Tuesday, June 30, 2009


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I first found out about the Koishikawa Korakuen in my 2005 edition of Lonely Planet. For the most part, I think Lonely Planet is pretty hit or miss, but they definitely nailed this one. They described it as one of those seldom visited places in Tokyo - which automatically means it's one of those places that I NEED to go to.AKIHAkorakuKASAI 015
After traversing the concrete jungle that is Tokyo weekend after weekend, it was really refreshing to go to a neatly manicured traditional Japanese garden. I almost forgot I was in Tokyo, save for the buildings peeping up over the treetops bordering the garden. Not to mention the bulbous roof of Tokyo Dome that looms next door.
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The garden was constructed in 1629 by Tokugawa Yorifusa. According to the pamphlet the garden's design incorporates some Confucian concepts from a Chinese scholar named Shushunsui, including a reproduction of a lake from China called Seiko, a full moon bridge and other Chinese ornamental features... like koma-inu & some karahafu-type gates.
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The Koishikawa Korakuen is designated as an 'important cultural asset' and site of 'special historical significance.' Basically they only give these kind of titles to really old stuff; there's lots of them in Kyoto & Nara, but not so many in Tokyo, mostly because the entire city was destroyed after the war. What makes it special is that it has both titles. There are only 6 other locations (Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, & the Sampo-in in Kyoto, Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, Nibo-no-miya in Nara, and Hamarikyu in Tokyo) that have the dual appointments by law.
Also. Admission is dirt cheap. 300 yen! I could stay in this place all day!! There was a woman painting in the Naitei section of the garden... I totally bet you a million yens that she had been there all day. Can you see her in the photo at the one end of the bridge?

That same morning I was in Akihabara getting a new Skype headset, but I met up with Taryn and we went to the Korakuen together. It is most definitely a great place to take some absolutely gorgeous photographs in. However, I did manage to get bitten by every mosquito in the greater Tokyo metropolitain area. I guess they just think I'm a delicious gaijin.
Later that night I did some shopping with Taryn in her neck of the woods that is Tokyo and we made some kickass French toast for breakfast on Sunday. Later that day we met up with Take and went to the park in Kasai near the bay. It was kind of cloudy, but we still got to ride the awesome ferris wheel there. Apparently it is the biggest one in Japan! My camera's batteries died, so when I get a chance I will post the photos that I took from my cell phone on facebook and share them with you. In the meantime, you can enjoy the Koraku-en photos!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


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Sumi-e, or ink painting, actually isn't Japanese at all. It's Chinese. Word on the street is that people in Taiwan and Korea paint with sumi, too. Despite all this, I learned sumi-e in Japan, from a New Yorker. I guess it would be more appropriate to call this style of painting Chinese brush painting, but since I know it as sumi-e, I will refer to it as such.

I learned this style during my year at Kansai Gaidai. I haven't been able to get my hands on the same type of paper that we used there. I've asked around at a number of different stationery shops, art supply, & craft stores, and nobody seems to carry mulberry paper. It's a real bummer. I have to settle for a thicker, whiter paper, that doesn't absorb the ink the way I'm used to.

Ah, but despite this, there is nothing better than painting. I love it.

Sumi (ink) comes in a stick. In order to get yourself some colored liquid to paint with, you have to grind the stick in an inkstone with some water. The stick itself is actually a compressed bar of soot. Its made by burning cedar wood soaked in oil, and then covering it with a big metal.. cover.. and then collecting the soot residue on the inside of the cover. They smoosh it together with some glue, and bada-bing-bada-boom you have yourself a stick of sumi! I have to say that this is one of my most favorite smells in the entire world. It smells faintly of cedar and campfire.

Once I see the ink looking slick in the well, it's time to dip the brush in and start making various shades of grey. Sometimes I add colors, but sometimes I get really distracted by them, especially if I am painting a landscape or bamboo. I usually reserve color only for flowers, but I do like monochrome flowers, too.
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The motion of the brushstrokes, the thought behind the balance of the painting, along with the smell of the sumi and sitting seiza, really just relaxes me and lets my mind wander. It's definitely one of my favorite ways to unwind. Hopefully now that I have some appropriate paper, I will be able to get my painting up to snuff again. I think I've become a little rusty, as I haven't painted since before I left for Japan this time around.... which I guess hasn't been since... Feburary or March.
I love Sumi-e! What do you love?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


