Return Of The Queen (haha)

Long time no see everyone! Right now I’m reading Return Of The King (from the Lord of the Ring trilogy) hence the title, I thought it was fitting..
みんなさん、お久しぶり!今私はLord of the RingsのReturn of the Kingを読むだからそのタイトル..

So, the last post was (a million years ago) on the 25th of July updating to the 14th of July (my tour around Tokyo with Sophie). It’s now the 20th of September and seeing I have two weeks of study break ahead of me (while my school friends have exams) I think it’s high time for an update or two.
じゃあ、先のポストは7月の25日に、7月の14日まで書いた。今は9月の20日そして今から1週間休みあるだから、ポストしましょう!!

As you can see from now I’m also going to translate everything into Japanese. There will be alot of mistakes, no doubt, and it won’t be exactly the same because there’s alot of vocabulary I don’t know in Japanese, but I’ll do my best!
これから日本語も書きます。間違いいっぱいあるかな、もう日本語の語彙あまり分からないだから英語のバージョンと同じじゃない、でも頑張ります!!

My first topic will be about the events of Monday July 15th. I went bowling with my friends in Shibuya, in the black light room (it was so cool!), and I learnt for the first time how to hold a bowling ball properly! All this time I’ve been doing it wrong..
After that we went to a summer festival called Mitama Matsuri, the first time I’d ever been to one. It was at Yasukuni Shrine and there were food stalls set up all along this lane leading to the shrine; takoyaki (octopus dumplings), yakitori (kebab-like-things, usually various parts of chicken), cotton candy, chocolate bananas, etc. There was also a side lane filled with game stalls, like target shooting, Goldfish Scooping (a traditional Japanese festival game) and a haunted house. Another part to the festival was the Mikoshi (portable shrine) which is said to carry the shrine’s deity, and is carried around by a group of chanting men and people with drums. And of course the festival was absolutely PACKED with people, so crowded you could barely move, but that just adds to the experience. Another wonderful thing to see was so many Japanese people wearing Yukata (like the one I wore in a previous post), both men and woman, as it’s a traditional event.
At the festival my friends and I went through the haunted house once (I don’t cope well with those..), bought a bunch of food and hung out behind some stalls, just talking. It was a great time!
最初のトピックは7月15日(月)。友だちと渋谷のボーリングに行った。それから靖国神社のみたままつりに行った。祭りに行くのは初めてだ!たこ焼きと焼き鳥とお化け屋敷と金魚すくいがあった。神輿も見た。祭りはすごい混んでるだった、でもそれはいい経験!もう浴衣の人いっぱいいた、女の子はホントにきれいで男の子はかっこよかった~
祭りのお化け屋敷一回行った、でもそれはあまり好きじゃない、怖いから。>_

Photos! 写真!

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Bowling ボーリング

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The gaming place at the Festival 祭りのゲームの所

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(Some of) my Friends 友達

The next topic is Monday July 22nd. On this day I went with Oonishi san to the Asakusa Kannon Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. In front of this Temple is a long shopping street full of cute stores selling traditonal and modern souvenirs and foods. At the end of this street, right infront of the temple, is a place where you can see the Tokyo Sky Tree and there are little Fortune Telling booths. You can pay 100 yen to draw a fortune stick from a wooden cylinder, then take the fortune paper that corrosponds to the number that was on the stick. Fortunes can range from great blessings to great curses, and those who don’t get such good fortunes can tie the paper to a rack in the hope that the curse won’t befall them. Thankfully my fortune was good! There’s a picture below.
After visiting the temple Oonishi san and I took a boat along the biggest river in Tokyo – the Sumida river. It travels through Tokyo with high rising buildings on each side and numerous multicoloured bridges stretching across it, and arrives in Oodaiba. Oodaiba is next to Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge, and is also the location of Fuji Television’s (a big broadcasting company in Japan) main building. When we arrived it was getting dark, so we had dinner at Kua’Aina – a Hawaiian burger resteraunt. We sat at a window seat and looked out at Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge (and a mini Statue of Liberty that they have there) as night fell and they lit up and it was so beautiful.
次のトピックは7月の22日(月)。この日は大西さんと東京の浅草の浅草寺に行った。そのお寺の前に長い買い物の通りがある。その通りにはたくさんトラディショナルとモダンなお土産と食べ物の店がある。その通りの後に東京スカイツリーが見えた。その所でおみくじがあった。私のおみくじは大丈夫だった(下に写真ある)。
その後船で浅草からお台場まで隅田川を下って行った。お台場は東京ベイとレインボーブリッジの隣にある。フジテレビのビルもはお台場にある。大台馬に着いたらちょっと暗かったからクアアイナ(バーガーのレストラン)で夕飯を食べた。おいしいバーガーとポテトフライを食べた。窓側の椅子に座ったし東京ベイを見た。ホントにきれいだった。

