Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Hanami, yakiniku and purikura

A lot has happened these past two days so this will be a long post ;)

Yesterday was Melanie's birthday and so we had decided to surprise her in school so when she showed up we all started singing Happy Birthday :) Later at the buffet restaurant Jennifer showed up with a cake. The staff didn't want us to eat it there, but Massimo grabbed a bunch of spoons and then we sent the cake around the table and let everyone have a bite. Lucky it was a small cake! :) After that I, Gan, Laura and the new Vietnamese girl Mai headed out for Hanami, which is watching the cherry blossoms bloom. Some Japanese people make a picnic or a party out of it, we just went for pictures and having fun. So we took the tube to Shibuya and then we walked to Meguro. In Meguro there's a river and on both sides of it there are sakura trees. There were a lot! We walked alongside all of the river and I have so many sakura pictures. I will probably go Hanami one more time, since these were white sakura and I wanna see pink sakura too :P
Today's been a kind of weird and fun day. After the second break our teacher, Mimura, started showing us old Japanese stories and poems. We were also introduced to the Japanese language used for over a thousand years ago - that was kind of cool and nothing like today! We also read and listened to a song in Okinawa dialect, which to me sounds like a mix of Chinese and Japanese :P Can't understand it at all :P We also found out that it was his last day at the school and then he was transferring to somewhere else. That called for a class photo of course (this has become a tradition, everytime someone is leaving there's a new class photo). For lunch we went for yakiniku. You get a plate of raw meat and then you have a real grill on the table! Everytime we turned the meat around on the grill the flames were all over! xD So funny! Japanese food is fun :P
What happened next was that we met up with Caro who was once again in Tokyo, before going to Osaka tomorrow. I, Caro, Gan, Chappie and Fanny went for purikura together. It was so crowded at the place we chose! Of course since it's spring break and everyone's been graduating, everyone is taking purikura. After four rounds of purikura we decided that it was too crowded for a final fifth one so instead we went to a cafe (Choco Cro ofc!) to divide the pictures. At this place you couldn't send the pictures to your phone so I can't get them on the computer this time. :/ At the purikura place I found this sign, which is just so ridiculously funny in English xD What the sign says in Japanese is: don't enter through here. Then we went to a store called Loft, which is kind of like Tokyu Hands, but I like this one better :P There I bought a small scrapbook and some stickers and when I got home I transformed the scrapbook into a purikura album :) (I think there are real purikura albums, but I couldn't find one and anyway the scrapbook thing seemed funnier). When I went back to the tube station to go home I stumbled across this café and I just had to take a picture!
For dinner tonight my host mother served a shot of sake as appertif. She said she'll do that sometimes. I liked this sake :) Tasted sweet and not at all much alcohol :3 After dinner she showed me two small ceramic plates in a box. She said that she didn't need them and asked me if I wanted to have them. So now I have two small Japanese ceramic plates :D

Monday, 29 March 2010

Harajuku and Sukiyaki

After lunch today I decided to go to Harajuku to find that store that I heard of. It's a store that sells old Hello! Project photos and merchandise, Gorakudoh. It also sells tickets for concerts :) However when I got there it was a huge disappointment. The area that I read was supposed to be for Hello! Project photos were all Johnny's (i.e. guys). In the ticket area I found like ten (tops!) old photos and none of them of an artist that I like :( I didn't even bother to buy tickets for the coming Morning Musume concert since I didn't get the system.

On my way back home from there I ran into two Swedish guys. It was so weird, just walking on your own at Takeshita Doori and suddenly you hear someone speaking Swedish next to you. Like what the heck?! Turned out they were on a 10 day vacation in Tokyo and asked me what you should see in Tokyo. Like if there were any famous temple or something you should visit. I didn't know what to say, all the famous temples are in Kyoto, right? That was about it. Walking back to the tube station I also found the most ridiculously tall H&M building ever.
In the evening we finally got to go to dinner with Jennifer. It was really fun. Haven't seen her for like two weeks when she went back to Hong Kong. Now she's back in Japan, but only in Tokyo for a few days before she moves to Nagoya to start university. Anyway we went to a kind of expensive restaurant called Nabezou that had meat dishes. We all decided on sukiyaki which is kind of a hot pot with meat (either beef or pork) and vegetables. There was a vegetable bar where you could choose all the vegetables you wanted. An all you can eat buffet for a little less than 2000 yen :) It was really nice and totally worth the price, but since it's so expensive I probably wont go there again... Here's a picture from outside the restaurant. It looks real cosy right? And it's spring weather here, which means the weather has gone totally crazy. It's less than 10 degrees, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, sometimes heavy rain out of nowhere and sometimes really hard wind. Could you decide, please? :P

