Friday, September 1, 2017

Flashback Friday: Japan Part 2

**This post is part of a Flashback Friday series. I will be posting photos from the trips I took as a kid accompanied by the journal entries I kept while traveling**

If you haven't yet read Flashback Friday: Japan Part 1, go check it out here first!

Friday, April 20, 2007

We woke up this morning around 5 as we had to leave before 6:30 AM to go to school.  However very early in the morning, we were woken by the neighbors roosters.  For breakfast we ate eggs, sausage, lettuce, and yogurt.  We also got to drink Coke! YUM!  After breakfast, we made sure we were ready for school and went outside.  Chi’s father took a picture of us all in their garden.  Their garden is very big and very beautiful!  After taking many many photographs we hopped in the car and and headed off to Yukitan Station.  I also forgot to mention that Chi has a dog named Denroku and three cats named Hana, Ume, and Momo.  They are very friendly.  




At the train station, we took more pictures.  The train finally came at 6:32.  We then took a 40 minute ride to Kagota.  We also met up with a few of Chi’s friends on the train.  After we got off, we started our 25 minute walk to the school.  On the way we stopped at a temple.  We made a wish at the well type thing and both mine and Katie’s wishes came true.  After looking at the temple and taking in its spectacular beauty we moved on to admiring the cherry blossom trees.  They smelled fabulous and of course we had to take pictures with them.





Once we arrived at school, we put slippers on and stored our tennis shoes in Chi’s locker.  We went upstairs to her homeroom and sat down.  Mana soon arrived and took us on a tour about the school.  She told us that the boys all thought we were very cute.  That made us laugh.  After the tour we went back up to homeroom and Mana took me under her wing while Katie went with Chi.  Their teachers name was Miss Tomoko Moire.  Katie and I had to go in front of the class and introduce ourselves with our name, age, and hobbies.  Most of them were surprised at how young I was.  After homeroom, we headed off to the gym.  First we played basketball.  My team was me, Katie, Emma, Megan, and Mana.  We won our first game 8-6!  I even scored a basket!  After our first game, we went to the other side of the gym where the boys were playing dodge ball and we played with them for awhile.  



After gym we went to a different room where we learned two Japanese card games.  Mana took me into her group while Katie went with Chi.  The first game we played was called Kaiuta and someone would recite Japanese words/sounds and there were cards lying on the ground and whoever slapped the right card first got the point.  Whoever had the most points at the end of the game won.  The second game was called Yamakushi and in this game you drew the cards from the pule.  Depending on the card you got to keep it, discard it, or puck up the whole pile.  Whoever had the most cards at the end won.  I was definitely the champion but Mana kapt saing that Jordan was the champion; (she had a little crush on him).  It was funny.  Mana makes me laugh.  

After playing cards, we went to a different area to make rice cakes.  I got to pound the rice.  We said the word "Yoishi," when pounding, which meant "go-go."  Then we went inside and rolled the rice-mixed-with-mogwart-plant in some random powdery stuff.  Well, it wasn't random but I'm not sure what it was.  It was really hard to get all the sticky stuff off your hands!  We sang and danced to "Girlfriend," by Avril Lavigne because Daiki had it on his phone.  This quickly became one of our trip songs along with "Sk8er Boi," and we were constantly singing both of them.  Then, we ate the rice cakes.  






Next, we went inside the cafeteria to order our lunch. Both Katie and I ordered Chinese noodles.  We sat in there for awhile to rest a bit and then we wandered outside.  We saw the cherry blossoms and the beautiful little creek that ran by the school that had fish in it and plants around it.  After taking in the scenery around the school, we went to the little barn type thing where Daiki showed me the pigs and rabbits.  There were little baby pigs as well!  


We looked around at the animals for awhile and then went back inside to eat lunch.  My noodles were very, very delicious and I had an orange Fanta s well.  Yum!  As soon as I finished lunch, Mana took me upstairs to her locker as she needed to get something.  We visited with some people and then went back to the lunchroom where we chatted with some more boys and hung with Daiki's sister Kaede for awhile, whom I absolutely love!  We met some new people and took many photos.