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The Mitaka Forest Ghibli Museum is located in Inokashira park, in Mitaka city, a suburb of Tokyo. It is a commercially operated museum dedicated to showcasing the work of Studio Ghibli.
When I first started studying Japanese, my sensei always had mugs and plates featuring the characters from となりのトトロ. She also had a small collection of porcelain Tottoro figurines, too. I was curious about this big grey character that she loved so much, so she let me borrow her DVD of the famous Ghibli film, mostly because it would be good Japanese practice for me, since most of the dialogue in the film is fairly simple speech. Needless to say I soon became just as big of a Tottoro fan as my sensei. Some of my other favorite Ghibli films (in no particular order) are: もののけ姫 (Princess Mononoke), Spirited Away (I forgot the Japanese title), ほたるの墓 (Grave of the Fireflies), 崖の上のポンョ (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea), and 魔女の宅急便(Kiki's Delivery Service). I really super enjoyed going to see this museum.exchange night and ghibli 025
The museum's motto is 迷子になろうよ、いっしょに, or, Let's become lost children together. This sense of being lost and finding new worlds to wonder and marvel at is a constant theme throughout the Ghibli films, which is one reason I enjoy them so much. It is like traveling through fantasy worlds, each complete with their own small details to be savored and characters to befriend.

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In the museum, you do feel a little lost, but in a good way. It's not big enough to actually get lost in, but the compartmentalized design can make it easy to become slightly disoriented, as is the case with many Japanese buildings (like Kyoto Station, for example).
The building itself is very organic-looking, as though it is growing out of a small hill. Inside there are a number of different chambers. Inside the museum, one feels as though you are actually inside the world of a Ghibli film. The rooms are intricately decorated down to the very last detail. There is custom-made wrought-iron work on railings and banisters, the gorgeous hand-made murals and stained glass windows featuring Ghibli characters like Tottoro and Kiki cannot go unmentioned. Unfortunately, photography is totally prohibited inside the museum. I got some sweet outdoor shots with the robot on the roof garden, though!!
There is a small movie theater that shows short films that change throughout the year. We were able to watch やどさがし (Looking for a Home). Which was just too cute for words. I learned a lot of Japanese Onomatopoeia from it, too!!

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I'd say the trip to the museum was most definitely a success. I'd recommend it to any Ghibli fan. It's very difficult to get tickets though, as the museum is very popular. They are available at any Lawson for 1000 yen, if you can get your hands on them. You can only enter the museum at your scheduled time, too. Like I said, the museum isn't very big, but it is very popular, and it does attract crowds. They have to set entry times for crowd control purposes. It's so worth it, though :D

The weekend started for me on Friday evening with the Ashikaga Internatonal Association's Exchange Night. Ashikaga's sister city is Springfield, Illinois. Thier student delegation (15 or so students) and thier chaperones were at the event. There was good music, food, and of course lots of English/Japanese conversations. I got to meet the new mayor of Ashikaga. His son goes to one of the schools I teach at. Nice guy! He speaks really good English and can belt out a few Elvis tunes, too! Hehe. Thumbs up for the new mayor!

Later on, there was drinking and more good times to be had. I was at the museum on Saturday, and despite a travel mishap that evening, managed to get home in one very tired piece on Sunday. I'd say it was still a very good weekend, let's hope this coming one will be awesome as well. That's all for now. Stay cool!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