Sunday, 28 March 2010


Friday was a fun day. After school we went to have lunch at the usual buffet place and then we went to Shinjuku. When in Shinjuku there was an earthquake. Not a big one and you only noticed if you thought about it, really. But standing there on the road you could feel the ground vibrate, pulsating. That was kind of fun :P After Chappie had done her errand we all went to Starbucks for coffee while waiting for Yuki's brother and friend to show up. We finished before they came so instead we went to the restaurant where they were eating and close by there was a game centre, so while waiting for them to finish their dinner we played some games (Mario Kart).

When they had finished we all went to karaoke (again). It was a lot of fun as always. I can't really sing but if I keep this up I might get a decent voice from all the practicing xD After two hours of karaoke the rest of us were hungry so we tried to find a place to fit 6 people in at the same time. That was hard but in the end we found a café where we could eat and drink. Then we went to one more game center where they played something that looked very much like Soul Calibur, I'm almost certain that's what it was anyway.

Then we parted and after a lot of trouble I finally managed to charge my train card with one more month at my home station :P

The rest of the weekend has practically been about sleeping and manga for me. Slept for 12 hours yesterday and when I got up I did my laundry and read manga. Today I slept for 12 more hours and read manga after that. Should've gone out for dinner with friends tonight since Jennifer is back from Hong Kong but it was cancelled since we couldn't find any restaurant that wasn't fully booked :/ We're gonna go out tomorrow evening instead.

Sorry for the lack of pictures recently, my camera has been staying low ;)

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Two kind of ordinary but exciting days

Got the results on the tests today, the day after! They sure are quick! I got 76/100 which means I will advance to the next level of conversation course on April 5th :)

Yesterday to celebrate that the test was over we first went to a delicious meat place. I've told you about it before, the place where you cook your meat by yourself? And then some of us went to karaoke for an hour. On the train home I started talking to Caro by mail and when I had gotten home we decided that we would meet in Shibuya to have dinner and go for purikura and karaoke together :) That's when she told me that she has to go back to Germany earlier. Her mother had called her in the weekend to tell her that her grandfather was dead. She was originally only staying a month, but now she's leaving on Sunday :( When I got home from our own little party I was so tired I almost fell asleep as soon as I entered my room :P

Nothing special happened today, though. Went out for okonomiyaki for lunch, which is kind of like pancake but still so very different. You decide what ingredients you want (I chose butakimchi, which is pork and korean garlic mayonese) and then you mix the ingredients together with cabbage and egg in a bowl and then you pour it all on a pan that's in the table. You make it the form of a round pancake and when it's brown in the bottom you turn it over and let it become brown on the other side too, then you add okonomiyaki sauce, mayonese, nori (seaweed) and dried fish (which smells like pork for some reason) on top. It all tastes so delicious! After okonomiyaki we went to a store called Book Off, which is a really cheap place where you can buy both new and old stuff. I never went anywhere else but the first floor but there's supposed to be books and manga too except for CDs, DVDs and games. After asking the staff and making sure that PS2 and DS games work on European consoles I bought Rayman Raving Rabbids for DS and the first Naruto Ultimate Ninja for PS2, for a total of 720 yen xD Add to that that they had a whole area filled with old consoles and to match with it old Game Boy games, Game Boy Color games, Nintendo 64 games etc etc. Just looking at it was fun :P

It's been rainy and cold for a few days now :/ It's bad because we had originally planned on skipping school today to go to Disneyland to celebrate that the test was over, but that is kind of useless if it rains.

Oh and remember me telling you about the really strong wind in Kyoto day 2? Reportedly that came from a tornado at Kansai airport! :O

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Final test

Today has been a real slow day. Tomorrow is the final test of this course and after lunch I went back home to study for it.

I planned on that instead of telling you about this boring day I would show you some pictures of how I live and som fun and weird Japanese things, but the photo uploading program has gone crazy and only works when it wants to. So I'm gonna go to sleep instead and hope that it works tomorrow evening.

