Yeah, it’s my birthday!

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!


On our last adventure to the hospital we actually had the chance to see more of downtown Nisshin. Today we decided to go exploring and see what else there is beyond the shadow of our territory. We found the Public Library with an adorable little hallway. After finishing our self-appointed tour of the library we went to go and find the Orange House. It’s actually this random shop that we passed one night (it was closed) while we were lost. The only thing interesting about it was that it was named the Orange House but it’s actually white. We didn’t know exactly where it was again we were lost and following directions that consisted of “japanesejapanesejapanesejapanesejapanesejapanesejapanese- go straight – morejapanesegoingovermyheadjapanesejapanesejapanese – and turn left. I’m really surprised that we made it back from that one. But regardless we did in fact make it back to the Orange House, we originally thought it was a cafe but it turned out to be a hair salon. Then we found a hot springs bathhouse. It looked a bit like a castle. We didn’t have the necessary supplies (towels, soap etc) so we again skipped it. Kim did a funny because of it though. We were just standing inside the entryway, trying to figure out how to leave without looking like stupid gaijin who didn’t understand. (In the end we decided on the classic pretend-to-text-a-friend-then-make-loud-protesting-noises-and-finally-walk-away-talking-quickly-and-gesturing. ) And she turns to me and says “I just realized that we’re had a bath together.” In Tohoku for volunteer work, we used a public bath together (it was a bit weird). The really funny thing was we went up almost five months ago. I ended up laughing hysterically at her as we rode off and I almost ran off into traffic.

Kim has a bit of a weird interest in parks (and ok I admit it, she’s starting to convert me too). Therefore when we found one we decided to go play like we were in grade school again. I think we made a dad who was playing with his kids nervous and then we made some grade school kids angry when we parked our bikes the way of their game (we had parked before they got there and we moved them when we realized). Oh, we were lost again at this point but tired so we just kept sitting there talking and getting looked at by passersby and one housewife from window. It was kind of funny. In the end, we biked around trying to find our way back and stopped at three different parks to play during the duration. We really should invest in a batman spotlight to light our way back to proxy considering how often we get lost.


Today is my Birthday!!! I just turned twenty and I decided to go get lost in Sakae. Actually, I’ve been lost there before just not in that particular part of Sakae. Kim and Nana went with me to the Sakae station and we visited Oasis 21, which is a great indoor/outdoor shopping center. I was going to go shoe shopping but as I approached the store I had flash-backs of the last time I went and the sales clerk trying to help me get on the shoe…so we skipped that part. But we did go up to the sky deck.

After we left , I wanted to just walk to Ozu instead of taking the train (it’s about 2 mins between stops on the Meijo line so in reality not very far). We had never walked there but we knew what direction it was in. On the way we stopped in at a Chinese restaurant for lunch. It looked like an authentic Chinese restaurant the signs were in Chinese and our waiters only spoke Chinese and a little bit of Japanese. Naturally we were excited to try the food. Yeah… big mistake. Nana order a crab and egg drop soup type dish that was a bit bland but still good. I ordered the fired shrimp because you can verify that it’s seafood and they are usually always edible. And the Kim wanted to order this one dish. The menus were in Japanese and Chinese with pictures but we couldn’t read the kanji for it. Three times I say “That looks like liver.” “Hey Kim, don’t you hate live and I always end up eating your liver at Kizuna’s” “Cause that really looks like liver and pepers and onions.” Nana says “I think it’s whale.” So Kim orders it and guess what? It was liver. I actually physically face-palmed myself when it came. Luckily, it was really cheap and my shrimp were good.

After the food we went walking again and managed to find the Art Museum, the Space Dome Museum, a cool Shinto shrine, a cafe named KumaCafe (bear cafe), a large park, and Loft (a department store of epic proportions).  We had to have walked for a good two hours. And we were officially lost (which means that everyone present had absolutely no idea where we were). I was getting tired and we where standing at a light waiting to cross the street. Suddenly, I remembered what Yuki had said to me once. “If you’re ever lost ask a Japanese man because they are more likely to help you.” So I turned and saw a Japanese man stand slightly ahead of me and off to the side. EUREKA! I’ll just go ask this kind fellow. So I very politely went up to him “Ano Sumimasen…(excuse me)” and then he turned around. I could have kicked myself. He looked like he was out of a Yakuza businessmen’s lunch or something. Leave it to me to find the one odd person in a crowd full of parents and young girls and other random normal looking people. But in for a penny in for a pound. So I asked how to get to Ozu. He was like. “Oh, that’s far well I’ll just show you.” My heart stopped. I just started frantically praying that he wasn’t trying to lead us off some where to kill us and sell our organs on the black market. I turned to look at Kim and Nana and they were both giving me a this-is-the-guy-you-picked look. In the end we followed him anyway and he was perfectly nice. He took us to the next train station and then told us how to get to Ozu from there. No killer instincts or surprise kidnappings. Although he did take us the long way around because we ended up back where we had been before. So basically instead of telling us to go back up the street we had come from and going straight, he took us in a circle and then told us to make a left.

Once we made it to Ozu we  went and did purikuri and failed at it the first time. We have one shot were no one got in the frame and others where at least one of us is look all crazy. So we did it a second time and had much better results. We left with very sore feet and a promise to come and visit all of the cool place that we had found. All in all, it was a good birthday.