School: So school is going well, I’m LOVING Japanese (right now anyway). Japanese and I get along better than Latin and I ever did. I think it’s because Japanese is a more visual language…….plus writing Hiragana and Katakana is just so much fun! XD I have my mid term coming up soon for that class so we’ll see how things go. I really wish I could read Kanji >.< Then my art classes are going pretty well too. With my computers class I feel like I’m unlearning everything that I was taught at Tyler! Tyler’s philosophy with graphics “less is more!”, teacher here “more is more” -_- that class is proving to be……..interesting O.o Photo is just fun, the teacher is pretty cool although I WISH I had been given a syllabus before I came to Japan! First day of class the teacher was all “so camera wise I want you to be able to control the ISO, shutter speed, depth of field and I want all your photo files to be RAW” Pretty much this meant I had to buy a DSLR for myself………..i was so salty! Luckily the teacher recommended a used camera store to us, so I ended up getting my camera+lens+memory card for maybe $200. VERY good deal! Although when I first turned the camera on EVERYTHING WAS IN JAPANESE! I was freaking out for about 5 minutes but then I found the language function and everything was ok again XD. It was supa scary. Then finally with printmaking I am so THANKFUL I am taking that class. I wanted to come to Japan to broaden my horizons as an artist and learn more about Japanese art. While I’m not taking a Japanese art history course, I’ve found that print making is a HUGE part of Japanese art history (or so I assume). The teacher is super sweet and I’m learning so much in that class well. OH! Also for Photo we went on a field trip with that class to a Photo museum! It was so inspiring! My favorite exhibit that we saw was called Beyond the Naked Eye and it was all about exploring man’s place in space, Earth, and the universe. The one photo that got me close to tears was an original photograph of a 3-month-old fetus inside a whom. I was so moved >.<
Food: I have been such a piggy since I’ve gotten here! All the food looks so good, I just can’t help myself! Some of the high-lights of the food so far have been 1) cake buffet (you pay a fixed fee up front and then you’re allowed to eat as much cake as you want for an hour…….it was SO YUMMY! Will not be my last time, let me assure you!) 2) Okonomiyaki (“Japanese pancake” wiki says: The batter is made of flour, grated yam, water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients such as green onion, meat (generally pork or bacon), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, kimchi, mochi or cheese. Mine’s was not this intense = ) 3) Hokkaido soft serve ice cream (has the consistency of Rita’s custard, and has the taste of……have you ever drank an open glass of milk that’s been sitting in the fridge for a day? KINDA tastes like cept it actually tastes AWESOME! Got it from Costco! XD) 4) tea party! (went out for tea in some obscure little tea shop in Shinjuku. And for as obscure as it was, TIM BURTON had been there with his wifey and drew a Jack Skelington on the wall of the tea place! Tea was tea, the Japanese style chocolate cake was GREEN! (so good!) and then I got an extra drink called a snow white which ended up being milk hot enough to burn my tongue). Now the weekend after the first week of school OSS (office of student services. ALSO with the tea place there was a notebook there where you could write a message in it and jazz……DIRECTOR JEAN HAS BEEN DRAWN IN SAID NOTEBOOK!!!!! =D) hosted a Grocery/cooking thing to make us Study Abroad students feel more comfortable in the food markets and the kitchen while we’re here. The grocery part was kinda informative but the cooking part was GREAT! I ended up making a chicken, egg, onion, and sweet soy sauce topped rice dish (BY MYSELF!) it was super yummy! I’m determined to cook for myself more while I’m here in Japan! So far I’ve made a tofu, rice, carrot, and bean sprout stir fry, and I made CHICKEN CURRY!!!!!!! I am SUPER PROUD on how my curry turned out =D I was able to feed myself for a week with those left overs!!!!!
Places: BAH! So sorry again for not keeping up with this!!!!! DX so for places I’ve been…..
Pokémon center: IT WAS SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME!!!!! =D Pokémon isn’t even my thing and it was still really cool! When I was there they were having an event where if you brought your Nintendo DS and hooked it up to there wifi you could receive a SHINEY! (OOOOO…..AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!) dragon type Pokémon! I didn’t get anything real crazy, I got a squished 10yen piece with Pikachu on it and it says it’s from the Poke’ center in Tokyo =D
Shinjuku: darn I forgot a food…….I WENT TO A KRISPY KREME FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 7 YEARS ON FRIDAY IN SHINJUKU!!!!!!! Best day ever………..it was so satisfying. The place had a hot sign and everything. They were just as good as I remembered :3 Also in Shinjuku that’s where I got my camera = ) the station in Shinjuku is HUGE!!!! And like in most large Japanese train station there’s a mall in the station that goes up 5 floors and down 2 floors. Some of the shops include Louis Vuliton, Chanel, and a Tiffany and Co. is coming in March O.o it makes me so sad going to those places cause the stuff is SO CUTE but SO EXPENSIVE! For instance found a COTTON SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT with Hello Kitty on it……….over 9,000 yen (over 90 USD) YEAH!
