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Shabu Shabu back...
So today everyone in my class went out for lunch before class at a Shabu Shabu restaurant. This is where you're given a dish of raw meat and vegetables which you cook at the table by dipping it in boiling hot water/broth. It was my first time trying this and it was really good.

We all ended up getting to class late, which kind of confused the sensei, but at least we had safety in numbers.

The difficulty and learning curve of the lessons has really been stepped up this week. Not only are we expected to know all 46 Katakana symbols for a test tomorrow (we started looking at them yesterday), there's been a lot of sentence structure/grammar stuff, and tons of raw vocab to learn.

I'm one of a couple of people in the class that are really feeling the pressure of learning Katakana - most had learnt it before - but I'm getting there and hopefully a final few hours tonight will do it.

Friday night I returned to the izakara with my neighbour, and got a chance to practice some of my Japanese. And teaching a Japanese guy to say "L'arc du Triumph", which has so many sounds that are completely non-existent in the Japanese language (long story).

The weekend was less action-packed than I was expecting. I tried and failed (again) to buy a mobile phone, this time because I'm under 20 and can't legally enter a contract here. It's really getting difficult to keep in touch with people without the use of a phone. That was pretty much it for Saturday, as I got really tired early on and had to get home, actually falling asleep on the train and missing my stop by 20 mins.

On Sunday two of my neighbours and I went to Harajuku for lunch and coffee. It was surprisingly difficult to find somewhere nice, considering Harajuku is one of the more popular tourist destinations in Tokyo. Then we went to Yoyogi park for a stroll, and to see all the cosplay fanatics who meet there.

Apart from that I've been studying, and sleeping. Sleeping a lot in fact. More about that later. But first, some photos.

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