Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Normally Unique

I was looking at my pictures on my phone the other day and realized that nothing out of the ordinary has really happened lately.  Though sometimes I forget that typhoons and Japanese speech contests aren`t necessarily part of your day to day. Here are a few of the normally unique things that have been going on over here in Japan.

September 21. My apartment. 
I heard somewhere it was the first typhoon in 10 years to pass directly over Tokyo. The storm was set to hit our area at 6pm. The students were excused from school at 1pm, and lucky for me, Keima was free to drive me and my bike home. My Japanese class was cancelled, and trains were stopped. I was out of milk but their was no way I was running to the store for that. The storm was strong. Duh. But I stayed snuggled inside, lit candles, watched a movie and waited it out. Just to keep it interesting there was a mini earthquake during the storm. Don't let us get too comfortable Japan. 

The entrance into my apartment. The calm in the storm.

[Mexican Festival]
September 23.Odaiba. 
Heard about a Mexican festival on Tokyo's man made island, Odaiba, and just had to go. I had been craving a burrito and margarita, and low and behold I was able to get both here. There was all kinds of food! Along with salsa, guacamole, Coronas, dancing and mariachi bands. It was so homey. After all Souther California is one big Mexican festival.

View of Tokyo Tower from Odaiba

Festival glimpse

Margarita smile

Me, Kyle, and a...pepper?

The lovely dancers, most were half Japanese, half Mexican.

Dance directions
[Maya's Departure]
September 23-25. Kamagaya.
My good friend Maya is officially moving on to the next chapter of her life. She is leaving Japan to go meet Ian in Australia where they are going to start the next stage of their life. So exciting and sad all at once. In preparation for her exit we did a few of our favorite things in Kamagaya.

Lunch at Raja. Amazing Indian food, Maya and Ian were such regulars that we made
sure she was able to say bye and took a photo.
A little trip to Pizza Hut.
Nothing like in the US, it`s buffet/all you can eat, and still so good. 
Pizza, pasta and noodles were all included in the set.
Carbo load for sure.
Made friendship bracelets while we watched GLEE, like the 14 year olds we are at heart. 
[Speech Contest]
September 28. Abico City.
After hours of after school practice, our 9 selected students were off to the speech contest where they were to compete against students from 14 other schools. They were such a good group, it was a pleasure to spend the day with them. 

The 3 in the back left are the 3rd graders (our 9th), the two in the dark blue are 2nd graders (our 10th),
and all 4 in the front row are 1st grade (our 7th). 
Mai and Kaede ready to go on stage.
It`s no secret these 2 were my faves. I mean look how are cute they are!
1st graders all done!
Now it's just hanging and watching the big kids.
Keima had to introduce the speakers for one of the rounds.
So fancy K Kun!
Shiho and Kazue relieved to be done.
Keima and Namiko buying lunch. Always a good time when Team English is together.
While the judges deliberated the ALTs from all the schools were asked to come up and talk to the students, 
answering questions if they had any.

"Hello! My name is Kate. I am from America. I have been in Japan for 1 year."
More foreigners in one place than I've seen in a long time.
We had some winners!
This is Waka accepting her award of 2nd place in her age group.
Keima, Namiko and our Principal listening closely.
All done! Good job everyone!
Driving back to school.
Keima's car full of kiddos in front of us. Thought it was a lovely picture.

[Sports Day]
October 1.GoChuu.
I wrote about this last year when it was all new and shocking to me. All the newness has since subsided and this year I was able to just participate and enjoy. To recap, the school is split into 2 teams, red and white, they compete against each other in various events in front of parents who come to school to cheer on their child. They all bring lunch and make a day of it. Our students practiced for a solid week before Saturday's show time.

The video below is the students practicing their cheering. I took the video from the teachers room, but it`s probably one of my favorite parts of the entire day. Pretty cool.

Red and white teams in the back, their cheerleaders in the foreground.

One of the events for the 1st graders. The littlest classmate is selected to run across the back of everyone in the class,
then run down and sit on a balloon. Some of them were so small it took them a few times to sit on it before the popped it. Cute.

Running events and many types of relays.
The boys compete to get a batton from the top of the other teams pole while trying to be held off. 
After sports day means an enaki with the teachers!
The location of our drinking party.
Special lunch bento. Amazing.
Litlle Keima hurt his foot.
I too was on the red team. We lost.

[Mori Art Museum]
October 2. Roppongi Hills.
Since Sports Day was on Saturday, we had off Monday to compensate. When I woke up it was such a nice fall day I wanted to go into Tokyo and enjoy it. I spent my free day in Tokyo at the Mori Tower Art Museum and walking around. 

I love fall in Tokyo. Love.

Nifty art outside the museum.

MAM screen exhibit in the museum.
Letters, to words, to sentences, that fill the room.
Very cool.
The museum is on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower building, the same building where the Google offices are by the way, as I was leaving I saw that for an extra 300yen I could go on the roof. So I did, for an amazing 360 degree view of the city.

Last night it was pouring rain and I chose to watch Inception on-line. If you remember, in one of the beginning scenes, the helecopter lands on a building as Leonardo DiCaprio gets out planning to return home to his family. Where the helicopter landed was where I was walking on the top of this building.

Pretty cool huh?
Tokyo Tower from the Mori building

Lovely Tokyo
All in all it has been a great couple weeks doing cool, new things.

An adventure everyday, 

[The Latest]

Must Read: Bossypants By Tina Fey
Google search: Amanda Knox
Tune: Wonder Woman By Namie Amuro feat. Ai & Anna Tsuchiya
Accomplishment: Getting some of my speech contest kiddos to place at the speech contest. Writing out my Japanese practice questions, it's amazing how much better my hand writing has gotten in a few days. 
Obsessions: SOMEBODY color by numbers book from the Mori Art Museum, researching vintage clothing shops in Tokyo

1 comment:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...