Oh I bought a Yukata (informal summer, festival kimono). Disregard my tired face and the sloppy tying of the robe. When I wear it out next week and look all pretty I will post a better picture.
So I am leaving in like a week and a half and it hasn’t quite hit me yet. But I know as soon as I leave for Tokyo the rest of the time will fly away. Despite being homesick a lot while here, I am going to miss a lot of things. Of course I will miss the friends I have made here. The Australians, other Americans, British, etc. etc., and the basketball team… It’ll be hard to say good bye……..
There are several parts of Japanese culture and society I will miss as well. To keep things simple, I made you all a list.
- Public Transportation- If Japan doesn’t have the best public transportation system in the world I don’t know who does.
- Karaoke- Karaoke here is so much different than stereotyped in the US. It’s a really delightful way to have fun.
- Hospitality/Safety- Japanese people here have always gone out of their way to help me. Regardless of the situation. From the help in the International Student Office to the salesman who delivered our phones to our door after store hours because of troubles they were having in the store, everyone is really friendly. Going along with that, the peace of mind and sense of security I feel has gone unrivaled.
- Fresh food- I am going to gain so much weight upon returning to America. I like not being able to taste preservatives on my food.
- Parks- Despite being one of the most population dense countries in the world, Japan finds room for nature and public parks everywhere. They are really nice, and peaceful.
- Cleanliness- I could probably count the number of pieces of trash I have found on the ground here. Under 40, literally, I guarantee it. The Japanese do such a good job at picking up trash and recycling.
- 100 Yen Stores- Cheap price does not mean cheap quality like it does in the US.
- Heated Toilet Seats- Need I say anymore?
- Kimonos and Yukata- I loved seeing random people on the street wearing them. They are so gorgeous and every one appears to be unique. It is nice to see the tie to there history everyday.
- Children With Manners- I can’t even begin to describe how much better mannered their children are than those in the United States. I know there are exceptions to everything, but their children really are well mannered and much more well behaved than those in the US. Not to mention, they are really adorable.
There are other things I will miss as well- along with things I won’t, but I just thought I would share what was on my mind for now.
Another picture is of a giant vending machine. The outside is decorated to look like a monkey’s head. On the sides of the head are the vending machines. The nose/nostrils are trash cans for bottles. His hand also has trash cans.
One of these sets of pictures has a sign with a tigers back side facing you. It warns that the tigers have had a bad habit of spewing feces on guests.
So I have may have taken too many photos while at the zoo. Here is part 1 of 4 and it’s not even everything I have.
This zoo really restored my faith in Japanese zoos. It was the best zoo I have ever been to. The exhibits were wonderful, large, and full of plants from the animals natural environments, or as close to as what they could. It was clear they took a lot of time developing the exhibits for them. The zoo was also well laid out, giving the guests many unique views of the animals. A lot of the exhibits went over pathways or allowed the guests to go under them.
There was also a lot of artwork done by children and interactive things for children there. It was clear they cared about educating their guests. They also had signs looking after the animals. By every exhibit the zoo either had a sign or a person telling you not to use flash when taking pictures.
I really enjoyed my time there. I even saw my first American animal in a zoo besides deer, a raccoon. Why did they have one? I am not quite sure….
Rusutsu Amusement Park and Resort.
Rusutsu is located to the south west of Sapporo in the heart of the mountains. During the winter, it is a popular ski resort and during the summer it opens its amusement park. Along with the stereotypical amusement park rides, it also has a cable car which will take you to the top of the mountain. This mountain is a popular para-sailing spot for the locals.
So far in my time in Japan I have spent a lot of time in the city. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to have the time to venture out from under the city lights and explore Japanese country side. And it was absolutely gorgeous.
This weekend was absolutely exhausting. Thursday was (Yes, my weekends start on Thursdays) a Lord of the Rings marathon that started way too late at night. Friday was going to watch my friend DJ at this really awesome bar called Caffeine. Saturday was a day trip to Asahiyama Zoo. And Sunday was a day trip to the amusement park, Rusutsu. I had so much fun, and the busier I get, the more apparent it becomes that my time here is coming to an end.
I can’t wait to go home and see my family and friends, but I am really going to miss the ones that I made here.
So with out further procrastination, I will upload some pictures from all this craziness.