Monday, April 7, 2008

Catchup post 7: Long weekend 2, Thursday March 20 through Sunday March 23

Temple University Japan Campus had a second long weekend Thursday March 20 through Sunday March 23. My original plan was to go to Kyoto with some of my friends, but I scratched that when I decided to go to Shikoku March 15 and 16 and when I learned that my parents were coming and they wanted to go to Kyoto after the semester is over. Therefore I decided to go around Tokyo a little more throughly, work on homework, and take some time for myself.

Thursday the 20th it was raining pretty hard, but I decided to go to the Asakusa district and see the big temple and see what was in that area. This is the big gate for Asakusa temple, it is pretty far away from the temple, but still a part of the temple campus. I went to Asakusa with Harish and Lisa.

This sign denotes that there has been one death, and 225 accidents at the intersection pictured below. I like it when I know what signs say. I can't read well enough to understand the sign, but Lisa could :)

Tokyo is pretty cool, but I don't really like it much in the rain.

It was pretty chilly so I decided to break the bank and spend 100 yen on a cup of sweet sake to warm up. It hit just the spot.

Rice chips being cooked in the traditional fashion.

A bookstore on a covered street.

It seems that Japan is simultaneously in the future but also stuck in the 1980's. This is a covered shopping street near Asakusa temple.

Kiddos enjoying an indoor soccer game during the rain.

Pachinko parlor! I liked the building, it reminded me of New Orleans. I'm not sure how pachinko really works, but it's some form of gambling.

This might be one of the few rickshaws left in Japan. Asakusa is known for attempting to preserve the traditional Tokyo feeling, but mostly it's just a tourist trap.

The Asakusa temple!

And the rain falling off the side of the temple.

The murals on the ceiling were pretty impressive.

Very cool.

I like how rain changes the way you look at things, it changes the color and the feeling of so many things.

Friday I stayed in and attempted to do some homework, but it didn't really work out. Saturday the 22nd, I went to Ebisu, which is an upscale shopping and dining area. It was a good place just to watch people, have lunch, and sit. It's also home to the Yebisu beer museum, which details the beer making process, and offers a drinking lounge for tasting different beers. 

In the beer museum Sam and I (I went to Ebisu with Sam) met a couple of Americans in Japan for a wedding who were touring the area for a couple weeks before heading back to the United States. One was from Alaska, the other Hawaii, and they knew each other from college in Idaho.

Pets are a big part of Tokyo life it seems, and I very much wish I had a pet for my stay here.
I see this building with a pimple every day on the way to school, Saturday the 22nd I learned that it is a driving school.

The courtyard surrounding the beer museum was a perfect place for little children to practice the ever-popular sport of pigeon chasing. It amused me that the pigeons never flew, instead they just walked quickly. I guess the little kids weren't scary enough for the birds to fly.

I wonder if these two women knew eachother.

Inside the beer museum they had posters from various ad campaigns throughout the decades. I believe this one is from the 40's. I never knew you should drink beer from a modified wine glass.

"Washing hands is an effective self-defense against infectious gastroenteritis caused by norovirus." I don't even know what norovirus is. I think they could've just written that "washing hands is an effective-self defense against disease." Oh, but going overboard is so much fun.

A train is arriving at Ebisu station.

More often than not the ads on the inside of the train don't make any sense. I think Spiderman is selling apartments by swinging around Tokyo in a white suit with a bouquet of roses.....

The rush to get the next train is always so intense.

Sunday the 23rd of March I stayed back at the dorms to organize the first-ever Easter Sunday Easter Egg hunt at Ontakesan dorms. Saturday we colored eggs, and Sunday we hid them and raced to get prizes.

I hid the eggs, and I'm proud of this hiding place.

Vanessa taking a break at the Easter Table.

Dorm Manager Aki Kudo holding a couple of the decorated eggs after the Easter Egg hunt was over.

Phil didn't find this many eggs, but he and Kelly did win the hunt, for a gold medal!

All-in-all the weekend was a good change of pace. It was less than enjoyable for personal reasons, but the time in the city was well-spent and I enjoyed what time I did spend both out in the city and in at the dorms.

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