After leaving Shinjuku and Soul Betting Ground, we headed to Akihabara since we weren’t able to on Saturday. It was late when we finally got there and we were all pretty hungry. Akihabara has a lot of Maid Cafes, (where the waitresses dress up as maids, Steph and I went with our teacher Paul last semester) Matt and Bobby hadn’t been to one so we thought we’d try it. But after finding a few and reading the signs we decided it wasn’t smart to go to one at night. We found another restaurant and took our time eating and talking. After we were finished, we walked around some more and ended up one station away from where we started. Matt had wanted to take us to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku (where he lives) so we got on the train and headed back to Shinjuku. When we got to the Government Building it had already closed so today (Thursday) we’re going back after school. We will be able to go to the 45th observation deck and see the city lights. Bobby will not be joining us because he and Matt’s landlady has somehow made it possible for him rap on Japanese national t.v., which he’s going to do tonight. Amazing!
On Saturday our group went to Odaiba (where I spent the New Year’s). It’s a man-made island filled with shops and business buildings and includes a ferris wheel and a miniature Statue of Liberty. One of the ways to access it is the Rainbow Bridge, which you can walk across. Even though it was raining on Saturday we decided to walk instead of taking the train. I’m really glad we did because it was only sprinkling and the view was amazing! I took some videos and lots of pictures of our visit. After we were planning on going to the Government Building but by the time we were done in Odaiba we were pretty tired.
Sunday Steph and I were supposed to meet our Japanese class in Chinatown in Yokohama to celebrate the Chinese New Year. We got there late, which was unfortunate because we missed the dragon dance and the whole parade. But it was nice because we were able to explore on our own. We had gone to Yokohama last semester with the school but since our group was so large we didn’t have to time to really see Yokohama. We had wanted to go back so it was the perfect excuse. We quickly walked through Chinatown then headed back to the Yokohama park and decided to walk to the ferris wheel (the Japanese seem to really like ferris wheels). We discovered that at the base of the ferris wheel was a miniature amusement park. So we bought tickets for the wheel and the little roller coaster. After riding the ferris wheel, which took 16 minutes and was an amazing view, we explored the arcade area, took pictures in a photobooth and rode the roller coaster. It was a really short ride but worth the money we paid. We went back to the arcade to warm up again and then went to Queen’s Square, a huge mall that consists of 3 “towers” and has beautiful architecture. We explored the mall a bit, bought some things, ate dinner and headed back home. Another good day of exploring.
This week of school has been. . .fine. Yesterday I had my Art History midterm and tomorrow I have the first part of the Japanese midterm, the written portion. Next Monday we have the oral part, a 5-minute interview with our teacher. That should be fun. I’m actually looking forward to it. And surprisingly I’m finding myself enjoying Drawing. I thought I would hate having to use color but it’s actually a lot of fun. Hopefully after this semester I’ll continue to draw, it’s expensive but I feel myself relaxing while doing it. And we have about 7 weeks left until the end of the semester. Yay! I’ve decided I’m boarding the plan on Wednesday April 25th, which means I’ll be back in the States on the 25th. 62 days and counting. . .
As I’ve said before I will miss a lot. My teachers are amazing as well as the staff at Temple and I’m going to miss all the people I’ve met at school and church. I’m going to miss my host family. And I’m going to miss a lot of little cultural things and some of the food, which will be hard, if not impossible, to find in the States. Japan is a great country and I’m definitely coming back.