Here is a photo review of when I went to Shimokitazawa:
Actually it’s ‘yunomi’ or Japanese tea cup, but mnemonics are always useful. If you can recall, durring golden week in May I went to Kawaguchiko and made my own yunomi. Well, they finally arrived…
For the last two weeks a group of people from Singapore have been living in my building. They are all university students in CCC or Campus Crusade for Christ, and there are here to spread their faith to the Japanese people. Anyway, they invited me out to join them in their sports day. I was a day of many sports, among other things as well. One of the most interesting things of the day was when I met this guy:
His name is Takano and the thing he is throwing is a regular shoe horn. He can make it curve any way he wants and uses it as a boomerang. He spent a while trying to teach a bunch of us how to throw it correctly. It is actually much harder than it looks. He is actually the world record holder for throwing a shoehorn and even appeared on TV’s Guinness World Records to prove it.
For the sports day we got to play soccer, volleyball, and basketball. It was all really fun for me as I love playing sports. It was great to actually get to play soccer and volleyball after such a long time. Along with the Singapore CCC group, there was also an American group, as well as Japanese, and Korean New Yorkers group.
After the sports there was a ‘sharing time’ followed by a praying time. Although the day was really fun I still hold firm to my belief in not believing. Here is a photo of the entire Singapore group.
One of my friends has a personal security beeper. I found it very interesting that it has a picture of Minnie and was made by Disney. What’s next? Donald Duck pepper spray? Btw, it is loud.
Another one of my friends finally had a Monday off so we took the opportunity to go somewhere, and since my friend had never been to Kamakura we decided to go take a look. We started at Kita-Kamakura and went to some of the famous temples. We then decided to take the hiking trail to the ‘daibutsu’ or Big Buddha.
The hiking trail was very nice and the shade was very welcome as in the afternoon it was pretty hot.
We saw a very interesting plant with white leaves.
I got to break this wafer thing on the rock. Destruction is my kind of fun.
The view of Kamakura from the hiking trail was also very nice.
After lunch we saw the daibutsu. We also looked for the squirrel but it was sleeping.
At work I get lots of strange students. Some are very shy and rarely talk while others never shut up. I get some students that are antisocial and have a hard time looking at people in the eye, and some that are arrogant and think their English is better than anyone else in the class. Some even try to use me as a personal counselor, an editor, or a travel agent. I get a wide range of students’ personalities, abilities, and ages. I’ve taught kids that can’t even speak Japanese yet, to high school students, to college students, as well as the very common bored house wife. I see many middle aged business men as well and surprisingly they seem to be some of the most talkative people. I don’t get many really old people as I believe the older you get the harder it is to learn a language. Yesterday, however, an elderly looking lady came to my class. We started talking about school trips and she went off about when she was in elementary school she went to Kyoto and Nara and such. She then stated that when she was in high school she didn’t go on any school trips because of… World War II. So I’m guessing she is about 80-something and still trying to learn English. That, for me, is pretty amazing.
I love sweets… so my friend and I made ‘imo youkan’. It was our first time to try to make youkan. Surprisingly it turned out very well and was quite delicious. So good in fact that we are going to start cooking sweets on a regular basis.
Since both my friend and I had Tuesday off of work we went to the Dinosaur exhibition at the Ueno Science Museum. I was not too impressed with the dinosaurs as I have seen most of the fossils before, and all the information was in Japanese so I really couldn’t read any of the information. Afterwards we went to the actual science museum. The museum was actually very impressive. There were lots and lots of interactive exhibits and buttons to press, and all of the exhibits had computerized information that also included English, Chinese, and Korean. The computerized information screens were all touch screens, which I love to play with, and even had many videos and extra pictures. The coolest feature was that you are able to get a card that you can beep at every exhibit and it will remember when you check which ones you have already visited. Anyway, the actual museum was a lot more interesting than the dinosaur exhibition. We then took a nice walk around Ueno park and ate ‘anmitsu’ and ‘warabimochi’. After that we did some strolling and shopping around Ueno before finally eating dinner at a tempura restaurant. After dinner I got to pull a piece of paper out of a box to see if I won anything… and I did win! I got a free bottle of ‘umeshu’ which I love.
Anmitsu and warabimochi
Last Sunday after work I got to see Jenn. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her, and it always interesting to talk to her. We meet at the same place as last time: Namco Namjatown in Ikebukuro. There is a place inside called ‘Gyoza Town’ and we can sit and talk while eating good gyoza, and afterwards go upstairs to a place called ‘Ice Cream City’ for ice cream. Last time I went I took a picture of the ice cream sign because of an obvious misspelling. This time is was actually fixed.