pink bicycles & generosity

Yesterday, one of my teachers, T. Sensei, gave me her daughter's old bike.
It was really quite the ordeal, so let me tell you all about it. First, our groundskeeper, I. Sensei, drove me & my borrowed bicycle (from my other school) back to my apartment, so he could pick up the busted bike. He said it would be much easier to throw it away with the rest of the school's trash, so I wouldn't have to worry about calling the garbage men & paying for them to come and collect it. It is unbelievably nice of him AND my school to do this for me.
Because Japan just isn't a very big place... refuse and what to do with it is always a problem. You've got your burnable garbage, un-burnable garbage, recyclable garbage, and then your large items.. like broken bicycles. Because they are too big and troublesome for the regular trucks, you have to call the city office and pay to have them haul it away for you.
So then we took the broken bike back to school, and T. Sensei was waiting in the parking lot for me. She drove me to her home, which actually is right across the river from my neighborhood, where my bike was waiting! I. Sensei followed behind us in the little truck that belongs to the school. He said he would drive me & the bike home in case it would start to rain.
T. Sensei and I had a good conversation in the car. She told me that she thought I was so brave for living so far away from home and in a country that is so different from my own. I told her that living in a foreign country is hard sometimes, but the one singular thing that made it quite easy was the fact that I can speak the language. We talked about people that go abroad to teach English who don't speak their host country's language at all and how difficult everyday life must be for them. We also listened to a little bit of a Spanish conversation CD and practiced some Spanish. We talked about the fact that the vowel sounds in Spanish are the same as the vowel sounds in Japanese, so she finds Spanish very easy to pronounce. However, since she doesn't get much chance to speak it, she said she unfortunately forgets many words.
I personally feel that it's really like that with any language. If you don't use it, you lose it. But, some people are just amazing at recalling words & grammar, and can produce it at a moment's notice. I wish I could be one of those people.
Then, T. Sensei told me that she and her husband had taken the bike to the bike shop and replaced the light and bake pads, and made sure everything was in working order before they gave it to me. The bike was their daughter's, who is actually the same age as me, and also like me, no longer lives at home, and an elementary school teacher, but in Kanagawa prefecture.
I was able to ride home on the new bike since it had not begun to rain yet, so after many 'thank you's' I said see you tomorrow to to I. Sensei and T. Sensei, and rode home.
The generosity & genuine concern from my teachers during this whole bicycle fiasco was very touching to me, so I really want to do something nice for them in return, especially for the teachers like I. Sensei and T. Sensei.
I think when I go home I will bring them back a little something to thank them for all of thier troubles. They really took care of me, and I am so thankful for that. They are just good-hearted people, what can I say? I am very blessed.
So here is a photo of the bicycle that was so generously given to me, It's pink!!! yaay :D
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The care and generosity of my teachers, along with good conversations and of course, pink bicycles.
That's what I love this Thursday. How about you?! What do you love?

Sunday, June 14, 2009


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Mori Tower is a 54-storey skyscraper that is a self-contained 28-acre "city within a city." It was built by Minoru Mori, Japan's largest commercial landlord, and opened to the public in 2003. It is personally tended to by his wife. According to my wallpaper* city guide, Mori patiently spent decades acquiring property from about 400 small local landlords solely for the purpose of constructing this massive integrated property development. It contains numerous apartments, restaurants, hotels, shops, offices, and a modern art gallery, which was my main area of focus this weekend!
I went to visit the exhibition entitled "The Kaleidoscopic Eye." It's only running until the 5th of July, and this was a free weekend for me, so I decided to go solo and take my time to scrutinize and enjoy the various installations from the collection of Thyssen-Bornemiza Art Contemporary.
The whole experience is really very sensory. There are tunnels of light bulbs and glittering mirrored disco balls that really do make you feel as though you are tumbling around inside of a kaleidoscope. There are some other pieces too, like Klaus Weber's "Public Fountain LSD Hall", which consists of a crystal fountain flowing with LSD (they have it surrounded with glass and a security guard so you can't get at it) a grid suspended from the ceiling of some strange hanging plants and a park bench, that left me scratching my head, but whatever, it's art. My favorite was the film by Rity Sarin & Tenzing Sonam called "Some Questions on the Nature of your Existence." Watching Tibetan monks debating was absolutely incredible and gave me insight to another culture's method of questioning existing theses.
So, after visiting the art exhibition, I went upward to the Sky Deck. MoriTower 039

It is basically just the building's helipad with some walkways and railing so you don't fall into the massive entanglement of heating/cooling, elevator, & communications equipment that the roof is crammed with. It is 270 meters high and is the highest open-air observation deck in Japan. It is like being on top of the world, you're so close to the sky you can feel the wind blowing, and Tokyo stretches out forever beneath you. It's absolutely incredible.

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After I had gotten my fill of being on top of the world, I went back downstairs to the Mado Lounge and had an awesome lunch of penne pasta in a red sauce w/ mushrooms. The set menu also included a spinach salad with prosciutto, asparagus quiche, & fresh bread. For dessert, a raspberry mousse and a yuzu sorbet and a cafe ole to finish off the meal. In addition, I had a beautiful view of the city to gaze out at while I ate. I didn't even notice the shelves of white books on the far back wall of the restaurant and the lamps made of stacks of the same white books. It was really awesome and modern decor. Totally hip.MoriTower 075
So... after lunch I wandered around the Tokyo City View, which is an airy glass-enclosed indoor observation deck, and did some people watching. I noticed that there were quite a few couples there (apparently Mori Tower is a fashionable place to propose in) and lots of wealthy-looking Japanese tourists with their Louis Vuitton bags and designer clothes.MoriTower 065
So once I had had my fill of the Mori Tower, I went and hung out with Taryn & Take at Shirokiya and spent the night at Taryn's place so I wouldn't have to worry about missing the last train home. It was an awesome end to an awesome day.
more photos on Facebook

Thursday, June 11, 2009

let's think about some...