Wish me luck :)

Kyoto day 3

So we started off the day with showering and packing. The trip turned suddenly mysterious when I found an anonymous "I love you"-note in my bag. Not in a handwriting I recognised. I decided not to inquire anymore and just left it at that, it was nice anyway :) After checking out we went to lock our stuff away in some coin lockers at the Kyoto station and then we went to Kyoto International Manga Museum. In there we spent around an hour just reading manga after we had walked around and looked. It was as big as a library with nothing but manga on the shelves - heaven. Instead of trying something new in a language I'm not very good at yet I decided to read Paradise Kiss in Japanese. It's for young adults, which meant some kanjis didn't have hiragana next to them, but I understood most of it - probably thanks to the fact that I've already read it in English :P After reading manga for an hour we went to a small show of kamishibai, which is a kind of paper picture show. A guy telling stories with the aid of pictures. All in Japanese but since that was for children I could understand most of it :D

Then we went for the fun part - Arashiyama. There was a bridge there that Chappie wanted to see, but I wanted to go up the mountain to the monkey park - and we did. After climbing and climbing for forever (there was a sign after a while that said this is about the same height as Kyoto Tower - 135m, so I've practically climbed Kyoto Tower) we finally got to the park. We got a photo taken together with a monkey then we went inside the house. On the veranda of the house they have put like a net, big enough for the monkeys to put their hands through. In that house you could pay 100yen for a bag of "monkey food" (chestnuts, peanuts or apples) and then you could feed the monkeys. That was really really fun :D
After feeding the monkeys we went down the mountain and to a temple called Tenryuji (Temple of Heavenly Dragon). It had been a villa where an important Buddhist-person had grown up and lived and when he had died it had been transformed into a temple. That place was so beautiful. But once again - no cameras allowed inside.

When we exited the villa's garden we entered a bamboo forest. It was awesome xD The bamboo was so high and grew so thickly that you could hardly see through it. We walked there for a while before deciding to go back to Kyoto station, buy a bentou (lunch box) and take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.
On the way we entered a small souvenir shop where they had geisha products, like for keeping the skin nice. One thing I really liked - it's paper, but when it gets wet you can use it as soap and wash your face. That soap gets so thick you could even use it as a face mask for like two or three minutes. For the first time in my life I bought skin products.

For the train home we had also bought non-reserved seats. We went to the platform and watched three Nozomi trains go by packed with people. They stopped of course but we decided to wait for the next one instead of entering. In the end we entered a Kodama train, which was stupid because that train stops at around 15 stations before Tokyo where Nozomi only stops a 3. We got seats at the Kodama anyway so we could eat our bentous. Then we decided to switch trains at Nagoya station and entered a Nozomi, but there were of course no seats and we had to stand for the next 1½ hours before coming back to Tokyo.

It was really nice being back in Tokyo. It felt familiar. My first impression of Kyoto was: "where are all the people?" and everything in Kyoto was old, even the new things had been around for at least 25 years. Tokyo is great :)

Kyoto day 2

Today we got up around 9 and after showering and getting ready we went to buy breakfast (onigiri), then we went to Ginkakuji (the silver temple). I promised to take a lot of pictures when in Kyoto but unfortunately my camera died this day :P So I had to do with my mobile camera, which wasn't of much use. I should have brought my Swedish mobile too, at least that one has a decent camera with flash and everything. However, Ginkakuji ended up being a kind of disappointment, because unlike the golden one this wasn't silver at all. Might be because silver darkens that it didn't look silver, but the the rooftops of all the houses surrounding the temple were silver :/ We didn't get it :P
The area around Ginkakuji had beautiful nature and we walked around there for a while before continuing to the Kiyomizu Temple. This was just that - a temple. Kyoto has a lot of those. I saw many and I didn't even get close to half of them.

We continuted to Sanjuusangendo Temple, which was incredible. It was such a disappointment that cameras weren't allowed inside :( It's a huge one-hall temple were a thousand Buddhas are lined up on either side of a huge Buddha. On front of those one thousand Buddhas on each side are Japanese Shinto-Buddhistic gods. I don't think my eyes have ever been bigger.

