Saturday, September 30, 2006

lovely weekend :Day 1

I just can't believe that September is about to end...
In Japan, autumn is considered as one of the best seasons to start something new, along with spring. We say "芸術の秋"(the season for art),"学びの秋(the season for learning)","読書の秋"(the season for reading, I think that's the one for me.^^)"食欲の秋"(the season for eating delicious foods),and so on. The last one sounds funny, but it's true. You can find many kinds of seasonal foods at supermarkets!

Anyway....this is the first weekend after the semester begun.I felt like I've waited so long for this to come because the first week seemed much longer than I thought. Also, I've got something to do. Yes, it's homework!

But today I went to Roppongi with Yuko to watch a movie. Do you remember Yuko? A friend of mine who visited France in this summer and I put the pictures that she took on this blog. The picture on the left is one of the most famous buildings in Tokyo, and it's located in the place that's called Roppongi Hills. There are some buildings in this area and it looks like a city. The building in the picture has 54 stories above the ground and 6 underground stories! It seems like you can reach the sky if you climb up the building! Hahaha~.^^ There are offices, shops(everything is expensive!), banks, hospitals inside the building. You can live in the residence floor if you like, but the rent is eye-popping! Also, Roppongi is one of the cities which enables you to find the diversity in Tokyo because a number of foreign people live here.

We looked for the place to eat lunch first. We enjoyed eating hot sandwiches at the restaurant. We talked about the things each of us did in this summer, and Yuko showed me the pictures of her trip to France. Every place she visited was sooo beautiful that I kept looking at them again and again. Looking at them really made me want to go to France and visit the places she went!

After that, we went to the theater. The movie we watched was "The Lake House". Yuko is a fan of Keanu Reeves and she's wanted to check it out since the movie came out. It's actually a Hollywood remake of the hit Korean film, and I've seen Korean version a while ago. So I was interested to see how it would be when it's made in Hollywood. It's a romantic love story and the man and woman in the movie live 2 years apart. It could never happens in real world, and there was a series of highly unlikely coincidence. But I was touched by the movie and I even cried when the things went how I wanted them to be at the end. I also liked how they communicated with each other, and it made the movie more interesting. Writing a letter to someone looks old-fashioned today, but I like it because I think it's more personal than e-mail or IM.

Going to Roppongi always makes me crazy! I'm not so good at taking the metro in Tokyo even though I'm a citizen of Tokyo.(Hahaha~. I live in Tokyo, but it's kind of a rural area of Tokyo.) It's sooo complicated and the name of the starions sound unfamiliar to me. I wish the company of the metro would come up with the idea that they name the lines by color...but I managed it today and I was glad when I got there!

Okay....I think it's time to do my homework!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The semester has started!

Good morning!
Today is the 3rd day of the fall semester and I finally can go back to the regular schedule.However...I have to admit that I still feel like I'm on a vacation.Also, The songs I've heard on "WAKE UP MTV" still bring me back to the time in Maryland! I've kept listening to them since I arrived here and these songs make me happy every time I listen to them in the morning because happy memories were there with the songs.(Some of them even makes me remember the time I overslept! Hahaha~.) Anyway, I took some pictures today. So mite mite~.(Please take a look at them~.^^)

I took this picture after I finished the class and I actually could leave the class room before the bell rung,then I took this. So only a few people walked in front of the building. This is one of the buildings in the Fuchinobe campus. (We have 2 campuses. The one is located in Fuchinobe, and the other is in Shibuya.) Inside the building, there are class rooms, professors' offices, and library. The student center is here as well.

This is the chapel. As you can see, the appearance is beautiful and so is the inside. The morning church service starts at 10:30 am everyday, so we can attend it.(When I was a freshman, I used to go there because I had to write a paper about the sermons at the chapel. Everyone at AGU is required to take the class which is called "Introduction to Christianity".)

I went to the book store at the campus to see if they have something new. Then I found the latest edition of Newsweek Japan. It's one of the books that I usually read on the train and I've started reading it since I entered AGU. So I always buy one every time I find the latest edition comes out. This week's feature is "Top 100 Global University Ranking".(Everyone is interested in the same thing!)