Yessss. It's things I love Thursday. I feel like I've been stuck in an absolute rut with all of these bicycle accidents, locked phones, and fundamental attribution errors that have been happening to me lately
Anyway.  Let's think about some positives to outweigh the negatives!

Nihongoup made this beautiful chart of Japanese color names. I was learning them from the construction paper drawers at school, but since this is available to download in PDF format, it's way more convenient.
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Mister Donut. Pon de Ringu, por favor?! Plus, they have a point card that can fill your life with Pon de Lion emblazoned items!!

★ The teachers at my schools. They are probably some of the kindest, most considerate and understanding people ever. They are constantly worried about me (and I guess I give them good reason to, what with all of my bicycle accidents and being foreign) and help me out so much. I appreciate all of their insight and input they give during meetings. I don't know what I would do if they weren't there helping me out & making sure I'm OK. Now, one of my teachers is just going to give me a bike, since her kids are grown up and no longer live at home, so I don't have to borrow a school bike anymore. After the accident, another one of my teachers took me out to dinner. They invite me to events like this week's koto class. The kids got to learn about the koto and even got to play a song on it, too. It makes me so happy that they want me to be involved in school life, because that's what I want to do!
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Vivienne Westwood knockoffs. I can't afford the real stuff right now. Maybe one day I'll be able to afford the real thing... *le sigh* I can dream, can't I?!

★ A beautiful tote bag given to me by my school's EAA. It's a Dutch brand called Handed By made by a company called DIEZIJN that's manufactured in Thailand. On the tag it says the bag is 100% handmade of recycled material and 100% child-labor free, and those are all good things! Who could resist a gift like that? Plus, the woven plastic design makes it particularly strong, so it's great for shopping. She got me the black one... clearly because it will go with everything and it is the most chic.

★ My new Telephone Necklace. I got it in Harajuku this weekend at a sweet little store called Paris Kid's. I love that the receiver is attached with a little chain, and you can actually take the tiny phone off the hook... just in case you can't be bothered with any calls.

★ The song "Here We Go" from the Punch-Drunk Love soundtrack. It resonates.

How about you? What do YOU love?!

Monday, June 8, 2009


I was running late this past Friday morning. I decided to turn what would be a 10 minute walk into a 5 minute bike ride by going on side streets. Well, my travel plans were hampered when I was suddenly struck by a car turning left onto the street that I was going straight on. We were not able to see each other from around the corner of the high concrete wall. He had a stop sign, and had already started to turn. However, I did not have a stop sign and continued on.
Please note this handy diagram I have created to help you better understand:
( please note this is not drawn to scale)
Luckily, I didn't fall off of the bike. I was pushed forward, the side of my left thigh and right knee are bruised, as well as a spot on my torso that was pushed into the side of the twisted handlebar, and my hand has a small cut from where it pressed into the handlebars.
Mr. S was OK, but his vehicle sustained an injury of a fairly large dent on the passenger's side (or it would be the driver's side in the US) of the front bumper.
I believe that if we had been going at a faster speed, I would have gone right through his windshield.
We stopped. I removed myself from the bicycle, and Mr. S exited his vehicle. I began profusely apologizing in the most apologetic Japanese I know. The only thing that was going through my mind was the fact that "I am foreign and they will use that against me. The police are gonna come and this is going to be all my fault."
Ah, but such was not the case.
Mr. S began explaining to me that in cases like these, when a motorist hits a cyclist, 70% of the fault is attributed to the motorist. Later on, I found out that Japanese insurance companies always place a percentage of blame on both parties. So in this case... my portion of the blame would have been 30%.
Since it was mostly his fault, I was the one who should have contacted the police. However, I explained to Mr. S that I had never gotten into an accident in Japan before (or in the U.S., for that matter), and wasn't sure of the address or even what to tell the police once I had contacted them. He obliged and said he would call the police. Enter even more profuse I'm sorries and thank you's.
Meanwhile, I contacted my company to let them know I would be late for school and of course to tell them about the accident. They also spoke with Mr. S and with the police once they arrived.
Mr. S and I got to talking, he asked me where I was going. I of course answered, to school. Further explaining that I am an elementary school teacher at the nearby school. He then replied that he was a good friend of my vice principal, and had lunch with him often. He gave me his business card and phoned his office, which was right around the corner. A few moments later, his co-worker was there asking if we were all right and what had happened.

