Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanksgiving, Hattasan, and the JLPT

The Friday before last Jonathan and I celebrated Thanksgiving. I successfully made apple tarts in my toaster oven! I bought premade crusts so they were super easy to make. They were especially delicious with vanilla ice cream. :)

Turkey isn't eaten much here and the only place I knew to get turkey was at Subway, so that's what we did. We ate our sandwiches with Stovetop stuffing (my mom sent me that) and the apple tarts. Not quite the Thanksgiving feast I would have in the US, but it was still tasty!

The next day Jonathan and I went to Hattasan Soneiji, which is a temple in Fukuroi, the town to the east of Iwata. I haven't seen much fall color around here except for a few trees here and there (mainly because there just really aren't that many trees around me), but the colors were really beautiful at Hattasan.

There was one area with a lot of ginko leaves which was popular with kids. Luckily it cleared out for a moment so that I could play, too! Haha!

There was a large wisteria trellis. I want to go back there next year when it's blooming!

It's fall here, but there are still some really pretty flowers blooming. I have no idea what this was, but it was a tree covered with these flowers!

The next day I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). It was in Hamamatsu, but Hamamatsu is a big city that covers some pretty rural areas. It took me about an hour and a half to get to Tokohadaigakumae (that means "in front of Tokoha University") Station. The test was at 12:30 and originally I figured I would grab something to eat from a konbini before the test. Luckily I looked the location up on Google maps beforehand and realized that there were no konbinis around there and took food with me. It was soooo out in the middle of nowhere! The train I took there only had one car and the station was just a platform. There wasn't a building. There wasn't even a ticket gate. There was just some guy with a small table set up who took our tickets. I wonder if someone is always there or if it is usually on the honor system.

It was easy to find the university because other than that it was mostly just fields so it stood out, even though it was really small. It's just a branch of a larger university in Shizuoka, I think.

I took the N4 level of the test. The highest level is N1 and the lowest is N5. I'm pretty sure I passed unless I really messed something up like filling in all the bubbles on the scantron sheet in the wrong places. You only need a 50% to pass. I think I did really well on the vocabulary section, well on the listening section, and not so well on the reading/grammar section. I don't find out my results until the beginning of February though!

The test lasted until about 4:30. I had bought a round trip ticket for the train because it saved some money, but I was really tired and just wanted to get out of there so I took the bus. I was going to have to wait an hour for the next train, but I was able to get on a bus right away. Plus, the bus only took 45 minutes to Hamamtsu Station. There, I met up with Jonathan. We ate dinner at Freshness Burger, did a little shopping, and then had dessert at Mister Donut. Yum!

I had decided to take a break from studying until January, but I'm already ready to study for the N3 exam next year!


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