Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Pizza Party!

Some of AGU members; Ayumi, Kei, Lisa, Masahiro and Nozomu and I went to Sanae’s house on Oct.18th. (All these members are living alone now.) We held a pizza party! Pizza was very delicious :-) I remembered the pizza party at Nikki’s apartment house.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chinatown in Yokohama

I haven’t seen you for a long time.

I went to Chinatown in Yokohama on October 12th with my mother for the first time. I was surprised that Chinatown in Yokohama was so large! I’ve been to Chinatown in Nagasaki, but it was smaller than Yokohama’s one. Even so, Yokohama’s Chinatown was larger than I expected!! There are many fine gates. They were very beautiful! And there are too many Chinese restaurants to choose where we eat lunch. After all, I ate the steamed bun with meat in it which was made by the champion of Chinese dishes’ contest. It tasted very good  Then, I went shopping. I bought the fragrant orange-colored olive tea. I like this aroma very much! Furthermore, I bought T-shirt which was printed the picture of panda. The pandas are doing Chinese boxing. They are very cute, but I think they must be very strong(Like Kung fu Panda!). (By the way, I belong to the badminton club. So, I’m going to wear this T-shirt during the club activity) Then, I met a strange old man. He wore the Chinese clothes, red-framed glasses and very big earrings. I think that you think “Why is this old man strange?” But, in fact, his earrings were vinyl bags. And the goldfishes were swimming in them!! A lot of people took his pictures with interest. Of course, I took it, too!

These occurrences reminded me of the wonderful days in America. Especially, I remembered the day when I went to Chinatown in America and bought a T-shirt in Baltimore with Sahori. And I miss Nina, Heather, great mentors and Maryland again!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Last Day in Kyoto

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On September 10, I went to Heian Shirine. It was red and very beautiful! I was taken a picture by other tourists. They are university students, too. And one of them is belonging to photo club. So, I could get a nice picture by chance! 

After that, I went to Kyoto University. Kyoto University is very old and has long history. It is famous for researching Human Genome nowadays. The campus of Kyoto University was very large! Of course, it doesn’t match University of Maryland. And many students were in the university even during summer vacation. And they studied in the library! So, I was surprised and thought that I have to study, too!

Then, I went back to Kyoto station and bought many souvenirs. Kyoto was really good place. And I thought I want to go to Kyoto again!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Second day in Kyoto

First, I went to Kiyomizu-dera temple. This is very popular place in Kyoto. So, I saw many tourists from foreign countries. Of course, there are a lot of Japanese people, too. Kiyomizu is on the very high place. So, I walked a steep uphill. It was really hard! But, the view from Kiyomizu was wonderful!! In Japan, there is an idiomatic phrase. It's "Jump out of Kiyomizu". This is a metaphor and means "take the plunge and decide the important things". As this phrase says, I thought that if I can jump out of Kiyomizu, I can do everything. Also, I had a spiritual experience in Kiyomizu. I experienced the inside of the mother's womb of Bodhisattva. Of course, I didn't it actually. I entered very dark room which is pretended the mother's womb of Bodhisattva. I think you were surprised to hear this story and thought "Sae is crazy!". But I'm OK!! :-) This experience was very fearful for me. I couldn't see everything around me. I felt the most horrible in my life. I thought I nearly go insane in the room. But I felt as if I was born again when I found the gleam. If you have a chance, you should experience this.

Then, I went to Jishu Shrine. The god of marriage is enshrined in this shrine. So, there were many girls and couples here. And I bought a lucky charm for matchmaking.

After that, I went to Gion. Gion is one of the main place in Kyoto. And there are the Japanese dancing girls and the geisha. Unfortunately, I couldn't see them today. :-( But I saw the women wearing kimono(Japanese clothes). They were very beautiful! Then, I went to Kennin-ji temple. Kennin-ji temple is a Zen(Buddhism) temple. There are many wonderful gardens. Everyone were relaxing there.(Some of tourists slept in the room of this temple! But it wasn't banned, so I slept there, too!) And there is the painting on the ceiling of two dragons. It was very powerful painting!!