Soon, two uniformed police officers, a man and a woman, who are both stationed at the koban in front of my apartment, who I see basically every day, arrived in their teeny tiny patrol car. Then, a larger van with two officers in bright blue jumpsuits, who I assumed to be some kind of accident specialist team soon followed. The accident specialists started taking measurements and asking us both what happened and how it happened and even going so far as to draw a few chalk circles on the pavement.
The regularly uniformed officers seemed relieved when I began explaining to them what had happened in Japanese. They made copies of my alien registration card and also took my phone number and company information.
While all of these things were happening, I was still wringing my hands in fear that someway, somehow, someone was going to stick some kind of blame on me and make me pay some ridiculous amount of money for something. Thank goodness that was not so!!
One of the specialists, a younger guy, came over to me and asked what I was planning on doing with the bike. I said, well.. I'll just have to carry it (since the front end was smashed, there was no way I could wheel it) home and then walk to school.
Mr. S interjected here that he would drive me to school, to which I responded "No, really, it's OK, I feel fine and it's only a 5 minute walk from here." To which he said, "No, no, no, I hit you and I want to talk to your vice principal, if it's OK with you."
I had no choice. Mr. S was going to drive me to school.
Then the young specialist said... "well.. if it's not too much trouble.. could we have your address so we could take it to your home for you? If that is OK with you?" I was pretty surpised. I dont think this happens very often, so I asked if it would be all right and then said that if it wasn't too much trouble for them, I would be very grateful. He replied that it was nothing, and the police gave them my address and they were all.. "Oh! That's so close to the Koban!! No problem at all!!" So they loaded my poor wreck of a bicycle into thier van and went on thier way.
Mr. S, his co-worker, and I got into his little, dented, car and went to my elementary school.
Mr. S parked outside the front gate and walked into school with me, and had a little chat with the vice principal, who then came back into the teacher's room with a grin on his face and said that everything was going to be allllll right.

I think I was still pretty shaken up from the impact, but I was able to do lessons (albiet not with the same vigor with which I usually conduct my lessons) for the day.

After school, I stayed quie a bit longer than my usual working hours, because I felt bad for missing time in the morning. I know it wasn't my fault, but I just wasn't ready to walk home yet.
Then, I got into a conversation with one of my 3rd grade teachers, we'll call her Mrs. K, about Anne of Green Gables, which somehow changed into a conversation about food, which then morphed into Mrs. K inviting me out to dinner after school.
Well, I said I had no plans... and she said... "well, that's it, we are going to go shopping and go to dinner!"
Meanwhile, my head teacher had made arrangements to let me borrow one of the school's bicycles until I could figure out my own bike situation.
Mrs. K and I soon did your "sorry we are leaving before you" goodbyes and put the school bike in Mrs. K's van and took it to my apartment.. where we saw my poor broken bike sitting in the bike parking lot.
broken bike We left the bikes and drove to the Aeon in Ota, and had food court bbimbap (spelling?) and did some hyaku en and window shopping and played some video games (like the taiko game... awesome.) at the arcade. It was nice to hang out with one of the teachers for once, I hope that in the future we can all hang out together. She was telling me that at school, if something goes wrong, the teachers take care of one another, it's just what they do. She said they are kind of like a big family.
While we were out, my company called and said that they had spoke to Mr. S, who had decided not to contact his insurance company and would pay for his own damages as long as I would just replace my own bike.
My company coordinator further explained that auto body work would fairly exceed the amount I would have to pay to replace the bicycle, which was company property anyway, so I was getting a very very good deal here, especially since I could do my own bike shopping and bicycles are easy to come by cheaply in Japan.
I just didn't want to make anyone at my company (or Mr. S, for that matter) angry by arguing this agreement, so I said that was fair and that I would buy myself a new bike and apologized for causing everyone so much trouble and worry that day. My coordinator, who is a very nice person, said she was glad I was OK and that I didn't get hurt, which was the most important thing. She said it wasn't my fault and that accidents happen, and to be careful.
I woke up the next day feeling fairly sore from the impact with my bruises ripe, black and blue.
I'm feeling better now. The bruises are healing, but still sore.
I think I am very lucky to have only escaped with a few bruises and an order for a replacement bicycle. Yes, I am a very lucky person.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's that time again...


