I did it, I made my way to Japan after more than a year of japanese learning.
Actually I started learning japanese on July 2017 with no previous experience on the language or any conscious knowledge of language learning. My mother language Spanish and I could say I learnt English from experience and massive exposure as a kid… but no knowledge at all than could serve me as basis for japanese.
I must say I’ve been extremely regular with my japanese studies so far, 2-3 hours a day without skipping more than 4-5 days this last year (which I don’t know if it is a good or bad thing to be honest); grammar, kanji and vocab initially, later more like reading, vocab, watching shows, and kanji (in that order of preference).
So far it’s my 3rd day in Japan. I’ve been able to ride the correct trains, read the signs that warn me on not doing silly things ( like riding that 女性専用車 / girls only wagon on the train: though to be fair it’s a pink sign translated to English as well; which apparently didn’t prevent some guy entering the wagon to the amuse of people in the facing platform) and for the most part been able to tell what kind of shops and restaurants is the one facing me (guided by the signboards). As for talking… well… lets say I can ask simple questions and help myself to get products and indications for the most part, but sudden or unexpected phrases really put my out of my comfort zone (and the rest of the conversation turns into an audible blob with the word お客さま been the one I’m most likely to pick)
The level of things you hear on the street as well as the written information happens so quickly that it takes a really clear mind to process all at a constant rate; by the end of the day I’m much less prone to get anything happening around if I had to depend on writing or listening alone.
Having said this, I was watching this video today about immersion and making your way through comprehensible input. It feels so relatable right now… learning through the struggle of wanting to understand the thing you have right in front of you … aided by whatever means.
Anyway, I’ll probably post a couple of times while traveling around Japan, today in Osaka, seems so much quieter in comparison to Tokyo…. My jet lag seems to be over so I’m ready for the upcoming weeks.