, it is unexpectable and for some reasons we were extremely slowly today.IMG_3600I don’t understood, because there were almost any elevations or difficulties. They tend to stop every few meters and it was hard to keep them on going. We lost two girls and I went back to pick them up. So we lost even more time and I realised we wouldn’t be able to IMG_3605arrive at the bridge during daytime. After we passed a fairytale like path next to a small river there was a junction with the opportunity to take a shortcut and go to the train station directly. In this case we would skip the bridge. I was going to let the group decide and no matter how they decide I would follow them, even though my heart said continuing. I had last week’s lesson in mind and I wouldn’t leave the group again or force them to keep on going. To my very big surprise they voted unanimously for continuing. I was extremely happy. The trail guided us on a street across a golf club and a guy forbid us to walk

ahead using the official street. We should go outside. Well,this meant a lot of extra kilometres and was not agreeable with our schedule. We walked around the club house and back on the street. Sometimes I struggle to follow rules, especially if there’s any logical explanation missing or coming IMG_3625.jpegfrom an inofficial source. While Japanese’s nature is might to follow, I usually just go on. I mean I would never violating law, but I couldn’t accept not using this official road for 500 m while many other people do exact the same and I also couldn’t see any sign. The group stopped for a moment, obviously not happy with my decision, only Tomal was with me. But in the end they just followed. I tried to hurry them up, because I admit I felt uncomfortable. But they kept their relaxed pace. We left the street and finally we entered the park where the famous Hoshi no Buranko bridge, Japan’s biggest suspension bridge which uses wooden panels, was located. It went up extremely steep. Today’s last challenge. The grey sky went almost dark when we arrived at the bridge. IMG_3658.jpegUnfortunately the bridge was closed. We were 15 min too late. That was bitter. Yes, in Japan they close bridges at 16:30 pm. Everybody took it relaxed and at least we had a reason to come back, maybe when the sky is blue again. We arrived the train station in darkness and it was starting to rain on the meters. Some people left at different stations, while the rest of us was going for having Ramen together. It seems like an upcoming tradition to go for dinner after the hikes and I really appreciate it. The hot Ramen was exactly what I needed and I really enjoyed hanging out with them. When I was lying in my bed, I smiled and fell asleep immediately. This is not the Düsseldorf feeling anymore. It’s was the Japan feeling. I live in Osaka right now. I live my dreams.

February, 8th Osaka

Emigrated. It’s officially now. Today I went to immigration bureau to change from IMG_3678.jpegWorking Holiday Visa to Working Visa. Once the process is running there is no way back. From April 1 st I will work and live officially in Japan. I’m immigrant. The contract is made for one year and I will sign very soon. Right now I’m very satisfied about my decision and enjoy my life in Osaka. I went out to cycle the world starting in Japan and came from Tokyo to Osaka. I think the main reason I’m happy with my choice is that for me the journey is not over, it is just a longer stopover. It was always my dream to live abroad after studying and also my philosophy to take it as it comes and to trust in the way. And the fact that I’m working on my own decision motivates me a lot. Work is pleasure and I’m keen to continue on my project from April.