Holla! Time to list the things I love this week! The past few days have been particularly harrowing chapters in the life and times of Bridget Beaver.

The day before yesterday I accidentaly locked my phone... and I needed the PUK code to unlock it. So I wasn't able to use my cell phone and I had to get to a SoftBank store ASAP. Thankfully, I know enough Japanese to be able to say "I accidentally locked my cell phone, and I need a PUK code." I knew that bachelor's degree would be good for something!

TODAY, I was quite innocently riding my bike to school this morning at around 8:00 AM, when a mini white car full of some college aged looking kids (guys and maybe girls in the back seat?) pulled off to the side of the busy main thoroughfare and shouted at me "YOU'RE CUTE." Meanwhile, I'm just trying to be a normal human being, biking to work. Should I take this as a compliment? Was it thier idea of some kind of sick joke? I had no choice but to think the latter. The only thing running through my mind was.. they could hop out of that mini car and kidnap me. This could be really bad. So I said the first thing that popped into my head: 何でやねん!失礼だよ!They looked kind of shocked... and then continued on thier way.
I wasn't prepared for having a fundamental attribution error that early in the morning, but it's over now. If it happens again I'll take down thier license plate number. I might even tell the police. I mean, who stops alongside a busy road to yell "YOU'RE CUTE" at 8 o'clock in the morning??! It's just plain odd, if you ask me. Who DOES that?! The part that bothered me the most was the fact that it was so close to my apartment. I really hope they didn't see where I live. I try to keep that kind of stuff on the QT, just for safety reasons.
They were probably on drugs. Or perhaps they had gone mad with the swine flu.

Then I had a full day of classes at school, since I had to re-schedule the classes that both sections of 4th grade missed due to the all-school 'treasure hunt' activity that took up two periods yesterday.
So... they combined both sections of third grade into one class, gave me a free period during second period, and then I had classes for the rest of the day. I kind of wanted to chew my own leg off by the end of the day. The kids looked like they were about to do the same.
What I learned from this:
If you can help it, don't ever schedule a language class late in the afternoon. The kids are beat from recess and from all the other periods in the day and want to go home. They don't feel like singing songs or repeating words they can't understand.

Anyway. Let's make this day better by thinking about things I love:

★ She's not in Japan, but who cares?! My BFF Kika!

★ At McDonald's in Japan, a smile doesn't cost you a yen! Nice!

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★ Going shopping in 原宿. I knew about it long before Gwen Stefani did. I don't care if you don't believe me. I knew all about it and its amazing wealth of unique and conspicuous shopping. Even though Gwen popularized it, some people think she's a sell-out, but she's still cool in my book. And so is Harajuku.

★ My awesome 明治神宮前 cell phone strap. Yes I totally posed off of my nametwin, and I hope she doesn't mind that I have the same one as her. I saw hers and I totally fell in love with it.

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★ Watching Spongebob Squarepants in Japanese rocks my socks and is far too cool for any school. It brings to mind THIS inside joke: "Geography Lesson! This one is Patrick, and this one is Spongebob!" or.. even WUMBO.. WumBOLOGY... it's first GRADE, Spongebob (I could go on all night with this stuff..)

NYLON Japan and the free stuff that comes with each issue!! NYLON is probably my all-time favorite fashion magazine. The fact that there is a Japanese version AND that they come with goodies attached makes it even better.

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★ An after school snack of panju and milk tea to go with a good magazine! As for the milk tea, I have had a fondness for it ever since my days at Kansai Gaidai. I picked up the panju at a little cart next to a shrine on my way home from school. I've gone past about a dozen times marvelling at the amazing smell as I ride past on my bicycle, but this time I absolutely had to stop and get some. They are simply amazing. The man and the woman a selling them make them in a griddle that looks like it's for takoyaki. They were still warm when I got them home, too. So... amazing.oohlala

  That's all for this week. What do you love?!

Monday, June 1, 2009

スキヤキ Song

A group of a-capella singers sang this for our graduation ceremony at Kansai Gaidai. We all joined in. This is probably the most famous Japanese song ever. There are so many covers of it, and even an English version. SUKIYAKEY.com has a great translation of the lyrics.
I love this song :)