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Published: October 31st 2010
Jie-Jie doesn't want me to go!
Whew! I can't believe it has been almost a month since I have written. I think that is a good thing- it means I have been busy and involved in my life here. It also means I have lots to share!
We had our school fall break this past week (we get a whole week off!), so I went to visit Dana, one of my roommates from college, in Tokyo. I have heard lots of different things about Tokyo- it is busy, it is expensive, there is no english, the food is great- so I was very excited to see it for myself.
My arrival in Tokyo started off a little rocky. My flight got in at 10pm- Dana was a little bit late to get me because she had been traveling around all day with a group. Apparently Narita airport closes at 11pm, and the last train that goes towards where Dana lives stops at like 9pm. SO- she got there at 10:45- we rushed down to take a different train. 5 different trains, 2 taxis, and a short walk later we finally made it to Dana's lovely apartment. It was a nice little adventure. 😊
my kitties don't want me to go....
next two days (Sunday and Monday) we spent exploring different areas of Tokyo together. On Sunday morning, I went to a Lutheran church with Dana- all in Japanese and sign language. Very cool! After this there was a lunch at the church. After the lunch we went to an area of Tokyo called Shibuya, which is a big shopping area. There were lots of crazy outfits and great little stores. I might have bought a couple things..... 😉 We also happened to walk by a building that was hosting a hip hop dance competition, so we decided to go in. There were all ages of people dancing, and they were all fabulous!! I have a couple videos from this. On Monday, we slept in, watched a little bit of the packers game, and went to Harajuku to explore. This area was also very fun and there were lots of food stands and little shops.
Tuesday and Wednesday Dana had to work in the morning and evening with a break in between. I went to work with her in the morning, which was very interesting. On Tuesday morning, there was a babies class at the church. Basically, we sang like
3 songs in English, and then another woman led a conversation with the Japanese women. It is a class basically designed to help Japanese women meet each other, since it is very hard for them to do this. What a great way to start the day! Playing with little babies 😊
On Wednesday morning, Dana teaches an English class at the church for some older women. This was so cool! All the women bring in pictures and stories about what they did over the weekend. It is so interesting to hear their stories and experiences. It was also fun for them to practice speaking English with me. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip- I really felt like I was learning about the culture, especially the culture of women, in Japan.
The other parts of our days were filled with just hanging out, eating wonderful food, watching movies, playing in arcades, and doing a little more shopping. I had a GREAT time in Tokyo. I loved the city. It did not feel as crowded or busy as I thought it would. It felt very open. Part of this is because Dana lives in a more
take your shoes off before church!
residential area- it was kind of suburban. Lots of big sidewalks, trees, little roads and pathways. The weather was beautiful. It was fall! It really made me miss home.
Even though I loved visiting Tokyo, I think it would be a very difficult place for a foreigner to live. People who move to Tokyo need to learn Japanese. It is also important to follow the customs of Japan. You need to take your shoes off when entering a house or even trying on clothes in a store. You have to put your money in a little tray when you pay for something. If you don't, they will pick it up and move it into the tray. As a woman, there are even more expectations. There are even still some women-only restaurants. The genders are still very segregated- there are certain places men are expected to go and women are not. As a foreigner, it is difficult for us to understand this.
All in all, I had a wonderful trip! It was so good to see Dana and catch up and it was very fun to explore another city/country. The next time I get on a plane...I will be
you get slippers to wear...
making my way home for Christmas! That is a really good feeling. I am looking forward to that time very much.
Today is Halloween and I have plans to go to Ocean Park- the amusement park near where I live. There are pandas and rides and apparently a good haunted house. No dressing up for me though 😊 We already did that at school on Oct. 22- we called that holiday Book-o-ween, and everyone dresses up as their favorite book character. It is very cute.
Make sure you check out all the pictures! There are also a few videos.
Love you all!! Happy Halloween!!
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