お花見, or Cherry blossom viewing season

March and April here were cherry blossom viewing season, or as it’s known in Japan, お花見. It’s an excuse for people around the country to relax, go to a nearby park, drink and be merry with friends and family. You don’t really need a reason to do that, but it’s a good reason if you’re always busy. You’re pretty much expected to go to at least one of these parties each year.

The sakura, or cherry blossoms, bloom at different times throughout the country depending on the weather and location. This year they bloomed earlier than had been originally predicted, thanks to some warmer than average weather.

I went to three parties this year:

  • The first was with some classmates. It was a small gathering that also served as someone’s going away party. We ate at a restaurant prior to going, so we ate some snacks and a few people had beer. It was held at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo.
  • The next party was with my host dad’s friend’s company. We were invited to tag along. Food included sushi, wraps, pizza and beer. This was at a park in Yokohama.
  • The third party was party was also held at Yoyogi Park. This one was a gathering of people in Japan who create YouTube videos. This one ended earlier due to rain, so it was moved to the Tobacco and Salt Museum… while we waited for a nearby pub to open up.

It’s always a fun experience, and I recommend everyone try to take part in one of these parties.

私の珍しい体験

In level 4A of my school, I had to write about a strange experience that happened to me… real or made up. This is partly true, but not completely.

 

ふみきりで止まらないで下さい

私の大学はナコドチェス市にあります。その町は小さくて静(しず)かで、人々は三万人ぐらいです。私は2001~2005年までに大学に通っていました。

ある日、食堂(しょくどう)で晩御飯を食べている時、珍しい伝説を聞きました。友達は「ね、聞いた?真夜中、警察署の近くの鉄道で車が止まったら、車がひとりでに動く。」と言っていました。「うそ!」と思いました。

ナコドチェスで生まれた学生に聞きました。返事は同じですけど、もっと説明してくれました。もし、鉄道のふみきりで止まったら、10分後、車がスーッと動きます。しかも、動いている時、子供のしくしく泣く声が聞こえます。さらに、車の後ろに手のあとがのこります。

伝説によると、昔、そこで、家族(お父さんとお母さんと子供3人)の車が止まってしまいました。列車は車にぶつかって、皆が亡くなりました。すごく悲劇的でした。

その時から、そこでは見えない幽霊が出ます。今、他人を守るためにいつも車を押します。でも、その鉄道のふみきれの近くには警察署がありますから、ふみきりで車を止めることは難しいです。

ナコドチェスは色々な伝説があります。例えば、大学の寮(りょう)で幽霊もいます。昔、あの寮は私立病院(しりつびょういん)でしたから。別の時、もっと教えてあげます。

Recap of Japanese life from January – April 2013

 

Here’s a hastily edited video to show you a bit of my life the past few months. From January until about the end of April. There was snow, cherry blossom season, a KFC colonel dressed as Goku from Dragonball Z, a YouTube party, and some other stuff. A bit of 6 minutes long.

In the next post will come pictures! But for now, just this one video. And yes, I realize there’s not much Cherry blossom/花見 stuff in that video. I’ll work on something much better for that soon.

Went on a day trip to Hakone

I went on a trip to Hakone

On Friday, March 1, everyone from my school (I think there were about 300 of us) went on a field trip to 箱根 (はこね, Hakone), Kanagawa-ken, Japan. It was about 1.5 – 2 hours by bus from Shibuya. So why did we go there? I mean, just what is Hakone known for?

Well, it’s probably most known for its 温泉 (おんせん, onsen), or hot springs. We didn’t actually go to any though, which is probably for the best. I didn’t really want to see my male classmates in the buff. However, 混浴 would be OK! ^_~

Hakone is also known for its 黒卵 (くろたまご, kurotamago), or hard-boiled black eggs. The story goes that if you eat one, you’ll have 7 years added to your life. I ate two. Continue reading Went on a day trip to Hakone

Two months, huh? Seems like a good time to post

The Colonel dressed as Goku from Dragonball Z. Part of a promotion for an upcoming DBZ movie.

School is an interesting thing. I get to see classmates and some friends, learn some things, and have an opportunity to get out of my home. Of course, there is always homework to do if I attend class, as well as taking one or two tests every week. All in all though, it’s a good time.

After my first quarter (the year is split into quarters), I thought I would have become accustomed to the workload, which would leave me with a bit more free time right about now. Haha, silly me! If anything, class and homework is more intense. At least I don’t have to worry about having nothing to do and becoming absurdly bored like I was during winter break. Continue reading Two months, huh? Seems like a good time to post

End of a session, Christmas has passed

My “semester,” or first session of class, has come to an end. I’m proud to say I passed and am moving on to level 3. Basically, that means more vocab, kanji and grammar to learn. Woo!

From Oct. 9 – Dec. 14, I learned about 1,000 words. I learned approximately 200 kanji. In class we went over something like 20 chapters from our textbook. Each with at least two important grammar points to remember. Oh, and I learned some inappropriate Chinese words from some Chinese classmates. =)

Our finals were about 3 days of various tests. That was probably the most stressed I’ve ever been about testing in my entire life. You see, for better or worse, I’ve never been one to worry about tests. I would see friends pull all-nighters, become so stressed they couldn’t eat, sleep… basically unable function.

It’s not that I never cared about tests–I did. But I think I never cared as much as I do now.

At one point in this session, maybe three weeks ago, I felt so stressed and emotionally overwhelmed about things I silently started crying in class. It was strange–I was sitting there listening to the lecture, smiling and laughing a bit… and there were some tears.

The past three months have probably been the most fun I’ve ever had in school. And for that, I say thank you to everyone supporting me: my family, my friends, my teachers and some of the greatest classmates I could ever ask for.

ありがとうございました。

Bringing the word to the people, rain or shine