After that we went to Fushimi Inari Shrine, which has a lot of "gates" and foxes. We walked through the gate-tunnels so if we're going to believe the belief we are now really blessed ;) We never found out why they even built that many gates.
We wanted to go to yet another temple but by the time we got there it was after 4pm and the temple was closed. So we turned around and went back to the guest house. By then it had gotten really windy and really cold. None of us were hungry by the time we got back and we simply decided not to eat since we didn't want to leave the warmth of the house. So we spent the evening watching Japanese TV, eating sweets and hanging out with the other people in the guest house. I mostly with an American girl from Alaska and Chappie with another Taiwanese girl.

Kyoto day 1

At around nine I arrived at Tokyo station to meet up with Chappie. We couldn't find each other so in the end we just decided what train to take and met up at the platform - that's what happened to put it simple and without mentioning any mishaps :P The Shinkansen train Nozomi takes two hours between Tokyo and Kyoto and makes only three stops along the way. We had bought non-reserved seats but since we got on at the first station that was no problem. Some people had to stand all the way. I felt kind of lucky sitting down and sleeping all the way :P

When we arrived our first stop was at the nearest tourist agency to get a map of the city. Next stop was dropping off our bags at the guest house where we were going to stay. Then we went out sightseeing. On the way we bought some onigiri for lunch. We bought a two day pass for buses and subway each and then we went to Kinkakuji (the golden temple). This day felt like early summer, around 20 degrees and sunny :) Perfect weather :D
After Kinkakuji we went to the Imperial Palace. It's not in use anymore of course, but it's still there and they take good care of it. However, when we arrived there we soon found out that you needed to get entrance permission from somewhere else to be able to enter. So in the end we just hung around the garden. But that was really nice since the sakura were all blooming.
After being kind of let down by the Imperial Palace we went to the Nijo Castle instead, which is the shogun palace. The shogunate ruled Japan for some hundreds of years. No cameras were allowed inside but the experience of the nightingale floor was nice (the creaking of the floor was supposed to warn the residents of intruders). Here too the garden was really something :)
When we considered ourselves done with history we went to Gion, which is kind of a shopping district. There is also a temple, Chionin Temple, and at that place we watched a maiko show (I'm still not really sure what the difference between maiko and geisha is). It was incredible watching the two girls performing. Nothing they did looked difficult but the grace with which they performed was beautiful.
After the performance we went around Gion for some more, taking more pictures and then we went back to the guest house to check in. Both of us were really tired after the long day and after going out for a quick meal at the nearest restaurant we both fell asleep around 10.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Asakusa again and Shitamachi Museum

Yesterday for lunch we went to an Indian buffet and I'm never going there again. Not that the food wasn't good, it was. It was just that all of it was so spicy it brought tears to my eyes trying to chew it. I like spicy, but that was just a little too much :P The Indian restaurant was in Asakusa and after that we went around shwing Gan around and letting him take pictures. We went to the same places we've been to before and nothing had changed, still I managed to get a photo opportunity. In front of the temple in Asakusa there was some kind of Japanese cultural thing going on with a Japanified Chinese dragon, traditional music etc. It was kind of interesting to see and I managed to get some good photos of the dragon :)
When I got home I immediately got into a bad mood. First I had to take care of the baby (aka puppy) who had pooped on the floor. Yay... Then I got up on the second floor and found out that my room mate had done laundry so the entire drying area was taken, although I specifically said the day before that I needed to do laundry to have clothes for the weekend. Our hostmother was out so we were alone in the house for that evening and after we had managed with the clothes and the drying area I kind of made peace with her. Then she got mad at me for not asking her to eat with me for dinner. I was kind of wanting some alone-time but she didn't understand that. Then I usually take a shower around 9.30pm before I go to bed. Guess if she took the shower right around then? Ofc! So I went to bed much later and have been so very tired the entire day today. But after a night's sleep I made peace with her again and today everything is ok again :P