February, 10 th Osaka

Hiking Mt. Kongo. An unexpected adventure. Kansai’s highest peak with an altitude of 1 125 m is Kongōsan (金剛山). IMG_3831I was extremely excited to climb that mountain in winter and enjoy summit’s snowy winter scenery. This time I planned today’s hike very carefully to avoid inconvienience and to enjoy a relaxed climb. As always everything came different than expected and we ran into the next adventure. I love winter and I love snow. Since the icy cold is gone around two weeks ago, winter is almost over. I was extremely excited to climb Kansai’s IMG_3711.jpeghighest mountain and enjoy a winter wonderland. I expected it could be quite challenging to climb up to summit on 1125 m. This trail was worked out very carefully with several back up plans if the conditions are too rough. I decided to follow one of the main tourist’s trails to increase to chance of a succesfull clmib. After last week’s adventures I was a little bit worried. On one hand winter can be very tough and circumstances can IMG_3715.jpgeasily lead into dangerous situations. On the other hand I couldn’t imagine that we need to be mountaineers for a successfully climb. Mt. Kongo is one of the most popular mountains and Japanese people love to climb them all around the year. I remembered my trip to Mittenwald in January 2018, where we climb the outskirts of german alps and slept on a mountain hut at 1500 m. It was safe all the time and no speacial gear needed. Someone IMG_3727.jpgcommented on my homepage and gave me an advice to change my mind. I was not happy about it, because how could I trust in some words written by somebody I don’t know? It was rather unsettling me than being helpful. I checked the webcam at summit and decided to trust my feelings, which said we should definitely go the planned way. This time we met at Shin-Imamiya station and since everybody needed to line up for the discount ticket it was just chaotic. My advice to come earlier to get the ticket before IMG_3739.jpgmeeting up was completely ignored. Anyway, it was not that stressfull at all and we arrived at platform in time. At Kawachinagano we took the bus, which was horribly IMG_3751.jpgcrowded. This time we were around 15 people at the beginning and I was happy that today’s trail was way shorter than usually. I was extremely happy today since Yumi told me to join. She was my very first couchsurfing host and I stayed with her in Yokohama the first day of my journey. I remember I was very sick at the beginning of my journey, struggling with a respiratory infect and Yumi cooked a special dish for me. Four months passed since we met and things chnged a lot. I would never have expected IMG_3763.jpgto see her again in Osaka and under this circumstances. First we climbed steep stairs to get to famous ruins. It was challenging and the group drifted apart. The ruins were not worth the climb and we had to go back once everybody arrived at the top. On the way somebody told me that the Australian family decided to take the bus and cable car to go to the top. I was sad to hear that and had a bad feeling, everybody drifted apart and they might felt detached. There was also a girl from Singapore, who struggeled and went back to take IMG_3767.jpgthe bus. We motivated her to continue the hike with us. At the trail’s start the next surprise. Well, it wasn’t that surprising at all: the trail was closed. There were three official trails on the map and I cannot understand how I managed to pick the closed one again. I was tired of adventures and had respect of this mountain, so I let the group decide. Since anybody hadn’t downloaded the trail (cause I forgot to change the trail’s characteristics from private to public and found it out in the morning, but no one complained at any IMG_3774.jpgtime) it was quite difficult. Half of the group didn’t want to continue while the others wanted to go for it. What should we do? Split up again? I decided to follow the adventurous ones and start hiking. After a while the others appeared behind us and I was extremely released. A closed trail could mean anything. From a bit messy, but wonderful to impossibly to hike and dangerous. Let’s see how it would end up. We walked on a forest street and arrived at some rock pools and a waterfall. It was just amazing. The trail was small, narrow and to the left side it was very IMG_3793.jpgsteep. There were ropes and ladders assembled to support on the climbing passages. The Singaporean girl was obviously overwhelmed, so I supported her and led her through IMG_3816.jpgdifficulties. The trail was extremely amazing, following the river and guiding us through