After I bought this, I met Hiro at the student center(the place I've mentioned above.). He was interested in the ranking and we decided to look through the ranking while we were walking to the Fuchinobe station. Then Hiro suddenly got excited because he found something on the article. He said, "Ah~~! Obachangu, mite mite! Maryland ga aru yo~!"(Wow! just take a look, Obachangu~! University of Maryland is in the ranking!) Yes, he was right! Can you see the Japanese letters "メリーランド大学(University of Maryland)" at the 45th place?(I drew the red line below the letters.) I think you should have an objective view when you look at this kind of information because it's just someone's view, but Hiro and I were so glad to find "メリーランド大学" on it because it's something we can relate to.

Ahh....mou sude ni shukudai ga!(My teacher gave me homework already!) My English teacher gives me a lot of the articles and I always need to put in plenty of time reading them because English used on the articles is not easy. However, it does develop my confidence of reading in English and it also allows me to improve my ability to concentrate on reading. "No pain, no gain", right?

Finally, this is the book I bought yesterday. I decided to read this as a "gohoubi for jibun" (indulgence) after I finished reading the article I've mentioned above, but I've already started reading on the train.(Yacchatta~.^^) I just couldn't help it because Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors. He is so famous not only in Japan but also throughout the world that his books are translated in many languages. I'm interested in reading "Kafka on the Shore" in English because I enjoyed reading it in Japanese.

I'm sad that the vacation came to an end and I guess it'll take a while to get used to waking up early for the class(Hahaha~!), but it's always great to see my friends at the school! I met Hiro, Nobu, Yuki, Seri, Maiko, Sayaka, Kaoru in the last 2 days, and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of us very soon!

That's all for today!

The weather in Tokyo suddenly gets colder, so minna kaze niwa ki wo tsukete~.^^(Don't catch a cold!)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Kingdom of Dreams and Magic!

The vacation is about to end, but I do have a few days left...
So, yesterday I decided to go in a daydream...

Just kidding!
But I went in some kind of a dream that made me smile. (or should I say laugh out loud!)

I went to Tokyo Disney Land with Eriko, Miki, and Yuiko. Even though I met Miki and Yuiko on the day we went to Shibuya for welcoming Laura(I wrote about that on this blog, right?), it's been a while since I said "Mata nee~"(See you again) to Eriko at Narita airport. So, it was nice to see everyone again! As all of you can imagine, Eriko was so funny... I recommend you bring her if you want to have soooooo much fun! Hearing her say "Thank you sooo much~~~" did remind me of the day we spent in Maryland.

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I woke up 5:30 am to go there because we wanted to enjoy TDL as much as possible! So we started with shopping at the souvenir store, and enjoyed riding on the attractions. Also, we loved eating various kinds of food at TDL. For example, Honey-Lemon taste churritos, Spring rolls, Caramel Popcorn, Pumpkin Puddings, pizzas, and so on.(I'm now surprised to find how many kinds of foods we ate!)

We stayed there until 10 pm and Eriko suddenly said "I want to do something instead of going home!". Everyone except Eriko was surprised to hear that because everyone must be worn out even though we enjoyed being there so much! But she kept saying that, so Eriko and Miki got off the train at Miki's hometown. I don't know what they did, but I'm so curious...!! Did they still have the energy to do something?! WOW! Maybe the reason why she got excited after exiting TDL is that it was the first time for Eriko to go to TDL.^^ I saw Eriko become a different person after we stayed at TDL from morning till night! Sugoku genki ni natte ita...(It was like she's got more energy!) I think she's got the second wind with the help of dreaming at TDL!

I'm sure that this will be one of the highlights of this summer!
I really hope that I'll go there with all of you.^^

See you~.^^

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Assignment Accomplished


I'm writing this just to let everyone know that I finished doing the assignment that Uchida sensei gave me. I'm sooo glad to finish it that I've started updating my blog.

To tell the truth, I counldn't decide if I was going to write it or not until today because the purpose I participated in this program was not to get a grade, and I wasn't sure that I could finish writing a report. But I remember writing the report when I went to American University last year and the amount I was required to write was 4 sheets of A4 paper in English.(It was one of the most challenging assignments I've ever had, but I developed the confidence of writing in English because of that experience.) So I changed my mind and I just encouraged myself to give it a try.

The topic I talked about on the report was diverseness in the US. Rethinking about what I felt when I stayed in Maryland took a while, but it was interesting because writing about it made me think about the situations not only in the US but also in Japan. I guess that's one of the reasons why I like learning about different cultures. Learning about them always let me think about my country, and it also gives me a new perspective to see the things that I thought I knew. Also, writing in English was fun even though it took a longer time than writing in Japanese. I even felt that my personality was becoming a kind of different one...I guess it's because of the rhythm of English and how it is structured.

