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.
Japan is not like America in the sense that they do not tend to overeat. I noticed that everything is smaller portions. If you order chicken and fries in Japan you probably will get about only 12 fries and little pieces of chicken. They are very health conscious that is why most of the Japanese are not obese. Most are very slim and I can see why. Although at first I was disappointed in the smaller portions it helped me to be more conscious in what I was eating and taught me not to overeat. You would be surprised that the smaller portion actually made me more full than eating as much as I usually would. It took a little while to get used to the small portions but after being there for a week I knew what to expect when eating. I believe if America could cut back just a little bit then our people will be better off and there will be less health problems.
At night you see all types of things going on Tokyo. There are several different people who try to attract you too things like clubs. You even see men dressed as rockers to get you too spend time with them and spend money on girls they promote. In Ropingi there were several Nigerians who tried to talk to the study abroad group. They wanted us to go to their clubs but that was not going to happen. So we just continued to ignore them. I must say it is real beautiful at night. It’s lit up and full of life and things to do. So we had no problem finding things to get into. On the strip there are several food places to try. They had a few American ones as well such as T.G.I Friday, and Hard Rock Cafe of Tokyo. Nightlife is a big part of Ropingi being that is one of the club districts in Tokyo.
Sunday May 23, 2010
Today all of us are headed to Harajuku and the gaming district. In Harajuku it was a culture shock for me. The girls dressed very different but it was kind of cool. From their hair all the way to their clothes were very colorful. It’s nice how in Japan you are accepted for who you are and no matter what you wear. But if they were in the States they would be definitely be judged and thought of to be weird. I feel like maybe in Japan you are able to express yourself more.
Later on we went to the gaming district. Within the gaming district there are a ton a maid cafe’s. Maid cafe’s are very popular in the Japanese culture. They have this unique way of doing things at the cafe. We ended up eating at Maidreamin. Every time a dish came out we had to sing a chant with the maid. I tried this desert it was good it was pancakes that were decorated with a cute face with two scoops of chocolate almond ice cream. It’s very animated and original.
Maybe it could be from all the great shopping districts to the gaming district; also the food options everywhere. Tokyo is the place to be. I know one thing their is never a boring moment in Japan their is much to see and experiences to be made. It is tons of people everywhere. The funny thing is most people walk everywhere and take the subway or train to everyday destinations. The city is booming in technology. Their are flat screen Tvs on the side of buildings and neon lights everywhere. It’s truly a beautiful place. It was just so much to see. I believe in Japan almost every one owns a cell phone opposed to a land line because everyone I encountered had one. Also in Japan they like to have charms on their phone male and female do it. To have the opportunity to see the difference in the way they do things in Japan opposed to the US was a difference I will never forget. The culture is so rich I was just happy to be apart of it and around it.
Friday May 21, 2010
NTT Docomo is truly the company of the future. With some of the leading technology of the future at their hands. Being at their company was a great experience. They took our group through a virtual tour of what their company could do through technology. For example they had this cool system where you could virtually dress your child in a outfit you picked at a store while they’re at home through a touch of a button. How it works is when you get in the store they scan your hand and take down your information then you are connected through the system. This invention could save so much time and less trips back to the store. Also I saw how you could use this rhythm motion detection with your hands to unlock doors, turn on TV, and turn lights on. All you do is connect this gadget to your hand of your choice follow the rhythm pattern that is for each object and tada it works. Overall I just loved this company their are leading the cell phone market in Japan.
Below is the top selling NTT Docomo phone:
Thursday May 20, 2010
Today was a more chill day. We are leaving Osaka at around 1:00 pm to head back to Tokyo. We boarded the JR line and took a few a different subways to get here. Once back we just decided to get some food and call it a day because we have to be up and out tomorrow at 7:30am. It’s crazy how fast and quick and easy it is to get place to place from the subway. I believe it’s much faster than trying to drive around or catch a cab. Plus you get places quicker from traveling underground. Catching the Subway on this trip is a first time for me. A new experience that I will always remember. It’s funny because I’m usually not good with directions but I find myself getting better and better due to this trip and having to find our way around the different towns.
Wednesday May 19, 2010
I’m learning that everything here is costly. It cost almost $7 or more a day to get around Japan. Their gas is so high I figure that is the reason why so many people don’t drive. Most people just get on the subway or take a cab. It cost money to do just about anything. I love Japan but I could only live here for a short amount of time because this country is to expensive. I find myself spending at least $30 a day on food alone. There is so much to see and do around here that you just want to spend a ton of money. But it would be money I don’t have. It’s cool how they dress here it is so different than the states. Most of the females dress like dolls and their fashion is out of this world.
But overall I would not pass up the opportunity to be here because it is truly a experience of a lifetime.
Tuesday May 18,2010
For the first time ever in life I climbed a mountain. We took a wire train up to Mt. Shosha. It’s hard work I don’t know how people can do it all the time. But I must say although my body ached it was a great new experience especially since I got to experience a new culture along the way. The group I was in took the scenic route so we truly saw the beauty that Mt. Shosha has to offer. From our view we could almost see the whole town. Once we finally made it to the peak their was several different little exhibits mainly of different Buddha’s. At the end of the day I was proud of myself that I made it all the way up the mountain because believe me it was hard work. But it was a experience that can’t be replaced I mean cause who can really say they went to Japan and climbed a mountain not most Americans can say that. So yea today was thrilling.
Monday May 17,2010
Today is our first full day in Osaka. We had to wake up at 7:30am so we can catch a train to Hiroshima. Once we arrived in Hiroshima. We took a big boat to a small little island on Hiroshima. I had the opportunity to see lots and lots of deer they were all over the place. Hiroshima is their home and they just walk around with you. It was kind of gross to see poop everywhere. But luckily I dodged it so there wasn’t a problem. We walked all around to we finally made it to the temple which was high up the hill. It was real beautiful. Truly a eyeopener for me.
Later that day we went to Hiroshima Peace Museum and Memorial. I learned so much more about the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima August 6, 1945. I had no idea really all that took place during this tragedy. I got to see clothing items, hair, fingernails, lunch boxes, back packs that were all left behind and were due to the atomic bomb. So many people lost their lives that day. That is why we must fight for world peace and put a stop to nuclear weapons. R.I.P to all those who died on that tragic day.