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In front of Asakusa Kannon Temple 浅草寺の前

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私のおみくじ(日本語で)

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My Fortune (In English)

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On the Boat 船に乗って

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The Fuji Television Building (Behind) フジテレビのビル(後ろ)

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Dinner! 夕飯!

The last topic for this post is Tuesday July 23rd. I went to Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills (near to my school and full of foreigners) with my Japanese Teacher. The exhibition we saw was called “LOVE” and there were different sections, each with works displaying different aspects of Love; Romantic Love, Love of Family, Love of Mankind and many more. To see more information you can visit this link:   http://www.mori.art.museum/english/contents/love/about/index.html   My favorite exhibitions were the giant heart wrapped in ‘golden wrapping paper’ (actually made from some kind of metal) called “Sacred Heart” and the “100 Cheers” exhibit about a group of Japanese students who, in the middle of the wreckage of the Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, form a circle and cry out 100 Cheers to encourage themselves and those around them. The museum also provided us with a kind of handheld listening gadget that we could press a button on and hear information about certain exhibtions, like why the artist made it or what the thoughts behind it were. It’s been a while since I’ve been to an art museum, but it always fascinates me, how creative the works can get. There was one exhibit that was a room you could walk into and the walls were mirrors and in the room were these multicoloured polkadot things like stalactites and stalagmites. There’s a picture down below, seeing it was one of the only works you were allowed to take pictures of. After viewing the exhibition we had lunch at the Museum’s resteraunt, which was fancy and Itallian-ish, and during our meal it started to rain. Seeing we were up very high in a sky-scraper-like-building this dense fog settled over Tokyo and we went from being able to see out across to the Sky Tree in the distance to not being able to see the closest buildings, it was fascinating. There was also a fullon waterfall going down the windows, but thankfully the rain stopped by the time I had to walk to the station (although there was still thunder close, which made me jump everytime it boomed). このポストの最後トピックは7月の23日(火)。学校の日本語の先生と六本木ヒルズ(私の学校に近くて外国人がいっぱいいる)の森美術館に行った。展示の名前はLOVEだった。 私の好きな展示はSacred Heartと100 Cheersだった。 展示を見たから、美術館のレストランで昼ご飯を食べた(カルボナーラのパスタ)。食事の間に雨が降り始め、高いビルなので靄がかかって景色が見えなくなった。帰り道雨は止んだけど雷はまだなっていた。 その日は本当におもしろかった、先生ありがとう!!

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The “Love Is Calling” exhibition by Kusama Yayoi 草間彌生の「Love Is Calling」

And that concludes the first updating post! There will be many more to come, I promise! I have written down a plan!
So now I’ll leave you with an amazing picture of a towel that sits across some chairs at Oonishi san’s house. I hope you find it as ridiculously halarious as I did.
このポストはこれで終わりです❣
Byebye!
バイバイ
(^_^)/~~

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Oh also, it’s 6 months today!
あと、今日は6ヶ月!

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AFS Summer Camp 2013

2013 AFS Tokyo Summer Camp. Possibly the best week of my entire summer (that’s really saying something) and certainly a highlight of my exchange. From the 5th to the 8th of August we (that’s 20 exchange students, 20 volunteers and 80 Japanese high school students) stayed in a camp-ground in the mountain town of Oohira. It was an action packed week, full of laughs, adventures, friends and of course – being a 16 year old girl – I was on the look-out to catch me some ikemen!

Ikemen イケメン
noun. A good-looking man. Comes from Japanese ikeru, iketeru, “cool”, “good”, “exciting” and either men (メン), from English “men” or “men’s” (menzu), or men () “face”.

-Thanks, Google.

I know, I’m shameful.