the river as well. It was not made for weekend walkers, this was a hiking trail with a bunch of challenging situations. At a conyon were several ropes installed and the trail was as narrow as a foot. The Singaporean girl struggled to catch the next rope, so I overtook her and tried to guide her. While bouldering I’m the most scaredy cat in the world. Once at a competition I passed a difficult trail, but was unable to climb IMG_3821.jpgdown and too afraid to jump down as well. Everybody was thinking I’m joking, but in the end some of our boys had to took me on their shoulders and guiding me down. I have never been IMG_3823.jpgin a danger, while the floor was covered by mattresses. But here in this canyon there were any matresses and for sure it was dangerous. The girl was holding the rope, so I bouldered behind her and her huge IMG_3825.jpgbackpack to the next one. Surprisingly I was not afraid. It was the second time in a few weeks my body was surprising me while handling challenging situations. I gave the rope to the girl and she traversed to me. Then it happened. Her foot slipped away and there was no proper tread anymore. Holding the rope and pressing my feet against the wall I told her to use me feet to stand on it, but she couldn’t stand up. She was going to slip down the canyon. The problem was I couldn’t do anything. I just covered her with my own legs to beware her from slipping down the canyon. But standing up, she had to IMG_3831manage herself. Luckily she did sucessfully. Tomal and me guided her the next kilometers while the rest of the group was way faster. She apologized plenty of times, but I couldn’t understand why. She impressed me a lot. Sometimes people say I’m brave, but these situations are not challenging me, so how can I be brave, when there is no fear? This trail was challenging her a lot, but her mind was so strong and she continued continuously without any moaning and complaining. She was also one of the first ones who decided strongly to choose the closed way. We made a break altogether next to the river, it was a lovely place, but still the breaks are not enjoyable yet due to the cold. We continued and the IMG_3841.jpgtrail guided us throuh the riverbed. It was steep, but I couldn’t feel it, because I was so amazed of this scenery. I was glad about the group’s choice – this trail was a hidden treasure and I’m keen to come back in summerly atmosphere to enjoy the refreshing IMG_3861.jpgriver in a green and peaceful scenery. With gaining elevation the groud became covered by snow and several ice crystals were growing in the river. I cannot describe the trail’s beauty and so the pictures I took also can’t. We couldn’t see the group anymore, but together with Tomal and the girl I enjoyed a lot this wonderful place in nature. Shortly before summit my flatmate Junya came back to support us while taking the girl’s backpack. Together we made it to summit. It was crowded on summit and it looked like a Japanese winter wonderland. It was IMG_3864.jpgfull of families and kids playing in the snow and the coloured hiking clothes made it look a very nice scenery. In this crowd it was impossible and very stressful to find our group’s members, since they arrived more than half an hour before. But at least we managed to take a group picture where amlost everybody was joining. Some people decided to take the cable car, while a bunch of hikers decided to walk down, me included. It was very icy on top due to all this people who squeezed the snow and the IMG_3867.jpgtrail became an icy slope. At summit there was also a temple and I extremely enjoyed. My imagination of a Japanese winter wonderland became true. We IMG_3870.jpgstruggeled a bit finding an official way down. One way was closed while the other was too crowded. Somebody found a way criss-crossing through bushes, leading on a small path. OK, adventure again. This trail was as steap as beautiful and we were very quick. We walked back to bus station where the trail merged into the official forest street and I was happy that we had taken the other one. When we arrived at the bus station, we immediately got on the bus. Lucky we were. As always we decided to have IMG_3880.jpegdinner together, this time in Namba. We chose a chinese restaurant with custom made soups and finally Tomal got his spicy food. Maybe it was a little bit too spicy in the end. Together with Junya and a German guy I walked back to Nishinari. Albert was living in the neighbour’s hostel, so we decided to drink a beer together and enjoyed the rest of the evening at our hostel’s common room. I’m already excited about next week’s hike.

