Tag Archives: foreign

Reflections on Japan

I’ve been back in the States for a few days now and I’ve been meaning to1 write a little something reflecting back on the trip; however with jet lag and what not2, I’ve been a bit too tired to write anything up. Since I received a friendly reminder about it from AWelkin; I figure I better hurry up and write something. First off, let’s get the gushy fan-boyishness out of the way. Going to Japan was an amazing experience and something that I am very glad that I had the opportunity to do. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some of the impressions that I’m left with from my visit to Japan.
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Japan Day 11

Today we had to get up and check out of the hotel by 6:00 AM (or 5:45 AM if you had phone charges to pay for like I did). Then we ran to catch the early morning train and made some exchanges to get over to Takarazuka, where we visited the Osamu Tezuka Museum. The walk to the museum from the train station would not have been so bad; if we weren’t carrying our luggage for the next 3 days with us1. The museum wasn’t as big as say the Ghibli museum had been but it was packed with stuff about Tezuka and his work. Also in the basement level, they ran an hour long “animation course”2. The course ran off a set of computer built into little desks with built-in lightboxes. You were supposed to follow along with what they were saying via your computer, but we didn’t speak enough Japanese and none of us read any Japanese, so that part was hard. Fortunately, some of the museum employees spoke enough English that we were able to participate and make our own little 2 frame animation. Mine was of my CoffeeBear character waving and it received the Astro Boy Seal of Approval3 *grin* Oh and one of the other nice things about the museum was that they allowed you to take pictures inside. So, I’ll see about posting some of those later.
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Japan Day 7

Homestay, day 1
We got ourselves checked out of the hotel this morning and I found that calls to the US must be around $1/minute, as I’d called Ariesna a couple of times and hadn’t spoken all that long but the bill was rather high. After we were all checked out, we walked down to the language school. It was extremely hot out and there wasn’t a lot of shade. I noticed K was having problems, so I carried her bag for her to the school. Once we were there, one of the teachers brought us some drinks and snacks, but the A/C wasn’t working all that well and we were still frying.
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Japan Day 2

It was obvious that I hadn’t adjusted to Tokyo time yet, because while I didn’t have to be up and ready to go to class until 9:45am; I was awake by 5:30. My room-mate (L) and I got up and went out for a look around. Being really early, there weren’t many people around yet, but a few business-men and office-ladies were hurrying off to work. I think it was when we were about a block away from the hotel when it really hit me that I was in a foreign country. Something about there only being one another white guy around and no English to be heard or seen anywhere around. It was just a small but impressive moment for me.

Anyway, L wanted to find the McDonald’s; so we wandered around for a while and found the train station & a KFC but not the McDonald’s. We headed back to the hotel because the heat was starting to get to us and now the hotel’s cafe was serving the free breakfast. We ate and then AWelkin-sensai, A & Bryon came in for breakfast. After we all finished eating AWelkin-sensai took us out to show us around the area a bit and help L find the McDonald’s. She also pointed out some banks for us (useful for exchanging traveler’s checks) and showed us the interior of the train station.
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5 Days and counting….

Just 5 days away from flying off to a foreign country for the first time. 🙂

Oh and I am working on a couple of other entries to post, but I’ve got real work to do and can’t spend the time finishing those up yet (plus a paper to finish for my course, laundry to wash and bags to pack).

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