This post is perfectly establishing that I only do things when I am procrastinating from doing other things. Right now I am writing this entry instead of packing for the trip that I will leave for in eight hours. If that isn’t excellent planning I’m not sure what is. Anyway, this post is a mix of random things that I have done this week. I have another slew of videos that I want to upload to show as well but that is a painful work. When I can get it to work…everyone will be able to see them.
Last Sunday I went to the business district of Tokyo to see a parade! It was part of a one day festival where you could see performances and eat foods from different parts of Japan. The day was really cold but I was able to see many interesting things. For one, there were marching bands! There were groups from organizations, high schools, and even some small children with their own marching bands to go with the bigger ones. While the little kid marching bands did not sound really that good it was still really cute to see them marching. I took a video of one of the high schools playing and you’ll be able to see that they are very amazing! However, Japanese marching is A LOT slower compared to the marching that I have seen in parades in Canada. It was easy to take a three minute video of the whole song without even moving the camera. Even though the marching bands were really interesting to watch, my favourite part of the whole parade was one of the traditional performances. Unfortunately my video doesn’t show the coolest part of what they did during their performance, but it was still really amazing.
On Thursday I came back to Nihonbashi but for something completely different. The International Center at Rikkyo was giving away free tickets to an annual Ikebana Exhibition at Takashimaya. Takashimaya is a big and expensive department store that I would never ever walk into under normal circumstances. Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) was one of the exceptional circumstances that got me there.
I went with two Chinese international students that had also gotten the free tickets. There were many types of alternative arrangements by masters of that particular ikebana school. It is the same school that I have seen done in Halifax so I was really surprised to see all of the interesting and modern arrangements. The one that isn’t made with oranges and egg cartons would be a more “normal” arrangement. None the less, all of the arrangements were really interesting and I am glad that I got a chance to go!
After we had finished the exhibition, we went for a walk to find a place to eat うな丼 (eel on rice). We walked pretty far to get to the eel because before we did that we walked to find a cafe where someone could charge their phone. We also went into one of the expensive brand stores in Ginza. The main street of Ginza is filled with big brand stores that I don’t think I’ll ever afford so it was a little awkward to go in there but also fun! It is a really nice part of Tokyo and feels a little bit like a big North American city might so it is really interesting. After that we finally went to get the うな丼. Unfortunately, it was back the way we had come! So we walked all the back and then even further before we eventually found the place on a side street. It was worth it though because it was quite good!
Yesterday I started my Japanese lessons. They are done with a volunteer from the Ladies Club at Rikkyo. This is an alumnae club graduates of Rikkyo. The volunteer that will be helping me is named Moritoki. She is really kind. She explained things to me very clearing so that I would know how the lessons work. We will meet every Friday after my third period class for 1.5 hours. It is long but I think that it will really help me improve my speaking skills and confidence! I’m looking forward to our continuing lessons.
Then today I was able to go to an old area of Tokyo with a friend I met in JOINUS. Her name is Azusa and she is a second year student at Rikkyo. Even though she is a second year student, she is actually older than me because of the school systems in Canada and Japan being different. Actually, she is trying to do a study abroad at SMU! I really hope that she can go! It would be really fun to see her in Canada. We went to Yanaka because it is known for having a lot of old shrines and temples. Also, I was interested in seeing the huge graveyard there because there are famous Japanese people buried there…also…Yanaka is known for having wild cats. I didn’t see any though!
Even though it was really cold we bought really cheap bento that are sold in Yanaka Ginza (a shopping street in Yanaka) and ate in a small park that was nearby. This much food was only about 5$CAD and it was so delicious. After we ate, we continued walking around and looked in the shops that were selling traditional Japanese things. Then we came back to Ikebukuro and walked around in one of the big department stores in the station before going home! It was a really fun day and I am glad that we could go out together! We can both improve our languages and it is also really fun to go out with someone together. It was also Azusa’s first time in Yanaka so it was even more fun!
Now I am extremely tired and packing for my trip tomorrow to Nagoya! You’ll get to hear all about it when I come back to Tokyo on Tuesday morning!
P.S. I’ll try harder to blog like a good girl in November. This video problem just really held me back this month.