Today after lunch I went with the usual gang but at the same time I wasn't altogether sure I wanted to go. I wanted to buy a pair of new jeans (since a pair of the ones I brought here are broken) and prepare stuff for the weekend when I and Chappie are going to Kyoto. But I went with them anyway and ofc I wasn't disappointed. We went to Shitamachi Museum in Ueno. It was a museum of how Japanese people lived before World War II. I really liked it. Especially the second floor where they had old toys and puzzles that you were actually allowed to try and play around with. Who needs new toys when the old ones are just as good and fun now as they were back then? :D We stayed there until closing time at 4.30 and then I decided to go back to Shibuya. I managed to buy a pair of jeans I had seen the other day at Zara and I got home in time for dinner at 7. To quote Chappie: Watashi wa suggoi (I'm great). Here are some pictures from the museum: So Saturday to Monday I will be in Kyoto and I wont bring the laptop so no more updates until Tuesday or maybe Monday night. Monday is a national holiday so this time it's a long weekend, when I first heard of it I decided I wanted to go somewhere, but it wasn't until Chappie asked if I wanted to go to Kyoto that it was decided. I'll take lots of pictures and see you next week :)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

For lunch today we wanted to have a picnic in a park in Shinjuku. Well, that didn't turn out as well as it should. We got to Shinjuku and turned up in a small park, which was totally wrong. So we went back to the tube station to find the right one. In there Ebu found a sign pointing to a post office (he needed to go to a post office) and he was off with Chappie. The rest of us went to find the park and after a while we found it, but after walking for ages we finally found an entrance xD At the entrence we paid 200yen to get inside. By then the time was already around 3.30pm and we were all very hungry. At the resting place we (I, Yuki, Melanie, Martin and Ken who didn't go to the post office) all bought some ice cream. Then we managed to meet up with Ebu and Chappie in the middle of the park. We spent some time lying around on the grass, Ebu and Ken doing kung fu moves next to us. Then suddenly an old Japanese man turned up. Out of nowhere. He looked at me and said I was beautiful then asked us where we all came from. After some chatting with the old man we all figured he was kind of drunk, and I was a little uncomfortable after he asked me my age. Then all of a sudden he wanted to give us 10,000yen since it was tea time xD When he finally went away we couldn't stop laughing about it.
Shortly thereafter the park was about to close so we gathered our stuff and started to walk to the exit. Next to the exit we found a bunch of beautifully blooming magnolias and there was a guy who took pictures for everyone who asked him. So we asked him for a group photo in front of the magnolias.
Then some of us went home but I, Yuki, Melanie and Chappie were so hungry after not eating any lunch that we decided to eat something small before going home. So we went to McDonald's :)

On the train home there was a group of old French people trying to get to Shibuya and the Hachiko gate. I was so close to try to help them out in French, but they seemed to have a Japanese guy with them who tried to help them in English :P

Now I've caught up with what they have studied before I arrived. Hopefully I will have time for more fun stuff now :)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sunday and Monday

I should have written yet another post yesterday but I was so tired by the end of Kawagoe and the picture uploading thingy stopped working :/ So I decided to go to bed instead.

I had my Sunday all planned out from the beginning; shopping and lunch in Shibuya and then study all evening and night. Around 11 I took the train to Shibuya and started to go around looking into stores, going into some and look around without buying anything. I went to the huge shopping mall in Shibuya, 109, and it was, well... horrible. There were so many stores pressed together on every single one of the five floors. All the stores played different kinds of music and all the store assistants were girls wearing too much make-up, fake hair and too high heels (simply they were all kogals). It's pretty interesting to see how much make-up you can fit into one single small Japanese face, but it's also pretty scary when they're up close flashing those humongous fake eyelashes at you. And if one of them are bored you wont get rid of her, she will stand there next to you, talking ridiculously fast in Japanese, while you try to look at the clothes. So I didn't buy anything there and all the small Japanese brand shops I went into on the street simply didn't fit what I usually wear. So in the end I ended up at Zara and H&M. I spent three hours at H&M xD But it was pretty fun. From Zara I bought two T-shirts, simply because I loved the print on them. I tried a third one but the material was too seeing-through and skintight for my taste (but I still loved the print on that third one). At H&M I became a denim maniac and ended up with two pairs of shorts and a denim vest. I was looking for summer clothes, since I brought too few of those, but I also needed a pair of new (real) jeans, I couldn't find any though. I also bought new Converse. The old ones have been hanging on for two years straight soon and they are getting a little "over-used". So a pair of low, simply black Converse was something I really needed.
When it comes to fashion, Japan is pretty funny. The girl clothes are all cute, which makes it problematic for me. I don't want flowery prints, laces and hearts. I want checks, studs and skulls, which is all very easy to find in the boys department. This means that either I have to buy clothes that makes me look fourteen or I have to buy clothes that makes me look like a boy. But shoes are different. I swear no European guy would buy shoes in Japan! Let's just say that the sneakers in the girls department and the sneakers in the boys department look exactly the same. Which is great for me since all the girls sizes are too small. I just have to go for the smallest ones at the boys' and they're all good to go for me ;)