After all of this excitement was over, we hopped on board a bus and took off on a half hour road trip to the school mountain.  When there, we took about an 80-minute hike and had a snack.  We found many frogs which excited me a lot!  I named one Arr-gyle Sweater after my favorite pirate joke.  Also on the hike, we made up many more pirate jokes as that was our profession for the week.  For a snack, we had many different sodas and Japanese snacks o choose from.  On the hike, we saw many bamboo trees.  They grow very fast! Azusa didn't like the frogs we found and ran away when I caught them.  We also managed to capture a few salamanders.  Many, many pictures were taken.  once we were done with the mountain, we hopped back on the bus and went back to school.  On the bus we played the "Chi-chi-chi-para-chi-chi" game as well as Big Booty!  





Back at school, we went upstairs to meet some kids who were cleaning up the school.  In a classroom, we stood around and played Big Booty and other students watched.  We got many of them to laugh very hard.  The first club we went to was baseball, as Ryan wanted to participate so the five of us (me, Ryan, Katie, Mana, and Chi) wandered towards the field.  Ryan hit some good balls and some not so good ones.  He also attempted to pitch, which did not go so well. 



 Afterwards, we went to watch tennis where both Ryan and Chi gave it a go.  Following tennis, we went to the soccer field where we dropped Ryan off and took Naeh to track.  Then we went back and got Ryan and headed off to music club.  



Ryan attempted to play the trombone but he made the slider part fall off twice!  He said it was too greasy but I think he's just making excuses. ;) Katie tried playing Pirates of the Caribbean on the clarinet but couldn't remember how, and both Ryan and I played the piano.  





After we wandered the clubs, Katie, Chi, Mana, and I walked to a gas station where a taxi picked us up and brought us to the train station.  Mana then left us and we went inside the station.  While there, we decided our plans for the rest of the night.  We walked to Jusco where there was a grocery store, big arcade, clothing store, McDonald's, and some other stuff.  We went to the arcade.  When there, we took a couple sets of purikuras, which were the funniest thing in the world! Purikuras (I could be wrong on the name!) were pictures that you take in photo booths, and after taking them, you could go to a screen and draw on them, write on them, etc.  When they were printed, they were stickers!  They were so cool!  

After taking many pictures, we left and went back to the train station where we went to the 100 Yen store.  While there, I bought a bunch of chop sticks and fans for friends and family back home.  Then we went to McDonalds which was very delicious.  Next we went to a music store where we looked at C.D.s  Katie bought Elle Garden and I told her I was going to burn it from her.  It was a tiring but very exciting day!  Chi's parents picked us up and we went to her house and bathed then quickly fell asleep.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

This morning we woke up late- around 7!  For breakfast we ate hot dogs, grape yogurt, and some other Japanese stuff.  I got full quite fast.  After getting ready, we drove to the community center for a few hours of Japanese activities.  First, when it started, they did some talking.  Then, the taiko drummers played.  They were amazing!  Definitely the best drummers I have ever heard.  I can't even express how great they were!  We all even got to do a little drumming.  After taking pictures with them all, they have us all sample CDs!




After the drummers, we broke into groups and went to stations.  My first station was kimonos.  We got to try them on!  I even got to wear hair!  Sam had a samurai sword.  We took many pictures in those amazing outfits.


My next station was a tea ceremony.  We ate sweets and then we were given green tea.  It was very bitter...I defintely understood why they gaves the sugary treats beforehand.

The third station was calligraphy and flower arranging.  I made the word "peace" and "heart."  While we were there, a couple of the taiko drummers came in and I got my picture taken with the two of them.


Next was a paper folding one.  I started out making a really cool hat.  They also gave us bags that had other origami stuff in it as well as Japanese juggling balls.  Then, I made a windmill thing was is pretty sweet.



From there we went to a Cherry Blossom Festival.  There we all got ot go on a stage and they introduced us.  We got to ride on a kiddy train which was oddly exciting.


