Monday, November 8, 2010

Five-day Weekend Vacation

Hi all,

It’s been 2 weeks. Sorry, I know you’re dying to hear what I have been up to –jk. But no seriously I have been out having a life.


… But also we finally started getting assignments and well of course all the teachers would assign everything to be due at the same time, so I have been a bit busy… just a bit though lol.

We had a Five-day (yes, a 5 DAY!) weekend because it was the school festival... Man school is good!

The school festival.

The school was transformed. Various clubs and such set up food stands, plays and other live performances, presentations and displays. Heather got to wear a kimono because she is part of the Tea Ceremony club. And yours truly presented on the Dominican Republic and New York for the cultural exchange, which feature Latin America (though specifically Colombia). I got to meet the first secretary and consul of Colombia-Japan embassy. Sweetness.

Performance of Colombia music (in which the Vice-President of this campus volunteered to dance) ::shock::
Spanish Language students
The Spanish professor I am a TA for

Jose Francisco Diaz, First Secretary and Consul of Colombia Embassy in Japan

I attended two student plays; King Lear and Hair Spray. Great shows, in particular though Hair Spray was incredibly good =)


Trip to Tokyo.

We spent a day enjoying the various happenings of the festival but dedicated two days to traveling to the big city, Tokyo! We found that taking the JR cross-towns local trains were the cheapest way to get to Tokyo. Cheap but incredibly slow, Wow, like years.

We went on a great adventure to cover too much of Tokyo in two days. Our feet were mad at us; the weather kept threatening us, and sleep— yeah no, we didn’t get much of that. We went to many of the major places Tokyo is known for including:

1- Shinjuku: the busiest train station in the world!!

2- Harajuku: known as a fashion capital of the world

On weekends crowds are known to dress in extremely flamboyant ways and sit around showcasing their outfits.

3- Meiji Shrine: near Harajuku (the Shinto shrine dedicated to the soul of Emperor Meiji)

3, 5 year olds celebrate their birthdays at shrines during children's Day
(こどもの日) by dressing in traditional clothes

4- Shibuya Station: One of Tokyo's busiest railway stations.

5- Ueno Park (上野公園): A spacious public park located in the Ueno section of Taitō, Tokyo, Japan. It occupies the site of the former Kan'ei-ji, a temple closely associated with the Tokugawa shoguns. The temple was destroyed during the Boshin War.

6- Akihabara: A major shopping area for electronic, computer, anime, and otaku goods, including new and used items.

7- Asakusa (浅草) : A district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, most famous for the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon


8- Tokyo Tower: A communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.5 metres (1,091 ft), it is the second tallest artificial structure in Japan.

We met up with Yoshiko (I love her! Got to see her for the first time since I arrived) and we “lucked” out while in Tokyo because the Shinkasen was celebrating opening a new line that facilitates travel to Hokkaido (the northern Island of Japan). We got to see a rare carnival? That featured floats from Hokkaido. Even Yoshiko admitted to never having seen one before.


Yoshiko and Yuki (both Studied abroad to SBU)


The Fujinomiya (富士宮) Festival.

We went to a town called Fujinomiya, which was celebrating a festival. The town makes Mt. Fuji look incredibly close and he had originally gone to see one of our Int. Exchange/ study Abroad advisors perform the Taiko drums. We didn’t get to see her, but we did have the famous Fujinomiya yakisoba that the place is known for. No, I didn’t like it.

What? (`へ´)

Festivals are usually in celebration of a shrine and tend to be very localized.

learned that the red "Tori Stands" represent the gate through which God(s) walk through and you're not suppose to walk directly in the middle of it. the edges and sides are ok.

The Fujinomiya festival featured demonstrations of martial arts.

Well hope you enjoyed the update.


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