Last night a bunch of us went downtown to hang, like all other young adults do on the weekend, to a place called Susukino. Susukino is the shopping/entertainment district of downtown Sapporo. There are bars, ramen shops, small shops, arcades, karaoke, fresh markets, various food stands, and oodles of people just enjoying life. It was a lot of fun, and a lot different then I expected.
Sususkino is set up like an outdoor shopping mall that fills like a large alley in down town. It intersects the main roads and its sections are covered by a brightly lit roof. (No worries, I’ll have pictures posted soon! :D) It was really unique. Not only was there that, but the main streets were also lined with cool shops like they would be in the US. It’s crazy how much the Japanese can fit into such a small area. They really do take advantage of what they have to work with.
Not my picture but just so you get a general idea of how it is til I get to load my own.
The food in Japan is wonderful, and regardless of what you may think, it’s not all sea food. (Though their sea food is delicious) Just thought I’d share what I’ve been eating… One of them I made, I think it should be really obvious which.
A Shinto Wedding at Hokkaido Shrine, a very famous shrine here. The traditional clothing is black for everyone except for the bride, who wears all white. Similar black clothing is worn for funerals as well….
Okay, so I’ve been in Japan for about a week now. I’m not sure how to count the days I sort of missed but not really because of the time zone change on the way here but anyways… Things are going good, I think? It’s one thing to learn a language in a classroom and it’s another thing to go to a foreign country and speak with the natives. It’s really hard, I know the grammar, I know a lot of vocabulary— but there is always more to know. You come here thinking, oh okay, I can say that or I could ask that, but it’s a completely different thing to actually do it.
Speaking isn’t so much of any issue, you know what you know, but when listening to people, they have another whole set of thousands of words to choose from when talking. Like in English, Japanese has multiple words for one thing and you have to be ready for anything. I catch like half the sentence, or pick out a few words, and sometimes, but rarely, I completely understand. Things are getting easier. A lot of it is just adjusting to the pace of a native speaker and not being afraid to make mistakes. I guess I’m still working on that last part. It’s really nerve wracking to talk to someone who has spoken the language their entire life.
But as I said, things are getting better. I’m here to learn and enjoy myself too.
One thing I’m noticing about Japan is that they love to incorporate nature into everything. Despite being in a city and having tiny yards, they manage to have these beautiful gardens and take care of the little land they have. If this was New York City, they would have none of the beautify greenery they have here.
Not only are their yards nice, they also have beautiful parks everywhere! It was so nice to be walking and just see a park pop up. It was surprise. Even though I guess it shouldn’t be. Most people in Japan are Shinto. A really important part of that is being one and living in peace with nature. Regardless the reasoning, I really appreciated it.
I now understand why Japanese are obsessed with Karaoke. It is sooo much fun, like honestly, better than what people here do for fun. Ball State needs a karaoke place. So when they said we were going karaoke-ing I thought it would just be at like a bar with a bunch of people drunk and laughing at the person on stage singing. That’s not at all what it is here. The place we when to was an entire building devoted solely to karaoke. Inside it there were probably about 100 rooms that fit groups of 5, 7, and wayy too many. My group had to get 3 rooms. A large one and two 5s I think. There may have been another.
The inside of the building was nice, very classy almost. The decorations were similar to the inside of a movie theater in the US. When you walked in, you would pay for a room, decide whether you wanted alcohol for that room or not, and then you got free fountain drinks. You would go up to your room and inside there would be booth seating a table, the TV and a few chairs. Everything was completely sound-proofed. They had foreign and Japanese songs to choose from.
It was really nerve wracking when it all started because I’m, of course, worried about how I sound and what not, but then you realize that no one really cares. Like, if you can sing well they notice but if not, it doesn’t matter. Everyone was there for a good time. It was interesting to see what songs they knew that were American. They knew all the classics. My Japanese friends and I rocked out to Journey, Queen, Billy Joel, and others. It was soooo much fun. They knew more of “Sweet Caroline” than most Americans do. Hahah! :) It was a lot of fun. If you go to Japan, you have to go to a Karaoke bar. It’s a blast.
I didn’t take any pictures there, but I know others took them, if I find them I’ll post them! If anything, I know I’m going again sometime!
I went Karaoke-ing last night with a bunch of friends, and just let me say it was not at all what I expected. It was a blast and everyone did so well. The autotune on the mics helped a bit of course. Karaoke is soo much cooler, and classier than it is in the US. But I want to eat. So I can’t explain now.