February, 14 th Osaka

Valentine’s day. This year Valentine’s day was very special and I have to admit I deeply fell in love. But more on that later. Unlike in western countries the boys get homemade chocolate from the girls on valentine’s day in Japan and other Asian countries. Usually girls make chocolate not only for their boyfriend, husband or fiancé, it is also common to give it to male coworkers, friends or even your boss. 

Something that I really like about Japan, there are so many little cute things and it’s totally normal to find them nice and enjoy. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a little girl or a grown up man. Yesterday I prepared some chocolate for my friends and coworkers as well. Therefore I melted chocolate and poured it into small molds in cat form. I also added white chocolate and some crunchy add ons. I cooled them down in the freezer and got cute little chocolate cat’s paws and faces. At work I was the only one who brought

chocolate, the other girls prepare super delicious cakes and brownies with a very high amount of chocolate. Our kitchen looked like a cake shop. In modern Japan it is common to give sweets not only to boys. Valentine’s day is for everybody. That meant I was able to eat a lot of little chocolate sweets and cakes during the whole day. Oyshi! Today was another very important event, Master thesis defense! This event is much more important IMG_4043.jpegthan in Germany and they were very nervous about it. In honour of the day and to celebrate passing the last exam, I went together with a few coworkers to Umeda for eating clams. The restaurant was on the 28 th floor and when I entered I was breathless. I saw my Valentine’s love. The shining lights of Osaka in the dark night sky. This view was so amazing, I hardly couldn’t get my eyes away. After all this time I’m still amazed about the cities face and watching it makes my heart jumping and brings this tickling feeling into my stomach. This is Osaka.This is my love. Surprisingly the food was as amazing as the cities’s view. I never ate clams before and I was shocked by the first bite. It was that tasty, I could have cried. I never experienced something like this before. As always in Japan, we ordered a bunch of different small dishes and shared everything. I think we tried the whole menu and one tasty surprise was followed by the next one. If anybody will visit me in Osaka, I will bring you there! I had a very nice evening with my coworkers and I like them so much. It was the best Valentine’s day I ever had.  私は大阪が大好きです。

February, 16 th Osaka

Happiness. Yesterday after work I went out with my friend Cat after work. We had IMG_4094.jpegdinner together and she showed me around Umeda, an area I haven’t explored that much yet. We spent a very nice evening and I really enjoy hanging out with her. Slowly I can feel how my life in Osaka becomes more and more structure, especially social one. I IMG_3932.jpegcan feel how I grow a little bit more into Japanese society every day. My life here is so different, but right now, I’m enjoying it and don’t miss my old one anymore. After coming back home I stucked in the living room and talked with my flatmate Angèle. We couldn’t stop talking and decided to go to a bar and continue there. On the way we met Junya and he joined. We went to a pretty cool rock bar with live music in the heart of Tennoji. Time was flying and we came back home in the morning. This week I was thinking about moving out and look for another place to live, but even though it seems a bit strange to live in a hostel, I love this place. You never know whom you gonna meet next and what happens next. While I usually don’t hang out with travellers, I really like people from 5 th floor and spend a lot of time with my flatmates. Today there was another camera team at our place and they installed a camera in the common room while the film team stayed at the lobby. When we came back in the morning they were hunting and filming us. I told them several times that I IMG_3947.jpegdidn’t want to be filmed, but they didn’t care. They followed us with the camera und even asked us how many beer we drank! They were violating our privacy. I was really wondering, this kind of behaviour was not Japanese like and the film team from the TV show where I took part in December was completely different… Today my flatmate Matt borrowed me his Skateboard and I went out to take some nice shots of my beloved Tsutenkaku. I really enjoyed my little tour on the board.

February, 17 th Osaka

Hiking Mt. Myoken. This morning I woke up very early due to headache and body aches. IMG_4294A bad cold caught me overnight and I hardly couldn’t get up. It was much colder than expected and I couldn’t cancel the hike. At the beginning the trail seemed very boring, but it the end it turned out in a one of the most colourful hikes I have ever done. Silence. I woke up at 7 am in the morning due to headache and body aches. I had a bad cold and it turned out overnight. I went down und curled up under the IMG_4142.jpegKokatsu in my blanket. I didn’t know how to manage today’s hike. Unfortunately all of my closer friends were absent today. Lee in Thailand, Tomal in Narita, Mat in Fukuoka and Cat couldn’t do it spontaneously. Sayaka signed up, but it seemed unfair to me not to appear, especially because this time was the very first with less than five participants. Somehow I got up and went to station. It was much colder than IMG_4390.jpgexpected. I would be cold all day. At meeting point Sayaka and a girl from Sweden joined and we took the train to Myokenguchi, where we met Dani. After some smalltalk there was silence and it felt a little bit weird. The trail was nice and guided us along a river through a forest slowly up to Myokenzan summit. It was not the scenery I was hunting for, but fairly it was very nice. I’m tired of brown forests and covered by brown rotten IMG_4169.jpgleaves. Or maybe I just couldn’t see the beauty today. The trail consists of loosen rocks and walking on them was very challenging and exhausting to the muscles of our ankles. I felt extremely weak and every step to the top was challenging my body. I sweat, while it went tangible colder with each meter of elevation. There is a temple at Myokenzan summit und due to grey clouds and cold almost anybody was there. The

