Last Night in Japan

We, Nanzan students and Dickinson students, stayed up all night until the first shuttle left at 5am. We watched the last Japan world cup game and tried to bond one last time. The japanese students at the dorm all, even though they had class, wanted to show us one last really good time. This shows how much all of them loved to spend time with us and vice versa. Japan was an experience I will never forget and we all made amazing friends that we will also never forget. We all are going to keep in touch via facebook, but hopefully some of them will come to Dickinson so we can share our experiences and show them around just like they did.

Subway

God bless Public Transportation in Japan. You can literally get anywhere. Whether it is because everyone has to get to the city to work or because cars are just expensive/ a  burden to have, public transportation can literally get you anywhere in Nagoya and the outskirts. Day 2 we were taken to the subway and shown just how easy it was to navigate, and from there we never had a problem. We just had to keep in mind that we were Yagoto Nisseki on the Purple Meijo line and we were good. Most of us rather than saw the line, would refer to it by the color. Meijo was Purple, Tsu-something wsa Blue, and Hana-something was yellow. Thats how we referred to it, and it was a pretty good system. From Nagoya Station you could take the bullet train to somewhere else (but honestly Nagoya is the best so why would you want to go anywhere else?) We were even able to get to Inuyama castle and Seto from Nagoya very easily by Subway. Both places we kind of in the middle of nowhere, but there are trains and buses to the middle of nowhere, so its perfect :)

Kyoto

Oh Kyoto. Not Nagoya. I liked Kyoto for the places we visited… and thats it. I very much preferred Nagoya for living purposes. While the place that we stayed was nice, and even the futon’s on the bed were comfy, Kyoto itself was just not home. Sure they had a market comparable to that of Osu, but it wasn’t the same. Kyoto just lacked the hominess and familiarity. Transportation had to have been a complaint, while walking was not a surprise, the amount of walking was. There are no lovely subways in Kyoto…. well not really. While there are subways and trains, it isn’t set up nearly in the easy fashion like that of Nagoya’s where you can use it to get just about anywhere. No in Kyoto you either walked or got a Taxi. Another thing that bothered me, was because of all of the famous historical beauty…. there were also the infamous tourists…. alot of them. They proliferated Kyoto. While I understand that I myself am a tourist… It doesn’t mean I want to look at them. I came to Japan for Japan, not to see a bunch of foreigners making fools of themselves. Lets just say that I was very relieved to return to Nagoya with my Lawson, Subways and lack of foreigners.

Lawson

Probably the saving grace of every person on this trip. This simple convenience store is so much more than that. It was our livelihood, our dependence for food. Sure there was the grocery store, but there were 2 Lawsons on the way to Nanzan from the subway, and one just a short hike down the Hill of Death. Where else could you run and get your delicious fix of Calpis, coke, and other assorted drinks? Yogurt, Bento boxes (for cheap)? Enough Onigiri to keep Bin Le happy? Why only Lawson. When we went to Kyoto, all of us went through a Lawson withdrawal. It may be simple, but I guarantee you that at least 85% of the group’s food stipend went to Lawson. the other 15% probably went to all the vending machines scattered throughout Nagoya.

Concert

On Tuesday June 22nd Azriel and myself went to a Gackt Concert. I knew very little about Gackt, Azriel on the other hand had been listening to him for the last 7 years. Because we had a free day and were unsure as to how the concert system in Japan works we decided to get there early. We headed out and after a little confusion found the Nagoya Zepp Building. We arrived at about 12 in the afternoon and along with  about 5 other people, we were the only people there. The line started to grow at about 1ish and then it expanded quite quickly. At 3, the merchandise opened, and I got myself a pair of Gackt Boxers (Black with a red chicken in a suit). The name of the concert series was called YFC (Yellow Fried Chicken) and they were selling merchandise with that theme in mind including a box that looked like a KFC bow… except instead of the Coronal, you had Gackt on the box. Finally at about 6 the lines for the actual show started to form… in groups. It was organized by ticket sections. Azriel and I thought for about 30 min that we we in one group on the floor…. Wrong… our ticket was for the group 2 to last in the back. Once we managed to get inside at almost 7 in at night we saw an opportunity and we took it. Earlier we had talked to this woman who spoke english but was from Philippines if I remember correctly… anyhow, she had told us earlier that when we get into the building to stay to the side until we reach the front, as opposed to trying to fight through the crowd. Boy did we luck out, se saw a door open in a section ahead of ours and we bolted in to the Fanclub section and within 2 minutes we we already 20 feet from the stage, 10 minutes later we had pushed our way to about 8 feet, and by the end of the night we had each managed to be 3 ft away from Gackt. The Concert was amazing, and the fans insane. Throughout the performance, at given intervals you could hear high-pitched GACKTO’s. Overall the experience was a good one, though for future reference there is no need to get there so early, because you’re not getting in any faster unless you ticket lets you.

Onsen in the Nagoya airport

Today, we had our last onsen in Nagoya during the summer program. We had the onsen right before we left Japan. The onsen was in the Nagoya airport!

We left Nanzan at 9:30, and arrived at the Nagoya airport at around 10 am. However, my flight back to China is at 3:40, so I had almost 4 hours free time before check in. Yixue, Xiyu, Quan and I looked around on the 4th floor of the airport. There are restaurants and shops there. Surprisingly, we found an onsen there as well. The onsen in the airport is not as expensive as I expected. It was 1000 yen per adult.

I bought the ticket and went into the onsen. It wasn’t so big, but everything looked so neat. There are 4 pools with one of them being the electrical vibrating seat. It was really awesome. The even cooler thing is that in the onsen, people could see airplanes flying up. It was my first experience to see airplanes while taking a bath!

A lot of thanks for the dorm people

As our summer program ends, the Dickinsonians are moving out from the dorm. One group of people was leaving at 5 am and the other group left at 9 am. After the farewell dinner with the dorm people, most people didn’t go to bed last night. We wanted to hang out with the dorm people for the last few hours. We watched TV, played games, chatted and cried. By the time we have to leave, many people cried. We didn’t want to leave Japan, and the dorm people didn’t want us to leave either. For me, I wasn’t that sad because I know I’m going to come back to Nanzan again next year!

Last time for karaoke in Nagoya

After our farewell dinner with the GP group students, some of us went for our last karaoke in Japan. At that moment, most of the Dickinson people have had experience with karaoke, so we were more familiar with the process and what we do. Everybody seemed happy while singing, but by the end, none of us wanted to stop. Nevertheless, it was time to go, so we chose our last song to sing together—We Are the World. We are the world, we are the children. As an international student studying in an US college and also coming to Japan for the summer program, I really have a feeling that WE ARE THE WORLD.

Farris Wheel

Qichan and I went on the Farris wheel also called (sky boat) in Sakae tonight. I have always wanted to go on it since the first time I saw it. After we got into the Farris wheel, it seemed much bigger than it looked like. It was kind of scary when we moved up higher and higher. I could see a wider range of view as we get higher. There are also songs to choose in the Farris wheel, but it didn’t work so well with us because we didn’t know Japanese good enough.

Yabaton

Today, I went out with two of my Nanzan friends. We decided to go eat dinner, and then purikura, and finally sing karaoke. The Japanese girls easily decided to have Yabaton for our dinner. They claimed that Yabaton was very delicious, and it is a Nagoya specialty.

We went to the Yabaton in Lachic, and we all ordered something different.

After a while, Quan and his GP group people came in as well. What a coincidence! That proves that Yabaton is popular and delicious.