My Last Full Week

There are many things I have already done, but there still are many things I want to do. I got to go on a little trip with my host family Sunday, on the 16th. Oh my, my, what a fun experience! I got to see so many beautiful sites that are more nature-oriented. If only the pictures could capture the beauty I saw in real life. I definitely recommend going to Oshino Hakkai and to Iyashi-No-Sato if you ever go to Japan, or are curious of seeing nature or farming villages in Japan online via photos.

The following day after that was Marine Day, which is a national holiday that celebrates the sea. A friend invited me to one of the festivals but before that, we went to Akihabara to just hang out and shop since the festival began in the evening.

It doesn’t stop there! On Tuesday, I also visited the Sagamiko Berry Garden thanks to our internship supervisor. I and two other interns went and learned about this berry farm which also serves as a photovoltaic farm. Super cool to see active efforts in utilizing green space for food and energy. I’m glad to have learned about the site itself and see it in person!

Wednesday, I hung out with my friend in Shinjuku and visited the Kabukicho Tower! There was a floor full of restaurants and it was arranged and decorated as a vibrant street with tables “outside.” There also was a DJ on this floor, and above there was a floor full of gacha gacha machines and other crane games– like an arcade. There were more floors with more restaurants and activities, but we stayed on the 2nd and 3rd floor.

Kabukicho Tower Decorations

The next day, I hung out with my other friend in Shin Okubo and even had a little sleepover! We ate Korean food and then watched a show from start to finish.

Friday was my last official day as an intern for ISEP (Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies). I am virtual on Fridays, so me and a few other friends from the internship decided to go to a capybara cafe during our lunch break. A bittersweet moment because I had fun, but it was also the last time I was able to hang out with them before leaving Japan :(.

Capybara Cafe

And then Saturday came. I went to Asakusa again, but this time with an IWU professor and some of the interns that were a part of the Freeman program. We went up a building and saw the sky view, we went on a little boat cruise, and then ate some Japanese sweets!

Another fun, eventful day, and one very busy week! I’m glad to be a part of this program and encounter so many new people and experiences! Sad to go, but happy that I am leaving on a good note. ^v^

Thank you!

The Beauty of an Internship Abroad

I am very happy with my choice and placement here in Japan. I got to meet quite a few people already too. Some are from the internship, some are from mutual friends, and some are from nights out in the city. Your experience is what you make of it, and I feel like I am creating a good experience in terms of not only the academic, and professional aspects of the internship but also the fun, non-formal aspect of the internship.

I got to go out with one of the friends I made at the internship one last time since she leaves Wednesday, July 12th. I went out to the Tanabata festival with her and her dorm roommates. It was a very fun and exciting time because I have never been to a festival like that before. Nearly everyone was in a yukata, you see the decorations hung up all over the city, performance areas, and a large food area with games.

I am glad to have met these lovely people during my internship. I even made two friends during the outing and will be hanging with them at least once more.

Aside from my weekend, I completed one of my research projects about photovoltaics and biodiversity. Photovoltaics need open space to use their full capacity, so most areas are large, open spaces. This may be challenging for countries with minimal space and it also disrupts the ecosystem and biodiversity. Therefore, I researched about country case examples utilizing the space for both energy and to promote biodiversity. I presented my findings to my peers via Zoom discussion. At the same time, I also listened to other findings from my peers’ research. It is very interesting to hear so many cases from different countries and how some may even help the case here in Japan.

I would like to close this little blog with some pics, so below you will see a few photos from my days. Enjoy!

What a Weekend

And so another week has passed. This week was a bit different since… I turned 20 last week! My friends decided to celebrate my birthday over the weekend since it falls on Thursday. That same week, I got closer to some intern friends and got invited out to hang out with them, so I had a pretty busy, yet fun weekend. In the end, we went out and experienced Japan’s nightlife. It is very interesting since the trains stop running at midnight and don’t open back up until 4:30 am, so if you decide to stay, you will be out the entire night, unless you want to pay for an expensive taxi or Uber ride back.