Monday – Day One
It was an early morning, before the oppressive humidity of the Tokyo summer set in. I met my chaperone at Shibuya station, and we took a train together to Tokyo station. The bus ride up to Oohira wasn’t that long, as I remember it, and during the ride I met Rui; a half Japanese girl from America who spoke both languages fluently and loved Kpop (we got along splendidly). Upon arriving at the camp-ground in Oohira we changed groups and did some ice-breakers – my group was number 5, which can be pronounced in Japanese as ‘gohan‘ which also means ‘food’ (I got a bit of a laugh out of that). Speaking of, dinner the first night was fish fillets, yum. Afterwards we gathered in the big hall and did some activities; the volunteers taught us the camp song “Good Time” and the dance “Migi te wo agete” (literally, ‘raise your right hand’). The volunteers had also set up a haunted house (..to help us bond?) which was less of a scary activity more of a slightly confusing mini-game, but all in good spirit! The bath was a traditional onsen, and bed-time was 10.40pm.

Daily Ikemen Report: I had scoped out three potential ikemen come evening, all of whom look slightly similar..I would have to collect more data (¬‿¬)

Tuesday – Day Two
6.30 wakeup (are you kidding me?). I cleaned the genkan (entrance way), then my stomach decided to give up on me and I didn’t have much for breakfast. The first activity of the day was the sports festival, which consisted of a pin-the-tail-on-eeor game and lots of hopping back and forth across the hall in teams. After lunch was team discussion – don’t ask me what it was about, all I remember was writing 牛丼大好きです!(‘I love beef bowl’) on a post-it note. For dinner we cooked Curry Rice as a group with pots and an open fire, which, much to our shock and amazement, turned out really good! By that time I was making some really good friends among our group and we were constantly sending one another into fits of laughter. After that was the dance party! A hall full of crazy teenagers wielding glowsticks and jumping around to loud music! A good time was had by all.

Daily Ikemen Report: One of the ikemen had caught my attention, he was wearing the camp t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I approve of this fashion choice. His group was in the same discussion room as ours (maybe that’s why I can’t remember any of the discussion? Oh). Enter operation ikemen phase two.. (¬‿¬)
You: what’s phase two?
Me: heck do I know.

Wednesday – Day Three
Breakfast on Wednesday was a bit wild. Somehow we got into a contest based on which group could yell itadakimasu (let’s eat) and gochisousamadeshita (thank you for the food) the loudest (I know, teenagers, right?). The walk rally started off the day, during which we changed groups and trekked around the area. I talked a lot to my group mates, we got the Dragon Ball (I believe that was the prize for winning the rally) and had lunch. After lunch was the talent show! I got together with a couple of the girls from the Tokyo chapter and we did a cheerleading routine; Sohpie from Denmark was the only one who had ever done cheerleading before, but non-the-less it turned out quite well.

We then had the second discussion. During the discussions we had to speak Japanese to the group, so it was difficult but very helpful. It was also our last night of the camp, so after dinner we built a massive camp fire in the middle of the field and formed a huge circle around it. We played music, linked arms and danced around, it was actually pretty nostalgic. The night was finished off with farewell speeches from everyone, the highlight of which was when a girl confessed to one of the guys in my group during her speech and they became a couple (aww young love ♥).

Daily Ikemen Report: An important discovery was made…one of the volunteers is an ikemen! How was this overlooked?? ( ゚д゚)

Thursday – Day Four
The final day of camp! After breakfast we had some free time, which we used to sign each other’s camp t-shirts: (I’m sad because I – stupidly – washed mine and some of the writing came out).

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My Oohira Summer Camp Shirt – my favorite bits; “New Zealand is the BEST Zealand!” and “DANEMARK POWAA”

We had our last discussion in the hall before lunch, then the closing ceremony. Lots of people cried during the volunteers’ speeches, probably including me. once again we did lots of singing and dancing in a circle, then at 3.00 we got on our busses to go back to Tokyo. I spent the entire ride home giggling myself silly with Sunny, one of the girls who had been in my group and who I still keep in touch with, so I hardly noticed the couple of hours pass by. Overall we had an amazing time, it was by far the best camp of my life so far. My only regret is that at the end we didn’t get a proper chance to say goodbye to the Japanese students, but it turned out alright because we all got each others LINEs and made plans to meet up for karaoke. By the time I took the train home to Oonishi san’s house at 9.oopm I was dead tired, but it had been a great week!

Daily Ikemen Report: It was with regret that I said my goodbyes to the Oohira Ikemen, may we sometime meet again! (Who am I kidding, I was probably watching from behind a bush like a total stalker).

Next Post’s topic!

  • Komiket; August 10th 2013
  • Kinki Kids Concert; August 17th 2013
  • Ikeda House; August 19th – 21st 2013

Bye Bye~ :)