It’s been a week since my last update but I can’t decide if it feels longer or shorter than that.

Tuesday Mirek came over and the three of us made sushi.  Since I haven’t really eaten it much and I certainly haven’t made it before, it was quite an experience.  After we made all the food (not only the sushi but tempura and chicken) we went into the Japanese room and set up a traditional Japanese lunch.  We knelt on the floor and enjoyed our work.

On Wednesday in Photography I printed a bunch of pictures, tried different types of photo paper and tried to figure out Photoshop.  It’s difficult because Shinya, my professor, told me at the end of the class period that taking pictures of nature, children and animals is very cliche.  That’s the last thing I want my photographs to be but it’s hard because I love taking those kinds of pictures.  When I was showing him my prints he actually told me, “I don’t like that one.”  It was hard to take that but I’m glad he said it that way, I don’t need or want to be coddled.  Still, it’s going to be challenging finding pictures that aren’t cliche.

During my lunch break I ended up making a friend.  Her name is Stephanie, she’s from San Diego and a Christian.  She wants to start a Christian club and I gave her my e-mail address so she could keep me updated on getting that set up.  She e-mailed me that night and asked if I wanted to hang out after school on Friday.  So on Friday we went to Shibuya, a very popular place to go on a Friday night.  Even though it was very crowded, we had a lot of fun just walking around and talking to each other.  It’s so good to have found someone whose beliefs and morals are similar to mine.  Most of the other students spend their free time in bars which obviously doesn’t appeal to me.

On Saturday the school took a group of us to Yokohama, the second largest city in Japan.  Unfortunately we got a late start which pushed everything else back.  But it was a fun experienceand Stephanie and I decided we need to go back on our own sometime soon.

The first place we stopped at was the “Raumen Museum” (yes, that’s how they spelled it).  It sounds really weird and while it was, it was also very cool.  I can’t give the place justice by describing it so you’ll just have to check out the pictures (here and here and here).  Stephanie and I ate at the small bakery there and when we finally got our noodles (after waiting for a half hour) we were told the group was ready to leave so please hurry.  The noodles were good though.

After the museum we hopped on another train and breezed through a really nice five-story mall.  We were supposed to shop there but since everything prior to that had taken so long we didn’t have enough time.  Before we got to the dock for our ferry, I heard a song drifting towards me.  As I got closer to the dock the singing grew louder.  Eventually I could see it was a big group of people standing in a circle in a very echo-y area.  From the voices I thought they were an English group so I was surprised to find them to be Japanese.  They sounded so heavenly and when they started a new song I could hear enough to decide they were probably Christian.  I didn’t want to leave that spot, the power and beauty of their voices sent chills down my spine.

I’m not really sure why we took a ferry to our next destination since we could have easily walked.  Fortunately the ferry wasn’t expensive and it was nice to sit down and cool off.  We ended up in a nice grassy park right next to the water and across the street from a lot of skyscrapers.  It was a beautiful and relaxing place and everyone wished we could have stayed longer.  Our final destination was Japan’s largest Chinatown.  Stephanie and I walked down the street trying to find a decent place to eat.  It was hard because everything served the same things for the same outrageous prices.  We finally found something reasonable and enjoyed a quiet dinner and being able to rest our weary feet.  All-in-all it was a fun day though, as I said, Stephanie and I plan on going back sometime when we can go at our own pace.

I talked with Yumi, a staff of Temple and a Christian.  She invited me to lunch with her and Junko (the other Christian staff) sometime this week.  So on Friday we’re going out.  I’m really looking forward to that.  Also I ran into Stephanie and she told me she received a package of movies from her mom.  We had talked about watching them together whenever she got them, so this Friday night I’m going over to her apartment and we’re going to watch movies, eat junk food and not sleep.  I’m looking forward to that too.


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