Wow... my blog finally looks like an academic one?!
I hope that you'll like an academic side of me. Hahaha~.^^

See you soon~.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Three Generations at a time!


I just finished watching the performances of Japan's synchronized swimming team on TV. Today was the final day of the FINA Synchronized Swimming World Cup 2006, which was held in Yokohama from Sep 14th to 17th. I've loved watching swimming races and performances of synchronized swimming on TV since I was a little girl. Watching them on TV always makes me want to say "suggooooi!!"(Woooow!!!!) or "nande anna ni iki ga tuzukuno?!"(How do they hold their breath for quite a while?). As you can imagine, the level of synchronized swimming in Japan is so high that the Japanese always expect the players to get medals, and the media even says that the color of medals is all that matters. So I easily can imagine how much pressure they've got as the day of their performance neared. Then I was almost about to cry when they won the silver medal!

My grandmother on the mother's side and her younger sister came to my house today. It was so good to see two of them at the same time because I haven't had a chance to talk to them since I even went to school on Saturday. But I'm still on vacation now, so we finally could get together! My mother was also there, so it was like girl talk beyond generations! Hahaha~^^ Also, the third Monday of September is "Respect for the Aged Day" in Japan, so it really was perfect timing!

After we enjoyed talking at my house, we decided to go to the Japanese restaurant to have lunch.(Please forgive me for making this blog look like a The Michelin Guide! Also, I'm not trying to make you hungry! Hahaha~^^) I was starving at that time because I didn't have breakfast, so everything on the menu looked delicious!! I had some Sushi, Udon, fried chicken, and french fries. I guess the combination was perfect!

Ahhh....I couldn't help but notice that there was a menu of desserts. I always have room for desserts like every girl does, so I enjoyed eating the ice cream with marrons.

We went grocery shopping after having lunch, and my mother drove them home. We even kept talking on the way to their homes! I really had a good time having lunch together and talking about my school and how I've spent my vacation!

See you~^^

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I've got so many things to talk about today....
So dokokara hanaseba iinoka wakaranai...!(I just don't know where to start.)

Okay...I'll start with my school thing because it made me sooo nervous today. Can you guess what I was worried about? It's my academic grade! Yuiko told me that we can check the grades on AGU website while we were chatting on MSN. I didn't intend to check it out before the vacation comes to an end but the fact that I already can see it really bugged I ended up logging on to AGU website. I always get nervous to see it even though I've done nothing wrong. Looking at it makes me feel like my whole body is becoming a pounding heart! Anyway, I was so relieved to find that I did well at my school...Haaa yokatta.

Now I'm going to talk about FUN things! As you know, I really had a good time chatting with some of the participants of AGU in America 2006. It made me feel as if we were still in Maryland! After Nina left the chat room, the rest of us started talking about ODEN. ODEN is a popular Japanese hot pot, which includes daikon radish, hanpen(fish cakes), chikuwa(fish cakes), boilled eggs, konnyaku(yam cake), and so on. Someone suddenly said, "I want to eat Oden now" in the chat room. Then all of us talked about favorite ingredients. Talking about something delicious like Oden (especially at night) made me want to go and buy some! So, I've wanted to eat Oden so much since I enjoyed talking about it on Sep 14.


I went to 7-11 today, and finally I bought some of Oden! The outside of 7-11 stores in Japan look almost the same as the USs', but of course what they sell is completely different because tastes of foods vary from country to country. I took the picture of Oden machine. I hope that the picture helps you imagine what Oden is like, and there were 23 kinds of ingredients at 7-11(Do you see the menu in front of the Oden machine?). Oden is so popular in Japan that you can get Oden at almost every kind of convenience stores in Japan, but I think 7-11 is the best!

This is what I had today. I had a boilled egg, konnyaku(yam cake, it's next to the egg), shirataki(it's kind of a yam cake, and the shape of it is like water which goes down a waterfall), and hanpen(fish cake). All of them are my favorites, so all I could say while eating was "Oishiiii!!!!"(This is so delicious!) Also, the weather in Tokyo was a bit cold today, so eating Oden kept me warm^^ The arrivals of hot foods like Oden makes me realize autumn has come and I really want to enjoy eating them! It even makes me forget the fact that I don't like cold season! Hahaha~^^

See you~!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Welcome to Japan~, Laura!!


A lot of things happened yesterday, and I don't know where to start...