chilliness and loneliness brought a very special and mystical atmosphere. This place touched me. We made a short break on summit to have lunch and got back

on the trail as soon as possible. Cold is something very interesting, it put itself around your should and make your body slow and heavy. When I am cold I can feel desperate rising in me with the fear of never getting warm again. Cold is not physical, but IMG_4230.jpgchallenges your body at any time or even make it sick. Back on the trail I had to wear all I had was packed like an Eskimo. The trail went down through a very green forest and it seemed that it had been a very long time since the last people passed through. We passed an abandoned house which created the same atmosphere as the abandoned ghost village at Mt. Ikoma. In the woods were several shrines, which were kind of lost places as well. There was silence. Absolutely. It started snowing and created a sharp contrast to the moss covered shrines and monuments. It was spooky. We arrived at a IMG_4227.jpgtemple. It was hidden in the mountains and the most beautiful I have seen in Japan so far. Usually there are always people at this places, but nobody was there. We were completely alone. I have no words to describe the feelings which raised in me. We stayed a while and continued. I got almost warm and we passed a little village surrounded by mountains. Unbelievable that the mertropole of Kansai is nearby. This village was my imagination of Japan. Traditional Japanese houses between rice fields IMG_4219.jpgand surrounded by mountains. I would love to live there. After the village we entered again the forest and couldn’t believe our eyes. There was a pond with clear turquoise blue water. It was incredible and I have no idea where the colour was coming from. Dani takes wonderful pictures and I watched him today a while and got a lot of new inspiration. Also Sayaka likes shooting pictures and we enjoyed a lot. The silence was no longer strange. We enjoyed and I felt very calm and deep connected to nature and my IMG_4294.jpgfellows. After the pond there was another lake with emerald green water. A damm divided it from a valley. I laid down and closed my eyes. For a moment it felt like
IMG_4326.jpegsummer and I enjoyed the cold fresh air petting my skin. I felt no cold, just deeply happiness. We continued and unfortunately I choose a trail which lead to another mountain, Mt. Utagaki. The climb was not long, but it was killing me. I was so happy when I arrived at summit. The bus station was very close and the way steep, but fast. Unfortunately there was a bus to Myokenguchi station, which came hourly, but not at 5 pm. That meant one and a half hour of waiting while it IMG_4340was freezing cold. The only option was to continue walking to stay warm. In the end we walked 22 km instead of 14 km. I was extremely happy when I say the bus’s lights in the dark. This hike was very different than usual, but I’m very thankful for this experience. Again again I realised how much I love this country. How much I love Japan. IMG_4360.jpgIMG_4366.jpgIMG_4353.jpg

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February, 19 th Osaka

Cold. For sure my cold got worse after this weekend’s hike. This wasn’t the first time I IMG_4461.jpgwas sick in Japan. I suffered around one month from an infection of respiratory track when I arrived and started my journey. On the bike I just spread my germs into nature. While working and cuddling other people in fully packed trains, this time I was supposed to wear a mask. In Japan it is absolutely normal to wear a mask and it belongs to the cityscape. It is not that inconvenient as it looks like. The only problem is wearing glassed. Due to breathing my glasses were fogged all day. So,  I had the choice breathing or seeing…

