The end game,
Given that my final research presentation was Thursday, August 8th, I have decided to joint my week 6 and 7 blog together. It is more time efficient this way.
Week 6, Kyoto weekend.
The week started with getting my last set of data. This meant I would not perform any new experiments in Japan. Now all I had to do was analyse all the data I had collected since the beginning of the program. After achieving this mile stone, I decided to reward myself by watching a movie. Luckily for me, this was the week that the new movie from the director of “Your Name” will air. So I asked a dear friend to come with me. The movie was jaw dropping in animation and had a great plot that all tied up nicely at the end. Overall, an amazing movie.
After analyzing data for the rest of the week, my adventure friends and I (we called ourselves the Unigoers), decided to spend the weekend in Kyoto. Thus we booked a hotel and left to it Saturday morning. After dropping our belongings we left to start with our schedule. Saturday we were able to visit many must visit spot like Kiyomizu-dera, Hokanji Temple, Yasaka Shrine, Nishiki Market and the great gates of the Fushimi Inari shrine. This would have been a perfect day, if the day was not so rainy. The rain was so heavy that let to our shoes being soak to the point that every time we stepped we could feel shoes letting out water. However, this did not prevented us from exploring every destination on our list!
After returning to our hotel and doing a face mask routine, we decided to sleep. Not much happened after the face mask, well besides one of my friend’s sleep talking. I did not hear him, I just slept.
Once the new day started, we headed outside to be met with the aftermath of the heavy rain, a humid hot day. A heat not for the faint of heart. The problem with this kind of weather is not the heat itself thou, it is the humidity. The humidity causes you to sweat and become sticky. A truthfully uncomfortable experience. However, the Unigoers stayed strong and continue our plan. This day we visited Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden), Togetsukyo Bridge, Tenryu-ji Temple, Bamboo Forest, and Tanukidani-san Fudō.
At the Togetsukyo bridge, we ate a pretty fancy restaurant were I ordered a full course meal. This was the most filling and delicous food I had during my stay in Japan. Ar the Tankidani-san Fudo, we watched the Hiwatari Matsuri. This Matsuri (festival) consisted of multiple priest praying inside the temple to then burn down a stack of plants in to great fire. Once the fire subsided, the ashes were walked on by the expectorates. I did not walk the ashes as I did not want to remove my shoes and walk down the mountain with ash inside my shoes.
This week went by fast and it had many events. The first of which was meeting with a friend that I made at Osaka University. She has been really helpful in my stay in Japan by telling places that are must go in Osaka. Eating dinner with her and her friends was a great experience I would not trade for anything.
Another great event this week was the Farewell party. Here I got to see my friends from the program and the organizers of the program. The food was fantastic and we had an incredible live show of rakugo (single-man play). The play was super funny, spicially the face gestures of the actor. Once the play was done, participants of the program gave speeches about their stay in Japan. I enjoyed everything my friends had say and encouraged me to make a speech of my own. I talked about being thankful to my donors and how Anime gave me the motivation to reach my dreams, like coming to Japan. Once everything was said, we took a picture togheter. It was a nice ending to the party.
I wished the week continued smoothly, but it did not. Friday morning I realized that my data did not made sense to my supervisor. This was a huge problem. If the data I collected for the past two months was not conclusive. In other words, my Japanese internship will have been a failure. My supervisor and I felt a lot of stress and freaked out for a couple hours. After lunch we came up with a solution, analyzing the data by looking at the pictures directly. This observation method changed everything. All the data I collected made sense. It was as if I found the last piece of a complicated puzzle and the picture came to life.
After this puzzle was solved, I decided to relax for my last weekend in the program. How did I start? I headed to Nipponbashi, the animation and gaming area of Osaka. Here I explored with my friend Jimmy. We encountered many vintage videogame shops and anime merchandise shops. It was like being transported to my childhood dream!
Once I was done dreaming, we headed to Umeda to meet up with the rest of our friend for Shabu Shabu, a big dish to be shared among many people. It was a feast that I was thankful to hang out with. Once that was done, we headed out for Karaoke! I sang my favorite anime songs and we all song popular American songs together.
We loved Karaoke so much, we went a again the following night. Here is were we all enjoyed our last day together of exploring. We decided to end our last weekend by all going to karaoke together one last time.