It’s been almost a month of living in Japan, and I’m now truly learning about how much of an ambivert I am. One day I’ll be exploring all around Osaka, and the next I’ll be holed up in my room playing “Baldur’s Gate 3” or “Pokemon.”

I’ve had more than a few people breathing down my neck about my ambivert practices in Japan. “Why are you staying inside? Go explore! This is a great opportunity to get out and see the world!” To which I say: Fair. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, and now I’m here and I’m doing exactly what I did back in the U.S. I think it’s an unrealistic expectation to completely change your daily practices when you move to a foreign country and it’s an expectation that drives a lot of people away from traveling. A change in routine can be very disconcerting, especially for the neurodivergent, but I’m here to tell you that adaptation to a foreign environment doesn’t have to be scary. Take life at your own pace; no one is forcing you to go out when you don’t want to, except maybe for classes.

But enough of my speeches. You want to know what I’ve been up to. I’ve visited the Nintendo Store, the Pokemon Store, Daiso, Muji, Book-off, Osaka Grand Station and tons more places. I’m honestly worried about my luggage; the amount of plushies I’ve bought is disgusting. Class-wise, I honestly have nothing to complain about.

I’m taking a criminal justice class, a Japanese design studies class, a Japanese language class and a manga drawing class. The manga drawing class has to be my favorite. We meet for three hours a week and it’s all about making our own manga. I’ve decided to make my manga about a maid cafe (yes, those actually exist here, not that I’ve been to one yet). However, it’s a maid cafe employed by super beefy men (yes, everyone’s dream). I find it hilarious that I’m getting 1 credits for drawing muscular men in maid outfits. I’m living the dream here, I swear.

Summer in Japan has exceeded my expectations tenfold. Anime lovers out there will be familiar with the concept of Japanese summer festivals. Yukata, fireworks, dango, games, prizes, etcetera etcetera; it’s all real and true and factual. Personally, I have not been to a festival yet, but my dorm building had a firework watch party on the roof. Even in a small town like Hirakata, the fireworks were amazing! I do want to go to the actual festivalw though. I hope I didn’t miss my last chance this weekend.

Sawyer Culberson can be contacted at

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