Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oh look, a deer.

Today we went to Nara.
Nara is a city known for a few things, but probably most known for the wild deer. Everywhere you look, there are friendly, wild deer walking around. and when I say everywhere, i mean EVERYWHERE. At first, it was really cool getting to see theses thing. After awhile, it get less exciting. Then later it just gets annoying. So feeding deer aside, Nara also has the largest Buddha ever made. Some fun little facts, Todai-Ji is the temple the holds this Buddha. It stands at just under 50 feet high(well, sits), weights roughtly 500tons(That's over 1 million pounds) and is made entirely of wood. Around the temple there were other statues, but none that compared to this one.
Lastly, I had a wonderful experience with my dinner, for a change. Our teacher took us to a place that made these pancake like means. It basically was a pancake base with whatever you wanted in/ontop of it. I got a pizza pancake, being the picky, non daring eater that I am. it consisted of pancake, pizza sauce, cheese, and corn. It came with other toppings that I wasn't interested in too.


After 20 years of being an America, I've never once questioned how proud, or lucky, I am to be from this country. Today was the first day I did. Our field trip today took us to the city of Hiroshima. I don't think I need to go into details about the history of this city. I consider myself very fortunate to visit this city, including the Hiroshima manorial museum. Now I understand that the actions of war are/can be justified by the times, and I'm not here debate about WWII, but visiting the museum guavas a whole new perspective on what actually happened on August 6th, 1945 at 8:15am.
All through out our trip, we've been given a lot of looks and stares, being from outside the country that we are in. But today, we received a lot more…For obvious reason. So the first thing we visited is what's not known as the A-bomb dome. Being only a few miles away from the actually blast, the A-bomb dome is one of the only buildings that still stands. This building is hardly standing on it's on as it almost a pile of rubble. After milling around the city for a while, we found ourselves at the manorial museum. Now I understand the whole idea of propaganda, and different views points, but a lot of the things I learned there were just straight facts. Somethings you could find there are models of the city, before and after the bombing, photos of the destruction, people, and objects, and stories from survivors. I find myself not getting emotional about a lot of things, but I found it impossible to not get choke up most of the trip.
There was one story in particular that really hit home. A photographer, a few days after the bombing, wanted to go into town to photograph the destruction. But once he was in town, the utter chaos and destruction paralyzed him, only allowing him to take five photographs total. He described how people were just wondering the streets aimlessly, with no place to go, or no family, food, or water. I won't go into graphics but you can only imagine the condition of the people who were not instantly killed by the blast.
Over all this experience was life changing. I'm not much a history major, and never knew much about this actual event, but after this trip, it's definitely going to change my the outlook on my life
This photo was a panorama photo taken by a photographer after the bombing. This should give a good comparison to the model photos. Just as a reference point, the bridge on the right of this image, and the T shape bridge on the models was the target for the bomb.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hikone history

The other day we were given the oppertunity to get to see some of Hikone's history. After a short bike ride from the school, we found ourselves standing at the base of a castle. Now castles here in Japan are different from a castle in England. Castles here are more of a last resort to retreat to for safty, unlike other castles which royalty will live in. After climbing up about 100 off set steps, you find yourself at the top of the hill. Once you catch your breath and rest for a bit after a good work out, you'll find the Hikone castle, which is open to the public. Inside the castle you'll find your self lost in several empty rooms. Rooms that are only about 5ft6in high(I'm about 6ft as a reference...) And after navigating through some very, very, very steep stairs, you find your self at the very top of the castle, over looking all of Hikone.(And boy are you looking over Hikone, in true castle form)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Holy crap. Yesterday we had the pleasure of going to see a baseball game. The Hanshin Tigers, which is a sister city of Detroit(Which is why they are called the Tigers as well). So basically, the over all mentality of this country is to keep your head down, be quite and keep to your self. But at baseball games, Japans favorite sport(And I now know why), they get to go CRAZY. Basically take any sports games back home, add a English soccer game, multiply by 10, and you get a Japanese baseball game.

For started, all around the stadium, they have "cheerleaders" standing up on rails. Their job is to get chants started, get the crowd riled up, and just, well be cheerleaders. A couple rows above them are trumpet players and flag wavers. So through out the entire game, these people were just standing up and shouting different chants, over and over and over again. There was NO break from the chanting.On top of the non stop chanting, almost every single person in the stadium had these like thunder bats, hollow plastic bats that they used instead of clapping.

The last amazing thing about this game was during the 7th inning stretch. Back home, we obviously stand up and stretch and sing take me out to the ball game. Well here in Japan, everyone buys balloons outside, blows them up, and sends them all off at the same time. It's like personal fireworks. I don't know the meaning behind it or where it came from, but WOW, what an amazing photo moment.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Very very long day, about 14 hours to be exact. I'm going to update about my day tomorrow after I get a good nights rest, but I will leave you with a photo that pretty much summed up my day

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11th

Rain rain rain. It basically ran every moment that we were outside. This morning during class it wasn't raining, while we were eating lunch, or even inside the stores. But as soon as we set foot outside it begins to rain. With that said, our day still went on.

This morning we had our first class, and orientation. Got our bikes and helmets and started our day. We rode a little ways down the street to a restaurant. Being a pretty picky eater, I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into. I ended up getting a battered chicken in what seemed like sugar and ginger maybe? But I'm still not really sure. Some raman with chicken, and rice of course. It was different, but surprisingly good..
After dinner, we bike about 20 minutes in the rain to downtown Hikone. Once we got there, we did some food shopping and looked around a little bit, but because of the rain, our options were left a little short. Another 20 minute bike ride home and we were back home for the night
Have a good day/night everyone

Monday, May 10, 2010

"We're taking a pregnant pause"