First of all, let me talk about the thing I did midnight through early morning! I talked to Sayaka on Yahoo! Messenger for about 5 hours...I just couldn't believe that it was 5 am when we started thinking about going to bed. It was the first time for Sayaka to talk to someone through Yahoo! Messenger, so we both were soooo excited talking each other! I even used my Webcam and Sayaka tried to guess what I said in front of the Webcam by looking at the moves of my mouth. It was really fun and we found that Japanese is so hard to guess without hearing sounds. After we enjoyed talking, we went to bed at 6 am!! Awwww crazy!!!!! Hehehe.

Then, I woke up at about 12:30pm(hehehe...I ate breakfast in my dream!) and I started preparing for the reunion. Yes! Laura arrived in Japan few days ago, and she said she would be free to go around by Sep 12. So I asked everyone to see who can come. Mimaki, Megumi, Yuiko, Miki, and of course, Laura came to Shibuya yesterday! I was so happy to see all of them again because it's been a while since we arrived in Japan. So I was like "Wooooooooooow, HISASHIBURI~(Long time no see)" when I saw them!

After we got together at Shibuya, we went to the Okonomiyaki(Japanese-style pancake containing vegetables and other foodstuff) restaurant! I was surprised that Yuiko was so good at making Okonomiyaki! You should bring her if you go to an Okonomiyaki restaurant. Hahaha~. I enjoyed seeing her making Okonomiyaki and talking to my friends about what they did after they came back to Japan. Some of them went to the club camp, and some of them hang out with their friends.

After that, I realized that I forgot something important! Fumi said he would come to Shibuya, so I told him to send me an e-mail when he got there..... but I enjoyed eating Okonomiyaki so much that I completely forgot to check my cell phone! (I'm so sorry, Fumi!) I called him and told him where we were, then we could finally got together! Fumi was starving at that time, so we went to another restraunt to have dinner for Fumi and desserts for the rest of us. : ) At the restaurant, Yuiko was playing with Miki's Nintendo DS!(I really want to buy one!) Also, Fumi talked about the trip to Izu! It sounds a lot of fun and I'm so jealous that he enjoyed the Onsen(hot springs) there!

Then we went to Don-Kihote(the famous stores in Japan, and they have everything!)to buy towels. It's always nice to go around that store because there are so many things to see! Yuiko and I also went to the book store which is located close to Don-Kihote. We got excited when we went inside the store, because the book store was so big! I love staying at book stores for long hours, so I wish I could stay longer! Hahaha~.

After that, I got on the train to get home. Then I talked to Miki on MSN. We really enjoyed "handwriting-chat"!! It's always fun! Also, I'm really happy to see my friends start to talk with me on MSN. SUGOKU TANOSHII!!! The number of names on my MSN list is now increasing day by day! URESIINA~. : ) Ahhh...I just can't wait to talk to all of you on Sep 14!

See you soon~^^

Sunday, September 10, 2006

U T A D A U N I T E D 2 0 0 6


Today, I went to the show of Utada Hikaru with my friend from my junior high. Utada Hikaru is one of the famous singers in Japan, she even made her debut in the US. I've been a big fan of her since her debut in 1998. (Wow...8 years ago!) I really like her choices of words in the lyrics and her voice, and she always tries to do something new when she makes a song. So every song that she made has a different style. Also, her taste of books has a big influence on my choices of books. (She loves reading so much that she even wrote her favorite authors on her official website.)
I went to her show 2 years ago, so it was the second time for me to go to her show. I was sooo excited to see her sing again that my body started moving before the show began. (Minna mo sou dayo nee? (Everyone does the same thing as me when you go to a show of your favorite artist, right?))

As I said, I've been listening to her songs since I was a junior high school student. (Time flies so fast, doesn't it?) Her songs have always been there for me to smile, help me go through hardships, and sometimes make me think about myself. So seeing her sing her old and new songs was just like flipping through my memories book on my mind. Some of the songs even made me cry. Also, the lighting was really unique and beautiful! (Her husband, who is a movie director, did that.) The lighting and her costumes went together very well. I'm really sad that I can't share the things I saw at the show with all of you because taking pictures was not allowed! (Ahhh...dame jaaan!(Nonsense!)) Anyway, the picture is where the show was held. The shape of it is unique and stylish! It's called Yoyogi National Gymnasium. I think the capacity is about 10 thousand people.

After the show, my friend and I went to the cafe. I had the pumpkin pudding, and mango juice. I love pumpkin, so I did enjoy eating it! : )
I bought some souvenirs for my friend. Guess who it is?! Someone who is coming to Japan very very soon! (Is it too easy for you?)