They also had a bounce house type thing.  At the festival, we got chicken and a drink that had a marble in it so you could drink politely which was fun!  At the park that it was at, there were many stations you could go to which had fun things to do like climbing, balancing, etc.  Then, Chi's family, Daiki's family, and Takoshi's family went to a restaurant to eat.  Katie and I both had the same thing we ate at lunch the day before.  It is so good, I loved that meal!  We played Big Booty which became Daiki's new nickname for Chi.  That made us all laugh.


After eating, we headed off to karaoke.  That was so much fun!!!!! We sand many American songs such as Avril songs, YMCA, and others.  Daiki and Takoshi did a duet and they were very good!  Daiki's sister Yuzuha sang and she had a very pretty voice, as did her mother.



After singing many songs for many hours (including Domo Arigato, Mr. Robato!), we went to take more purikuras. Kaede and her friend came by to see us as well.  I do love those purikuras and I wish we had them in the US.  After taking many photos, we headed down the stairs to McDonalds.  Then we headed home for a much needed nights sleep.




Sunday, April 22, 2017

This morning we woke up and went to Sendai where we went shopping!  We also took many more purikuras.  Our group was: Katie, Chi, Mana, Daiki, Takaoshi, Naeh, Ruan, Andrew, Jordan, and I.  We did purikuras almost the first thing there!  Those are the greatest things ever.  Then we went to a store where both me and Daiki bought Avril Lavigne's newest CD so we could jam to "Girlfriend" some more.


Eventually Natsumu, Ayuko, Megan, and Emma joined us.  We saw many clothing stores and arcades and before we left we made sure to take some more purikuras!


That night, we went with Mana's family to a sushi bar.  Mana said to just try it and then we would go to KFC.  Katie and I thought that was funny.  Sushi is very different than I thought it was.  The man there made us chicken skewers by the end of the night and I think it was better than the chicken we have in America!



The owner of the sushi shop bought both me and Katie kimonos and shoes and bags!  It was amazing!  He is the nicest man ever!  THe kimonos were very beautiful, we got to try them on and take many pictures in them.  I could not thank him enough!  While we were eating our sushi, we were very sad because we had to leave the next day.  Somehow, all of our weeping made me laugh which made us all burst into a fit of giggles.  It was a very fun day and night and in the car we made up a  whole new working system to the "chi-chi-chi-para-chi-chi" game.  It was a night to remember.




Once we arrived at Chi's house, we took pictures with her parents.  We also ate a whole box of mini drumsticks.  They were so good!  There was even grape flavor!  My ice cream kept falling off the cone which made Chi laugh a lot.


Monday, April 23, 2007

This day was the worst day of out trip.  It was only this because we had to leave. :(  After making sure everything was packed and ready to go, we took many pictures with the family.  Katie and I also photographed their elaborate garden.  I was very sad to leave the house.  We took off and went to Daiki's house which we exchanged many hugs at, even though we would see them in about 5 minutes at the Community Center.  Yazuha was crying very hard which made us all even more sad!

With Chi and her grandparents who lived with the family

With Chi and her father

With Daiki's little sister Yazuha

Daiki and I

Katie and I with Daiki's sister Kaede

Once we arrived at the Community Center, we all cried very hard and exchanged many more hugs.  The adults pretty much had to pull us apart to get us to leave.  Daiki kept yelling, "Adios!" as we had taught him a lot of Spanish while we were there.  We were hugging through the bus windows, as we had figured out how to open them.  It was the saddest bus ride of my life.  This time we had to take the train with our luggage which made the getting-on-and-off-part even harder since the doors shut so fast.  When we arrived at the airport, we got all our luggage checked in and then Mr. Kamata treated us to McDonald's.  The meal was good, but we were all still very sad about leaving.  Then, we did most of our shopping for souvenirs.  Finally, we boarded the plane and it finally hit me that I was leaving Japan and all of my new friends were staying behind.  It was awful.  The plane ride home was much shorter than it was to get there, and only lasted about 11 hours.  I slept most of the way.  Once we finally got through customs, we went to McDonald's again.  It was funny because in Japan we ate Mickey D's at 1 and now it was 3 so technically while were were eating it in America we had been eating it in Japan only 2 short hours ago!

Japan was the most amazing trip, and I want to go back as soon as I can.

Sayonara, Japan!

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