February, 24 th Osaka

Hiking Suma Alps. My flatmate Angèle and me were horribly late in the morning. I don’t know IMG_4542how, but somehow we managed to clean up all our mess  in the kitchen within seconds, so we arrived in time at train station and meeting point. As always, while hanging out with her we talked a lot and so I missed out something very important. Spring has slightly come to Osaka. But more on that later. I’m very happy that from the organising point of view the hikes become more and more routine and we are growing a team. The support means a lot to me. There is Sayaka, who is joining almost every week and besides that she is likely the only one who

take care about the trail in advance, she always guides us through train system. Actually this helps me a lot and removes a lot of stress (because I’m always stressed in the IMG_4598.jpegmorning to get up and being in time). Today, we met one half of the group at Osaka station, while the other half awaited us at Nishidai station. We got off the subway and I was very surprised. It was warm and sunny. It was hard to imagine that only one week ago, it was one of the coldest hike I did in Japan so far. Now, I was walking only in a long shirt while I could feel the warm sun laying on my shoulders like smooth blanket. We passed through a residential area and entered a park with a nice view of IMG_4600.jpgKobe on the summit of Mt. Takatori. We continued and had to climb down to enter a residential area again. At this time I was very disappointed of the trail. This trail was kind of borrowed or stolen by Tomal, which did it two weeks ago with another group. It was almost lunch time and some of us, especially me, were starving. Luckily we decided to climb to the next view point instead of taking a break at the little children’s playground. We climbed steep stairs and almost everybody of us was IMG_4618.jpegsuffering. But it was worth! After the last flight of stairs we had an amazing 360° view of Kobe, Suma Alps and the Ocean. It was the perfect place to enjoy our lunch. And this time IMG_4628.jpgwas the very first time we could really enjoy our lunch while sitting in the warming sun and enjoy this breathtaking scenery. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath of clear air. There was no place on this planet I would rather be right now. After a long and joyful break we continued to climb the next mountain which looked amazing from the viewpoint. We hiked along a horseback made of rough yellow stones. It was just amazing. Everybody got a little bit nervous by this exciting trail and view and we took IMG_4632.jpgmillions of pictures. It seemed like that nobody wanted to leave this amazing place and so we continued very slowly. We hiked through a forest and arrived at a residential area IMG_4657.jpgagain. There was still one mountain we had to climb. The sound began to be become golden. We were close to the ocean and at summit it was breathtaking. There it was. Calm, clear and blue. The Ocean. In this moment I realised how much I missed the Ocean. I couldn’t get my view away. The Ocean is essential for me, even more than the mountains. It calms me down and gives me a deep feeling of happiness. I could have watched it for hours. The golden light of the sun made this moment perfect. We had IMG_4668.jpgan amazing view of Awaji Island, a small island within Seto Inland sea which connects the main island of Honshu with Shikoku through a long bridge on each end. Angèle is the biggest Pokemon fan I ever met and it is amazing. Pokemon and its areas are deeply related to Japan’s countryside. Parts of Kansai belongs to Johto area, which you explore in the second generation of Pokémon games. Awaji Island is Whirl Island in the game, where you can meet legendary Lugia! Maybe you remember that you
IMG_4756.jpgneed to learn a special attack, which allows you to pass the whirlpool. These whirlpools also exists and I have been there: it’s Naruto’s whirlpools between Shikoku and Awaji! That’s amazing. While the sun slightly disappeared into the ocean we climbed down to get to the train station. This time we had dinner in an Indian restaurant altogether. I really enjoy our weekly dinners after the hike and I was happy that everybody was joining. Tired, full of oyshii food and happy I went back home with Angèle. We went to take a hot bath and after it I felt like newborn and fall asleep immediately.IMG_4692

February, 28 th Osaka

Electron microscopy. Today was my last day at work. The last two weeks were super busy IMG_4748.jpegat work and my project run like a rocket. Due to Visa reasons I’m not allowed to work in March. I really looked forward my free month during the last weeks and now I’m rather sad that I have to leave. I like my project and I’m super motivated to work on it right now. This compulsory break takes place at the worst possible time. Today I joined a workshop about electron microscopy, a major field, which I am strongly interested in. It was held by my coworker in Japanese. I expected it would be difficult not to dream away du to all this Japanese impact and wondered how much I understood in the end of the day. The workshop took place all day and my brain was extremely exhausted in the end, but I was extremely happy as well. It boosted my motivation. A very nice ending of my last day at work and my very last day as a Working Holiday maker in Japan.

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