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!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm in Japan

Hi! I went back to Japan yesterday. First, I called my family and friends and talked about my wonderful experiences in America. Then, I sent e-mail to Nina, Heather, Nikki, Joe and Mike. And I saw the answers from them in this morning. I was glad to see them. Thank you, Nina, Heather and mentors!!

By the way, I’ll go back to my hometown tomorrow. So, I’ll show my pictures took in America to my family and friends. I’m looking forward to doing so. And I think I want to keep blogging in my home town. Please read my blog again.

See you!:-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We are MPP!!

I was very glad yesterday! Because Heather gave me a letter and the gifts. I was really moved. Thank you, Heather! I’ll use the pencil box carefully in Japan.

I saw the Gordon W. Prange Collection. It was very interesting. I was surprised when I saw it, because I had thought there are all of Japanese literary works in Japan. But, in fact, there are many in America! And I thought it is important that not only Japanese but also foreigners continue protecting each other’s cultures.

After that, I went bowling. Nikki was very good, so I lost. But it was very fun and I enjoyed it!

Then, we went to a very large department store; TARGET. I could buy good things there. For example, nail polish, markers, snacks and so on! After shopping, I went to an Indian restaurant with Kei, Sachi and Sanae. The curry we ate was very delicious. And I was taught Indian by a waiter. I was glad to experience it.

And then, I played miniature golf with Sachi and Kei. We thought a miniature golf is easy. But, in fact, it was difficult! And no one played it well. So, we played it in order to decide MPP. MPP means Most Poor Player! At first, I was good, but I became poor gradually. And what was even worse, I lost my ball! So, yesterday’s MPP was me!! I was disappointed, but really enjoyed playing it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I went to the Capitol building yesterday. I went to the Capitol through the underground passage. There are many pictures which the high school students drew. They were very nice. And then, I entered the Capitol. There are many statue of presidents; Lincoln, Jefferson and so on. Also, I saw the painting on the ceiling. I was impressed by it. It was magnificent and very beautiful. I think that I could have good experience.

After that, we went to the botanical garden. I saw a lot of rare plants there. But, I didn’t have much time. So, I had to leave at once.

And then, I went to the White House. In fact, I saw it with Mike and some AGU members before. But, I thought it was a nice building again.

As soon as I arrived in College Park, I went to eat dinner. I ate a grilled chicken pita. I t was really good! After the dinner, Mike and I showed the pictures we took to each other. He took many nice pictures. When I saw them, I still want to stay in Maryland. But I have to go back Japan the day after tomorrow. So, I think I want to increase the wonderful memories more and more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Very Exciting Day !!

I went to Voice of America after the morning class. And I saw the studio of radio and television. I recognized the effect of media and the importance of transmission again.

After that, I joined Mike’s group and ate lunch. I ate a baja chicken sandwich. It was spicy, but tasted good.

After I went back to College Park, Kei and I went to Cold Stone Creamery. The ice cream was bigger than Japanese one! We were surprised but could eat all of it.

And then, I went to Nikki’s house. Nikki’s house was very big and nice! I played badminton with Sachi and Kei. It was fun, but yesterday was a very windy day. So, we played volleyball instead. Then, I played pinball with Sachi, Kei and Ryohei. At first, Ryohei was a very good player and taught us how to play. But, we came to be able to play batter than Ryohei gradually. We enjoyed playing it!! In fact, we didn’t think that pinball was interesting, but pinball was more exciting than we expected. But other people couldn’t understand the fun of it. I thought that only the players can understand it.

Then, I laid down on the hammock with Sachi and Kei. I felt good. And we took a rest there. I thought that I don’t want to go back to Japan more and more at that time.

Yesterday was very good day! I wish that today is better day still more.

Monday, August 11, 2008

DC museums

Today, Kei and I woke up at 9:00 am. Because today’s meeting time was 11:30. So, we prepared slowly, and went to STARBUCKS COFFEE to eat breakfast. The old-fashioned doughnut was very good, and it was cheaper than Japanese one. So I was surprised! After that, we went to WEAR HOUSE to buy sandals. We could find cute sandals. Also, we bought nice T-shirts, too.

Then, I met mentors and went to National Museum of the American Indian. I bought a kids book about the clothes of Native American and nature. I enjoyed shopping. But, in lunch time, I could eat nothing, because I felt unwell at that time. I was disappointed very much!

After lunch, I went to National Gallery Art Museum with Joe. It was too large to see all of exhibits. But I could see the exhibits of Vincent van Gogh, Renoir, Claude Monet, Picasso, and so on! I was satisfied. I want to go to there once more.