Yes.....It's Laura!
She is a big fan of her as well, so I really wish she were there with me!
Anyway, I really enjoyed the show and it's always great to go to shows of my favorite artists!

TANOSHIKATTA~~~~!!!!!(It was a lot of fun!)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"chang"'s meeting!

It's about 3 am here, and I got home about three hours ago....

The reason why I got home late today is that I went to Yokohama again.
But this time, I went there with Hiro and Yuiko!

Do you remember how we call each of us when we were in Maryland? My nickname was "Obachang", and Hiro's nickname was "Ojichang". Then Yuiko's nickname was "Yuichang". We came up with these nicknames just for making clear distinction between me and Hiro. But we still call each other that way. Hahaha~. So today was like a reunion of "chang"s. : )

I usually go to Yokohama by car, so it was a bit hard for me to go to Yokohama by train because the names of the stations were not familiar to me. Also, it took one and half hours to get there. (But it's still worth visiting over and over again because there's always something new!)So I was relieved when I finally arrived at Yokohama. The train I got on today was Yokohama Line, and actually I take this train to go to school. But I still get confused about the names of the stations. Anyway, I like getting on trains for long hours because I can read books!

I was so excited to see Hiro and Yuiko, and seeing each other again made me feel as if we were still in Maryland! After we got together at Yokohama station, we started walking to have something to eat. Yokohama is Yuiko's hometown, so she took us to the restaurant that she recommended. We had Ra-men(Chinese Noodle) for lunch. It was really delicious and we talked about the things each of us did after we arrived here. We even talked about the first thing each of us ate on the day we got home in Japan. Then we left the restaurant and started window-shopping!(I think that's the best way to enjoy shopping! You don't have to think about being broke! Hahaha~!!!)

Hiro took this picture for me at the store which is called "Village Vanguard". Inside the store was filled with interesting things from all over the world! We kept staying here for about an hour just for looking at the stuff. You can even buy the panda I rode on if you like. Hahaha~! But I was surprised that the price of the panda was more expensive than I thought! (even though I was not interested in buying it.)

After looking through department stores, we looked for a place to have the dinner. We went to Italian restaurant, and we all enjoyed eating pasta! I had tomato and mozzarella with basil, Hiro had vongole bianco, and Yuiko had cod ovum with dried laver seaweed(Japanese Style).


We finished eating pasta and we also had the puddings and lychees for desserts. Can you guess what Hiro was doing when I took this picture? He was training the skill of using chopsticks!(Let me just simplify...he was playing with the seeds of lychees! He even competed with Yuiko!) I was impressed to see how concentrated he was when he was trying to hold 4 seeds of lychees with chopsticks! That was really funny!

Then each of us took different trains to go home. But we kept sending e-mails by cell phones inside the train, so I never got bored! I was almost about to laugh when I got the e-mails from Hiro and Yuiko!

Anyway, we really had a good time.
We went to Yokohama this time, where Yuiko lives in. So next time we'll go to Tokyo, where Hiro and I live in. For example, Shibuya, Aoyama, and Harajuku! There are tons of clothing stores in those areas. So please let me know if any of you want to join us and enjoy shopping! Hahaha~!!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I finally.....


I'm really sad that August is gone.....
August is my favorite month because I was born in that month, and I also like summer. I still want to wear T-shirts and flip-flops, but the weather in here gets colder day by day. Last night, I was surprised how cool it was when I rode my bicycle to return DVDs to the store. But getting colder also means that I can enjoy hot drinks like green tea, hot chocolate, and so on. : )

what I want to write today is that I finally can use bubbleshare!!!!!
Suggoi uresiiii!!!!!!!
(I'm sooooo glad that I can show you the pictures through bubbleshare!)
I was thinking of uploading the pictures I took in Maryland, but the first thing I saw when I opened "my picture" folder was the picture of my trip to NY. So I decided to upload some pictures from that trip. I'm going to show you the pictures of Maryland another time, so please look forward to it! : )

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I went to New York in March. The main purpose was to go to the UN Headquarters and get lecutured about how the UN works from the people of UN. One of the person who works at the UN is a graduate of AGU. So I and the rest of the participants could go inside the UN and listen to the lectures. Also, I went to many famous places in New York like Ground Zero, Times Square, and so on. Of course, I really enjoyed shopping as well! Looking at the pictures does remind me of the weather in New York! It was like I was in a refrigerator...!! (But the sky was really beautiful because of that.)

Alright...that's for today!