After Saturday and Sunday, I was pretty exhausted, but my friend invited me out to Zushi Beach. What better way to wind down than going to a beach! šŸ™‚ Thing is… it is 2 hours away, and it was a last-minute plan, so we arrived a bit late. *_*

After relaxing on the beach for a while, we took the train to go back home, but we accidentally took the wrong train and went farther away. I preferred going back to where we were familiar since it was a bit scary as I had no clue what was around. We paid an expensive taxi and got back. Restaurants were already getting ready to close, so we just decided to hang out on the beach and wait for the first train back. Japan is definitely safer than America, and the beach was empty, so we weren’t worried but still were vigilant just in case.

In the end, I think this little journey was pretty worthwhile. We arrived late, so it was already nighttime, but it was the morning when we could truly see how beautiful Zushi is. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous– even if it was foggy. An extremely interesting weekend that took turns I didn’t expect. I will post some pictures of my week so you can see what I do at my internship and what I did over the weekend.

Internship Day

What a week!

Things are starting to move at a faster pace the more I settle into our routines, which is why I couldn’t find the time to write my blog last week, so I will post two this week! From now on the blogs may be longer, but ahh now where to start…

Well, last week (week of June 18th) I was mostly remote for my internship as my supervisor’s child was a bit ill, so the only time I was in the office was Thursday of that week, which I didn’t mind because whenever I’m remote I go to the ISEP office in the Sumitomo building in Kaihimmakuhari. I was telling my host family this, and the host father ended up recommending good places to eat during lunchtime. Of the places that was recommended… not one of them disappointed! *v* I had ramen with such a good-tasting broth– really everything was so good that I will definitely go back. There was another place near the Kaihimmakuhari station that served Tendon Tenya, which was also really good. My goal is to avoid foods that I can eat in the States, so so far, so good.

All are good, tasty foods, but what I look forward to the most is eating dinner at home with the host mother (and sometimes the father and/or daughter). We talk about how our days go and share random stories, which I feel like is one of the best parts of the internship itself and of the homestay experience. Oftentimes, the family and I will chill in the living room area before bedtime and talk about our lives, hobbies, or really anything. One of the previous days, they ended up meeting my mother through Facetime haha.

I have many small stories and experiences to share already within the first two weeks of being in Japan. It is a truly fun, engaging, and growing experience since I get to enjoy Japan while also advancing in my professional career.

On the weekends, I typically go to other cities and sightseeing, and on weekdays I work on the tasks given by my supervisor. A few cities and things I’ve been to are the Sensoji temple in Asakusa, the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Ikebukuro, and more recently, Akihabara, Harajuku, and Shibuya. During the weekdays, however, I am working on finding examples of prosperous locations where photovoltaics exists and biodiversity thrives. I have written a lot of notes already, presented, and joined a webinar about offshore wind in Japan. I am busy busy, but I am glad to be learning a lot about sustainable energy. I will post some pictures and show y’all some of the places I mentioned!

My first day at ISEP…

It is the start of a new journey as I arrived in Japan a few days ago and have started my internship today. I met my colleagues and even started on a few tasks for my internship. The internees and even my boss seem to be good people and very enthusiastic to be working at ISEP, which emits a very encouraging atmosphere. *u*

There is a beautiful building nearby where it utilizes green infrastructure. (If I manage to, I will post a picture of it.) The area is so scenic and peaceful! So much I have experienced already, and it has only been about three days. I am curious as to how this experience will be and look forward to working with them– and hopefully making good friends along the way :).

Green infrastructure building with a short walk path with dense "mini-forest."

Greetings and Introductions!

Hey everyone! My name is Nathalie and soon I’ll be able to share stories and photos at my internship at the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Tokyo, Japan. An hours-long flight will be worthwhile as I get to see historical locations and other cultural destinations firsthand while bringing y’all along. šŸ™‚