Very Exciting Day !!

The Baltimore Excursion was very good.

First, I went to the American Visionary Art Museum. It was very exciting. There are many beautiful pictures and statues. And I bought a photograph collection of Audrey Hepburn and some souvenirs for my friends.

Then, I rode the water taxi. And I saw beautiful views from it. Also, I rode the boat with Nikki, Sanae and Kei. I pedaled the boat. It was very hard, but fun! After that, I bought T-shirt with Sahori. It is printed peace mark. I bought black T-shirt, and Sahori bought pink one. I’ll wear it with Sahori tomorrow! I’m looking forward to do so!!

After the shopping in Baltimore, I went to see the baseball game. I like watching baseball, so I really enjoyed it. I was surprised the stadium was lager than Japanese one. I didn’t know the players of Orioles, but the game was really fun for me. And Orioles beated Rangers! And then, I saw very exciting fireworks!!

I could have good time today. See you!

7th day

I went to Inter-American Development Bank after the class in the morning. I heard about the activity of IDB and I was interested in it. Also, we entered the very nice conference room and took pictures there.

Then, we went to the zoo. It was very large, and there are many animals. I saw panda and alligator and so on. I walked very much in the zoo. So, I was really tired, but I enjoyed seeing animals.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Newseum and Billiard!

We went to the Newseum yesterday. I like the museum from the outset, so I was looking forward to going to there. And it was better than I expected. There are many exhibit, materials, pictures and so on in Newseum. Especially, I liked exhibit of many old books and the history of media. They were very interesting for me. And I bought some souvenirs for my friends.

Then, I joined Mike’s group and walked in Chinatown. We took a rest in the square. There is a nice fountain there. After that, I went to see the White House. I saw it a little from the bus of the University of Maryland on the day we arrived. But I could see it exactly yesterday.

Then, I went to the Asian food restaurant. I ate chicken bento there. I ate Japanese food after a long time. It was really good!! And the members of our group listened to Mike’s love story. It was interesting for us!

We went to play billiards as soon as we went to back the QI. I played it for the first time. And it was difficult, but very fun! Kyoko and Yuya played very well. And Mike too, of course! I want to go to play billiards again.

Yesterday was really exciting day.

Thank you, Mike!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Volleyball games & Pizza!!

Yesterday, we played volleyball games with Nikki and AGU members! First, we had volleyball game between boys team and girls team. But our team was beaten. I was disappointed. But , I enjoyed playing volleyball very much!! Also, I playing badminton with Risa , Tomoko, Kei and Sanae. It was really fun! Then, I went to Nikki’s house and ate pizza there. Pizza was very delicious!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Exciting Day!!

Today, I met two partners; Monica and Diana. I enjoyed speaking with them. I want to meet them again!

After that, I went to the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center was very large building! And there is a very huge bust of Kennedy. I was very surprised to see it!! And I listened to very wonderful jazz! And I took picture with the lady of the big band’s singer. I was very happy.

Then, I ate sushi after a long time. I ate tuna and California roll and so on. They were very good. Especially, California roll was more delicious than I had expected. I want to eat it another time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

In Alexandria and Georgetown

I went to Alexandria and Georgetown yesterday. I went to Christ church first, and I sat the seat which George Washington had sat. In the afternoon, I went to restaurant with Joe and ate very delicious seafood dish and big ice cream. Then I went to art museum. There were many picture and pottery. I enjoyed seeing them. And I rode the boat. I felt the very nice breeze and I took many pictures there.

Then, I went to the park with Nikki. And I enjoyed playing card games. After that, I ate a chicken burrito in the Mexican restaurant for the first time. It was very good!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

First Day !!

Hello! I’m Sae. I major in international communication in AGU. The reason why I choose this summer program is that I want to brush up my communication skill, especially speaking. And I think my choice is right! Because I can have a lot of chance to speak with Americans. So, I’m glad.

I arrived at America yesterday. And I met teachers and mentors; Nina and Heather and mentors; Nikki, Joe and Mike. They are very kind, and I enjoyed speaking with them. Then, I rode very cool bus of the Maryland University from the airport to the hotel. During the drive, I saw the White House and many museums. I was really excited and took many pictures. I want to go to Washington D.C again.

In the evening I went to go to the Plato’s diner with Mike and the members of AGU. All dishes were very big!! I was very surprised!! I ate the chicken sandwich, and it was good, but too big to eat for me.

I’m looking forward to experiencing a lot of things in America for two weeks.