I could have the mysterious experience on second day in Kyoto. And I'm interested in the Japanese history and Buddhism now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trip to Kyoto! (The 1st day)

Hello! I haven't seen you for a long time. In fact, I went to Kyoto prefecture with my friend on Sep.8,9,10. kyoto was the formerly capital of Japan. So, it's very old but beautiful town.

First, I went to Kinkaku(Golden Pavilion). Kinkaku is a popular name for one of the main building of this temple, which is properly called Rokuon-ji Temple. I've seen it when I was a child. But I was moved by its magnificence again.

Then, I went to Ginkaku; formally it is called Higashiyama Jisho-ji Temple. "Gin" means silver, but Ginkaku is not Silver Pavilion and it is a wooden temple. Ginkaku is the place where Higashiyama culture formed, and is the start of modern life style of the Japanese. So, Ginkaku is very historic building. But, unfortunately, I couldn't see Ginkaku, because it is restored now. Although I've seen it before, my friend has never seen it. So, she was disappointed. :-( But, there is a nice garden near by Ginkaku. And the garden matches harmoniously with Ginkaku and Togu-do(Buddhist Hall), and catches people's heart. And I relaxed there.

After that, I drank powdered green tea. It's one of the famous food of Kyoto. It tastes bitter a little, but I like it! In Kyoto, the sweets containing powdered green tea are very popular. Of course, I ate them.

Then, I went to Yasaka Shrine. I prayed to God and wrote my wish on the Ema(a votive picture tablet) there.

I was excited the 1st day in Kyoto, but I was tired at the same time. Because I walked under the burning sun all day! Kyoto was very hot!! So, I thought that I should have taken a hat and sunglasses.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Traveling Alone

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Hello! I went to Oita prefecture by myself on August 25. I have never traveled alone. So, I was ill at ease. But, I left on the spur of the moment. In fact, I didn't know about Oita prefecture well. So, I went to the book store in the station and got a guide book ,first. Also, I didn't have a lot of money. Because I left my home although I didn't have any plan. So, I decided that I'll do the cheap trip! To tell the truth, I wanted to go to the aquarium in Oita city and eat special lunch in Yuhuin.... :-(

At first, I went to Nakatsu city. Nakatsu city is historical place. Yukichi Fukuzawa was born in this city. ( Yukichi Fukuzawa is the first president of Keio University.) And I saw the house which Yukichi had lived. It was small and old, but it wasn't dirty. I felt the good old days when Yukichi is alive. Then, I saw the Nakatsu castle ( the site of Nakatsu castle). It was impressive! Also, I went to the museum of local history and culture of Oita prefecture. I saw a lot of earthen vessels, the implements of Japanese traditional festival and so on. They were really interesting.

After that, I went to Fukuoka prefecture to see my best friend. And I ate Chinese noodle of the famous Chinese restaurant in Fukuoka. It was very spicy, but tasted good!

I walked for a long time, so I was tired. But, my first solitary journey was very exciting!!

Dinner with My Friends!

Hello! I haven't seen you for a long time. Because my computer doesn't work well. So, e-mail which I sent to Mike, Joe, Nikki, Heather and Nina on August 20 may not arrive. So sorry!! If you couldn't receive my e-mail, please tell me that. I'll send you the e-mail again. By the way, I'm using the computer in the university near my house now.

I saw my friends after a long time on August 23. We went to the restaurant in the evening. I ate the local food of Okinawa; for example, Goya chanpuru and noodle. Goya is a kind of cucurbit, and chanpuru is the dialect of Okinawa which means mixing. In sum, Goya chanpuru is fried pork with goya, other vegetables and Tofu. And it was really delicious! Also, I ate Hawaiian food. Because there is the US base in Okinawa, so, people in Okinawa have a lot of chance to eat American foods. When I ate the Hawaiian food, I remembered the foods which I ate in America. Then I talked about my life in America to my friends. They said they want to go to America. And I was glad to hear that.

After the dinner, we went to karaoke. I sang many Japanese songs. In fact, I'm not good at singing a song. But it was very fun!