Hey everyone. Once again, very sorry for the delay in posting. It’s been a very busy 2 weeks. I had midterms (got an A), I’ve gone exploring, and of course…studying hard. Lol. So, let’s get right to it. This post is going to contain the past 2 weeks of events. For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts, you may not full understand the details in this post until you do.
So, first and foremost, let me just start out by saying that during one of my walks (from Takadanobaba to Shinjuku), I was exploring and ended up in an area heavily populated by Koreans. We’re talking Korean stores, restaurants, and the likes. If you look closely at the first picture in the album for this journal entry, you will see that I ended up in front of a beauty shop called “Gangnam Style”. Now, that may not mean anything to some of you, but it kind of tickled me a bit…
Anyway, back to the real deal. 2 weeks ago, I went to the “Edo-Tokyo Museum”. This place was incredible. If you love history and are taking a trip to Japan, this is a place you definitely don’;t want to miss. We learned all about the Edo period in Japan, how people lived, and how Tokyo came to be. It was great stuff. Please enjoy the pictures. The pictures were mostly of things that were meant to model how the towns and buildings looked back in that period. But there is plenty more than just that. There was fantastic artwork, antique cars, WWII memorabilia, etc. I had a great time there.
A day or two after, I went on my first journey with no destination. I walked for about an hour and ended up in Mitaka. It was a nice city. The JR train station there was done up nice with lights for the holiday season. In fact, most train stations that are located in the city or near stores of some sort get decorated for the holidays. So, I left my house at about 2:30pm and made it back by about 6:00pm. It was a nice distance walk and the weather was still decent. I haven’t been able to walk as much lately because the weather has been kinda nasty. It’s been raining a bit more frequently and the temperature dropped to around 45 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But I still have things I want to do before I leave so, no excuses.
Then, last Thursday (Turkey Day in the States), I went on a class trip to Fujikyu Highlands. It’s a small amusement park near the base of Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san). The park was really small but very nice and had a lot of attractive…attractions… They even had an ice skating rink. It was awesome. However, we only had about 3 hours to do anything at the park, and the average wait for each ride was about 2 hours…you do the math on that one. By the time I got in, decided what I wanted to try out, wait for 2 hours, do whatever it was for maybe 2-4 minutes, and finish, I didn’t even have time to go ice skating…talk about upsetting. But it was a nice trip and a great opportunity to socialize with my classmates.
This past Thursday, we had a Japanese Cooking Class at my school. 10 students from our program, plus 10 Japanese student from Hosei University, got together and cooked. Lol. It was a great experience. Obviously, I am not yet fluent in Japanese, nor are they fluent in English, but we had to work together to make a meal. It was so much fun. I learned how to make “Buta-don” which means “Pork-bowl”, and “Ton-Jiru” which means “Pork Soup”. We worked hard and our food came our perfectly. When we were done cooking, everyone sat down together and ate. Then, naturally, we cleaned up the mess. Lol. I would love to learn more about Japanese cooking. I think I’ll put a bit more time into learning that when I come home. I have pictures from this event, but I don’t have them up just yet.
Finally, yesterday, a very good friend of mine who lives in Chiba, came to visit me in Shinjuku. Her name is Sakura. She is an amazing woman. I met her online on a Japanese language exchange site over a year ago and she has since been helping me learn about Japanese culture and practice my Japanese. So, we met in Shinjuku, and we walked around a bit. We ended up taking the train to Ebisu and visiting this big building that has restaurants on the top floor. We ate lunch/dinner…let’s call it Linner. It was amazing. We had an amazing view of Tokyo, We could see all the way to Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture. I had a great time and look forward to visiting her in Chiba next weekend.
Every day that I’m here in Japan, I have a new adventure and learn more and more. As much as I love it here, I’m really looking forward to returning home so I can share my experience with everyone. With students in my school, my nephews, my dojo family, and introducing the things I love the most about this culture into my own culture.
As I look back at the long, hard road behind me, I think about everything it took to get where I am, and what it will take to get where I’m going. Then, I take a deep breath, smile, and head towards tomorrow. See you then.