Japan is so clean they feel their is no need to have trash cans on the streets. Which at times was real annoying because when I wanted to throw trash away I couldn’t because there was no trash can in site. It’s rare in the US to walk down the street and not see garbage on the ground but in Japan it would be weird to see garbage. I think in Japan they must pride themselves on cleanliness so that is why their is no garbage around. I wonder if there was ever a time when the streets were messy or has it always been clean. I feel bad for the homeless because there is no trash left for them eat off of. Even in the areas of Japan that were poor there still wasn’t trash around the area. These are the reasons why I believe Japan is the cleanest place on earth.
For our last night all together in Tokyo we went to Shin-Juku. It was real nice and filled with shopping places and food joints all over. For our last group dinner our instructor decided to take us for Shabu-Shabu. It was similar to the Korean BBQ in the aspect that you had to cook your own food but different because you didn’t have to grill the food. It was a pot filled with broth and they gave us veggies to put in there and raw meat. They provided us with a bowl of rice to start off with. To cook the meat all you had to do was dip the meat in the pot for a min or so and it was cooked. Also they had different sauces for us to put on our food. It was a lot of fun. It amazed me how fast I could cook raw meat in a pot.
In Japan most people take public transportation everywhere. So today we visited Japan Rail East which is leader in Japan’s transportation. They are Japan’s largest railway company. We learned a lot about how they are trying to make it easier for people to get from place to place. There working on making faster trains for more efficiency. Also installing systems where people can print where they are trying to go and it tells them what trains to take. They had plenty ideas to improving their railway. Such as they want to establish a smart station. The smart station consist of smart space, personalized information, interactive terminal, security, and providing easy-to understand train status information. Also making interactive signs to show you which train is coming next and how close it to where you are located. They gave us a tour of the projects they are working on and also of the new shopping and train area they are trying to make.
Waseda University is one of the top private schools in Japan. It is very prestigious and hard to get into. To get into this particular college there is a entrance exam in which most students study since grade school so they can pass the exam when the time comes for them to take the test. I found it interesting to learn that maybe 3,000 apply to the school but they only accept about 600 which just go to show it is very competitive to get in. I had the opportunity to meet students while I was there. They were very friendly and down to earth. I found it interesting how long some of them travel to school each day for many of them it’s a 2-3 hour ride. Most of the students I met were studying English. There school building was very plain compared to the buildings at Michigan State University. Also there campus was a lot smaller.
The most exciting baseball game I have ever seen. I never knew how big baseball was in Japan until I had the opportunity to experience it first hand. The crowd was hype and they cheered on the team all the way throughout the game. Even though baseball is big in the US I don’t recall the audience being hype throughout the whole game. Tokyo Giants were an amazing team. When it seemed like the other team was going to come back that’s when Tokyo Giants went in for the kill. The game never had a dull moment. I never seen such an enthused crowd for baseball. Even if the team made an error the fans always showed their support. It gave me a new outlook on the game of baseball. To the Japanese baseball is like football or basketball for the US. I really enjoyed myself and was a little sad when the game was over.
The tea ceremony is a very traditional ceremony in the Japanese culture. When you first enter you must remove your shoes before sitting for the ceremony. Then once seated they bring you treats. I did not really like the treats because they were way to sugary and tasted like playdoh. Next the lady who was in charge of the tea ceremony began to make the tea. She made each person’s tea individually. When you received your tea you had to turn it to the left the cup then say a chant with her. It’s like a greeting for presenting the tea but also a thank you for receiving the tea. When it was my turn I forgot one of the sayings on accident. So I hope they weren’t too disappointed in me. Overall it was a great new experience and it taught me more about the Japanese culture. I was glad I got a first hand look at their different customs.