Now that Ive been in class for seven (!!) weeks, Ive gotten more used to the daily schedule of my life in Japan. On the days that I have a lot of class, like today, I usually relax and get work done. On the days I have less class, I usually do a bit of sightseeing after class before going home in the evening. Even though every day is different, heres an example of a typical day as a Nichibun student: 

7:45 am 

Good morning! I wake up and get ready, and then go downstairs to make myself breakfast. My dorm, Casa Kitayama, has a shared kitchen, so I can cook for myself. Because I dont have a lot of time in the morning, I usually make rice at the beginning of the week and heat it up in the morning with a raw egg. This is called tamago gohan and is a traditional Japanese breakfast. After I eat, I put my shoes on and bike to school. 

9 am 

Now its time for Japanese class! Im a Level 1A student, and I have class every morning. Typically, the lowest level (aka my level) has very few students, which is quite nice because we can get more individual interaction with our senseis. There are 5 students in my class, including myself, and we are all UC students. Usually, we go over our workbook homework from the night before at the beginning of class, then spend time learning new vocabulary, grammar, and kanji. 


12:15 pm 

Now that class is over, its time for lunch. Most students eat in the cafeteria, or daigaku shokudou, because its generally really cheap; I usually spend $4 or so per meal. Menu options usually include fried chicken and other meat dishes, rice bowls, curry, noodles, a salad bar, and a variety of small side dishes. However, the exact options change weekly. If the weathers nice, students often buy bento boxes and sit outside- clubs and circles sometimes will perform! Today, the cheerleading squad performed in the main quad. 

1:10 pm 

If you have third period, its time for class again. I dont have third period today, so I relax in the grass for awhile until my next class at 2:55. I walk over to Karasuma Campus, which is about 10 minutes away, for my Institute of Liberal Arts class. Its taught in English, and is a lot more similar to the classes Im used to from the UC. 

4:30 pm 

Now that class is over, I run some errands before heading home. While there are convenience stores everywhere, its a lot cheaper to shop at supermarkets. 

6:00 pm 

After going home and putting away my groceries, my friends and I decide to walk by Kamogawa, which is the river that runs through Kyoto, and have some snacks. The river is my favorite place to relax, and we like to have picnics and go on walks in the nice weather. 

8:30 pm 

Since we have class every day, we also have homework every day. Usually it takes me around 30-45 minutes to complete, depending on how well I know the lesson, how much is assigned, and most importantly, how often I get distracted. 

9:30 pm 

I usually start getting ready for bed around this time, and give myself a lot of time to relax, clean my room before bed, and talk to my friends and family if theyre awake. I usually spend time at night researching and making plans for future trips as well. 

12:00 am 

The day is already over! I try to go to bed around midnight so I can wake up and be energized to learn more Japanese in the morning. 

Mackenzie Lorkis studied in Kyoto, Japan in the Language & Culture, Doshisha Univ. Program – Spring 2018