Food expenses for the study abroad student: especially in Tokyo, Japan

So one thing your estimates expenses for your study abroad trip shows that is off the charts is the cost of food. Mine alone was over $7,000 for the school year. Yah, shoot me in this face. Nearly gave up when I saw that. The GOOD news though, you can cut those expenses doen by a lot if you just follow my tips.

  1. DON’T  go out for every meal of the day. Sure weekends are okay, have a nice lunch with your friends or dinner and so is going out once during the school week, but not EVERYDAY. Food in Japan is costly. Best believe it.
  2. DO make your own food, especially if you place of stay has a kitchen. And if you’re a college student there, best believe that you’re going to become a chef of making pasta (spaghetti). And I’m not going to lie, supermarkets there have a great selection of sauces. So WHY is this going to become your favorite food? Well, because it’s cheap.org. 100 yen (1.20 US about) for the dry pasta and the same price for the same. FYI, even though some of those packets say “for up to two people”, in reality they go for about 4-5 meals. You can stretch it. LOL.
  3. DON’T stick to one grocery store. Truth is, there is probably another grocery store out there that sells the same thing you’re trying to find, but for a better price.
  4. DO pregame before you go to the club. It’s cheaper to buy some vodka in a big bottle and split the price with your friends. Clubbing takes quite a bit of money, for example, to cost to get there and back, an entrance fee, etc., so yah pregame. Unless ladies you’re confident you can get a guy to by you drink(s) then LEGGO.

Top Places to shop: Keep in mind this is for those studying at ICU, but most of these stores are popular all over Japan

  1. 100 yen shop (equivalent to the 99 cents store)
  2. Gourmet City
  3. Don-qi-hote (Kind of like a Walmart)
  4. Seiyu (Walmart)
  5. Itoyokado
  6. Local Shops

All I have to say is be weary of your money. In Japanese terms it may be cheap, but in regards to your currency probably not.

Best of luck to you in Japan!

 

 

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Events at Yoyogi Park: Laos Festival, Thai Festival, and Reggae Festival

If there’s something I wish I knew about a bit earlier, it would be attending events t Yoyogi Park. You can actually find out about these events through the Google search engine. But usually every weekend, at least that’s what it seemed like haha, they have an event there and from my experience, it was during May-June, there were cultural events. For instance, the events I attended were the Laos Festival, Thai Festival, and Reggae Festival.

Why Laos? Well I’m half Lao and I was really craving some delicious Lao food lol. They had a celeb from  Laos there and lots of Laotian food. But as many of you may know, Laos, Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese food are very similar, thus there were many popular Southeast Asian dishes there. For example, I had some delicious Pho and enjoyed a nice coconut drink and mango durian ice cream.

The difference from the Laos festival and Thai was there were more people at the Thai festival lol, but is understandable. Thai is a bit more on the map thanks to popular media like The Hangover 2. Oh and better food selection.

Now the reggae festival, titled, “One Love,” was off the chain!! Excuse my jump back into the 90s, but furrealz I had a great time at this one. Reggae culture is part of my childhood. I woke up every Sunday morning to my father blasting Bob Marley on the speakers. And thank God I caught this one on video. Well, hahaha I caught them all on video!! But yah, I bought a skirt and bracelet from this one and also ate some delicious Ghanaian food ya’ll!! Also if you’re black, not gonna, you feel a bit at home at this one haha. Oh and people were even doing cornrolls for 500 yen (6-7 US dollars) LMAO. But for realz guys I totally recommend this festival; it’s a great mix of many cultures, not only the Africans lol, but many Japanese and all the other ethnicities residing in Tokyo. Did I mention you get to see so many cute mixed kids??!!

Where you’re in Tokyo, look up the events at Yoyogi Park. There should be something going on lol. Oh and keep in mind this isn’t the Yoyogi Park “Park”, but the event space you pass on your way to the NHK building as you’re heading to Shibuya. There should be directions on the website you use :]

 

If there is one thing I have to say about the 2012-13 freshmen, it’s that they are more opened minded to the endless possibilities out in the world, or there are at least curious about it. I mean, in comparison to my class, no offense to them, they just seem more interested in getting out of the country, more interested in studying abroad and to see that, well it’s just a wonderful thing.

To me it shows that times are changing and in contrast to STEM, getting the younger generation involved in science, math, etc., I personally don’t think that the US needs that in order to rise on the world stage, I believe the first step is opening minds and bringing into perspective worldly attributes that can only be acquired from…having an abroad experience.

This is just my two cents of the moment. DREAM BIG.