When in Shibuya something funny happened to me again. A Japanese guy confronted me speaking really good English. He said that he and his friend were filming a video for their common friend who is getting married. They wanted to have different people on the video and they asked me where I was from. Then they said that he would say: "Have you heard the news of him getting married" and I was going to answer in Swedish. Anything I liked and then they would put Japanese subs on the video. How they worked that out without asking me what I said, I have no idea :P

Today would be another study day for me. I want to study a lot of Japanese now and expand my grammar, vocabulary and kanji as much as possible. My last week I will try to read the Japanese news paper my host mother gets every morning! That probably wont go as well as I hope, since you need to know around 2000 kanji for that... But hopefully it will be better than now...

After shool I, Yuki, Melanie and Chappie went out for yakiniku, which is, simply put, fondue on a grill instead of a pan. You order your combination and then you get the raw meat. You cook the meat by yourself adding steak sauce or soy sauce or whatever you like while cooking it. And then you eat it :) It's really nice. But since it's meat it's also really expensive.

After lunch we ended up at a café for dessert. Caro had shown us a café with literally the best pain au chocolat in the world. They probably call in chocolate croissant, since the place's name is Choco Cro. We stayed there for about two hours just talking, laughing and telling jokes. Somehow we got nestled in on riddles and kept telling riddles to each other. It ended up being a really funny and cosy afternoon.

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Saturday was a real adventure. I, Chappie, Melanie, Yuki and Julian met up at the tube staion Takada no Baba at eleven to take the train to Kawagoe. There were temples and stuff and Chappie and Melanie had decided that they wanted to go there. Chappie had shown a pamphlet and it all seemed kind of nice. The first temple we got to didn't strike me as any different than the ones in Ueno and Asakusa. But I still think they are beautiful. What I noticed as very funny was that there were snow there xD A lot of it considering it's been around 14 degrees for several days now.
After walking around to different temples for a while we got to the city centre. The majority of the shops there were selling Japanese sweets. And it was cosy walking along the streets paying a 100yen here or there and try out different sweets (or less than that or just trying a free sample). Japanese ice creams are very funny. They have all the colours we have. But the tastes are totally different:
Pink - Sakura (Strawberry in Europe)
Green - Green tea (Pear in Europe)
Purple - Satsuma/sweet potato (Blueberry in Europe)
Yellow - Potato (Banana in Europe)
White - Milk (Vanilla in Europe)
The only taste that's the same as ours is the brown one, chocolate :) The best sweet however I found at my treasured drinking machines. A strawberry milk kind of thingy. Yuki recommended it and it was really nice. According to him the banana one is better - I find that hard to believe.
We found this wonderful shop that made everyone wish they were rich. A shop that sold miniature versions of samurai bogu. They were all so amazing, but unfortunately the smallest and cheapest one cost 50000yen ^^; We kept on walking until we found us a river. I thought it was the same river used in the dorama Gokusen, but maybe that's just because I've only seen one river in Japan so far. However we took a break at the river before continuing. Then we found an old tube train carriage. It was all rusty and spooky but somehow I liked it. Its number was 444 so no wonder it wasn't in use. 4 is the unlucky number in Japan, because the number four sounds the same as the word for death. We also went to a museum of the special Kawagoe festival that's held in October every year. I liked the museum a lot but unfortunately I couldn't get any good pictures since the whole place was kind of dark and the use of flash was prohibited :/

That day ended in a chai latte at Starbucks and later at a tonkatsu restaurant with Yuki and Melanie. When I got home I was so tired and my legs ached from doing nothing but walking all day.