Harajuku: this is where the cake buffet was! Also this is a part of Tokyo that is known for being super cute and jazz! When I went there the first time I went to store called the Kiddy Store which sells…….toys =D They had a Studio Ghibli corner that had SO MUCH cool merch! But they didn’t really have Princess Monoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and some other ones too = ( When I went to Harajuku the second time I ended up buying myself a Lolita dress (2,900 yen), a flowered headband (500 yen) a clip in hat (500 yen) and a petticoat (999 yen)………4,899 yen……EXCELLENT PRICE!!!!!! =D
Shibuya: went here to eat REALLY YUMMY RAMEN!!!!! XD then after we walked around. Went a DISNEY STORE it was SO COOL!!!!!! I wish the Disney Store’s at home had that AWESOME merch! You can also buy your tickets to the park there as well! O.o
Ikegami: went there for their shrine for Setsubun (is a Japanese traditional celebration taking place in the last day of a season. From the four annual festivals, the most important is the one taking place today, on February 3rd, celebrating the coming of spring. The day after Setsubun, February 4th, is considered the first spring day, called Risshun.)! On this day you throw soybeans at demons (dude with a demon mask) to cast out bad luck and bring in good luck! You can also eat your age in soybeans+1 for good luck! So I went to the shrine having NO IDEA what was going on! There was this huge long raised platform and a BUTT LOAD of people (it still always astounds me how many people there are in Japan O.o) Eventually people came out of the shrine and stood on the platform (Japanese celebrities)……a gong rang and then the celebrities started chucking little bags of soy beans at us! IT WAS A MAD HOUSE!!!!! People were diving left and right! O.o
Edo Period Museum: Super neat museum about the Edo Period in Japan = ) I would tell you more but most of the plaques were in Japanese -_- it was still really cool though =D
Random: SO! After the photo museum I walked around a bit and I came across a food market (bad place for Jean) then there was woman giving out dried blueberry samples. Eh! I like dried fruit let me try some! LOVE IT! I buy a bag…………for 1,500 yen -_- and no the bag was not big enough to warrant that price. I then came to the conclusion that my body was craving dried fruit so badly that it had started messing with my common sense……a week later I went to Costco and bought craisins (we had the most touching of reunions) dried blueberries and dried cherries. Jean is content…….for the moment XD ANOTHER RANDOM THING! COMMERCIALS DEPICTING AMERICANS!!!!! First: so McDonalds has a thing over here called the All American Burgers. When I first got here they were advertising the GRAND CANYON burger! This commercial consisted of two Japanese men with the said burger in their hand. A postcard of the Grand Canyon appears behind them which then gives way to MONSTER TRUCKS BWAAAAAAA!!!!!! WE’RE IN THE GRAND CRANYON RIDING MONSTER TRUCK! LOOK AT ME EATING THIS BURGER IN AMERICA, IN MONSTER TRUCK IN THE GRAND CANYON! Ok let me just ask……..why monster trucks? I mean does the Grand Canyon have a free-range herd of wild monster trucks living there that I was unaware of??????? I don’t understand. Second: recently I’ve seen a commercial for converse shoes here on the trains (the pervious commercial was seen on the train as well) so picture…….an over weight (dude looks chubby) American with a blonde bowl cut, tight fitting red shirt and overalls that are shorts. He’s about take a bite out of a hamburger lalalala when SUDDENLY he sees a bulldog and the bulldog is all “that looks yummy! I WANTS!” the kid is all “NO! RUN AWAY!” as the kid is runny away he come across a fence, kid jumps the fence, does a fancy flip in the air lands, catches his burger that had fallen from his hands while he was jumping and NOMS THAT BURGER. END………*face palm* I still can’t really believe that I’m here studying in Japan. It all seems too surreal! Once again, SO SORRY FOR THIS LONG WAIT FOR AN UPDATE!!!!! DX Comments, questions leave them below! =D