Ueno again

Friday was Korean Jeun and French Marie's last day in Japan. So we all took a class photo :)
After lunch that Friday we had no idea where we wanted to go. So we ended up strolling around in Tokyo. I was kind of bored so I took pictures upwards to entertain myself. But it ended up kind of funny:
Then we decided to go to the Imperial palace and walk around in the part of the garden that's open for the public. It was really nice. Already some sakura blooming and it was just really nice weather for a stroll in the park too. When we grew tired of the park we decided to go to Ueno. We went to the same temples I had been to before. But we also went to buy ice cream and ended up with this funny picture:
Even in Ueno some sakura was blooming. Spring is coming. In the pond we found some fish, which were actually bigger than the birds. They are apparantly very used to being fed by passers-by since, when they saw us, they all went to that same spot and tried to be the first one catching something if we ever threw something to them. Which we didn't. But it was kind of fun to watch the fish.
That evening I, Yuki and Melanie had decided to go to Round 1. It's a huge place with any game and sport you can think of. We went there and the first thing we did was to play a tennis game and then a basketball game. Then ofc we went to the kids part. A fort with balls you could shoot at each other or just throw at each other. Playing around in there is what really got me going and then I couldn't stop having fun. After the kid place we went to the relaxation room and had a massage by a chair each. Quite nice. Then it was table tennis for ten minutes, then real basketball, volleyball, minigolf, badminton, minibowling, fishing, rodeo and karaoke. We also played some games like an action game where you were supposed to hit everyone that came running towards you. We also played a racing car game :D So funny! Wanna go there again. After paying we got some free vouchers for other games. So I got to try pachinko for the first time - which was so boring. I don't understand the point :/

When we got home I was so tired I didn't even care to take a shower or brush my teeth, I just went straight to bed. But it was happy sleeping ;P


On Thursday we went to Ebisu. It's a place which is quite famous for the dorama Hana Yori Dango being filmed there. Just getting there was quite an adventure.
For lunch we split up. Some of us wanted to have tempura and some wanted sushi. We decided to call later. So that was my second time at a sushi bar (I'm starting to like wasabi. It's funny how it makes your nose feel spicy rather than your tongue). After lunch Chappie and Melanie wanted to go to Ebisu. They had never been there and wanted to go there before they go home in April. So we took the train there. I texted Caro and the others who went for tempura and incidentally they had decided to go to the same place! Caro already knew the place so she found her way easily with her group but we, the sushi group, got lost before finally getting to the right place. It was the first real spring day with about 14 degrees and clear skies so it was really nice just walking around there.
We found a photo/advertising museum there and decided to go. It was kind of cool. Some pictures were a real treat and some I just didn't get what they were doing there. After the museum we decided to go get a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I found this ad there. I've wanted to get a picture of it for ages. Japanese people really do love their sakura. So this ad said: Sakura is here and then shows some sakura lattes.
It was full on Starbucks so we ended up somewhere else and I didn't get to try that sakura latte. Instead I went for a strawberry latte, which ended up tasting probably as bad as it sounds. :P

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

NHK and Caro

After lunch today I, Yuki, Melanie, Chappie, Laura, Julien and Caro decided to go to Harajuku. Julien had heard that the NHK (huge Japanese TV-station) building was something you had to see, so that's where we went.
Inside was a kind of museum with old doramas but also where you could watch them record a radio show, be the centre of CGs on a real blue screen, pretend to be a news caster or watch a short 3D-film without 3D-glasses. The 3D-thingy was kind of cool. You had to tilt your head with one eye closed until the NHK-letters disappeard, then you could open both your eyes and let them start the film, but you had to keep your head in that same position all the time. Kind of neck breaking. Caro was the only one who did the news caster thingy. They asked us who wanted to try (there were a lot of Japanese people there too ofc) and she raised her hand. Then a conversation followed of who we were and where she was from. When she said Germany they said that they had the news caster things in German too so she went up and did it in German. And as a souvenir she got herself a picture of herself as a news caster :) On the way out I found this poster. I really want to see this movie. The name of the film is Elin (or probably Erin, but it's spelled the same way and pronounced the same in Japanese).
Then we all went to a huge toys department store Caro knew of called Kiddy Palace. I finally bought that calendar (a black Hello Kitty one, can you imagine?!). It was seven floors of toys, but the best part was on the top floor; a whole section full of One Piece merchandise. I really wanted to buy something but I couldn't decide so in the end I didn't buy anything :P
After that we all separated but I stayed with Caro. We went to take purikura (print club pictures) as she said that I had to try it and I really wanted to. It was a lot of fun xD
Then she and I went to eat tonkatsu and then we ended up at a manga/internet café to watch TV. She had been interviewed on the street before and she thought it would be on this episode. It wasn't, but it was fun either way :P