Archive for June 4, 2010

~*~McDonalds in Japan~*~ I’m lovin it :)

While in Japan, I had the opportunity to try Mc. Donalds Japanese style! there were some foods on the menu that were the same here in the states, such as french fries, cheese burgers, apple pies, big macs and chicken nuggets.  One difference about Japans McDonalds is the portion size. A large drink was compared to a medium size here in the states. I’ve noticed that most of Japans portion sizes are a lot smaller than what I have seen at home. This could be a possible explanation why many Americans are so obese. Some other choices on the menus there were shrimp burgers (Ebi Fillet O), and Ebi-Chiki (shrimp nuggets).Also, while dinning in at the McDonalds in Osaka, there was a section for smoking. Usually, there are no smoking in restaurants like that in the US.  There was also wifi available in the McDonalds.  Every morning while staying in Osaka, I would stop at the McDonalds in the subway station for breakfast.  I would order a egg sausage Mc Muffin, hash brown and orange juice. With the McDonalds being in the subway station, you were able to use your pasmo/suica cards to pay for your meal.

8 comments June 4, 2010

~*~Tokyo Disney Land~*~

Tokyo Disney Land!

While in Tokyo on our free day, a few of my peers and I ventured off  to see Tokyo Disneyland! I have been to Disney World in Orland, Fl when I was 14, and I had an amazing time. I was curious to see if Tokyo Disneyland would meet my expectations and be just as exciting as it was when I went with my family.  When we first arrived, we were so excited to have made it there on our own! After purchasing our tickets, and I was glad they took Visa, we walked through the gates and through World Bazzar! There were plenty of shopping stores. This area was covered by a plexiglass canopy.  The park was very clean and so pretty! After walking out of Bazzar World, you can see Cinderalla’s Castle.  There was also a parade passing by with Minnie and Mickie on the Easter float. In Japan, Easter lasts for a month and it was an Easter Celebration going on.

Then after watching the parade, we went to one of our first rides. It was the Star Tours ride. I rode this ride when I went to the Disney World in Orland, FL as well. This was a simulated ride and it was really fun. The only thing about riding the rides here in Japan is that everything is in Japanese, so I did not know what they were saying! Another thing about Japan, there are tons of people, and the lines for the rides were ridiculously long!! We did not have to wait that long for this ride though! We then went to Toon Town and along the way, stopped at a concession stand that sold various toys and gadgets, hats and Mickey/Minnie mouse ears! I bought a pair later on that evening for a souvenir! Many people had these ears on at the part too!

Since some of us wanted to ride the rides and others wanted to go to the shows, we split up into groups. We went on another roller coaster ride and waited in the line for almost an hour and then went to another ride and waited for over 2 hours. It seemed like we never was going to get to the ride! That is why when going to an amusement park as such, you need a whole week just to do everything, but I’m glad I got the chance to go. Also at the park, we stopped to get some waffles!   They were in the shape of Mickey Mouse and was covered in strawberry and custer with cool whip! It was delicious! After eating and riding a few rides because the lines were just too long, we decided to leave the park. We did not get a chance to see the fireworks or the electronic parade but a couple of my peers said the parade was really nice with all the lights on the floats and that the fireworks were not that great. Overall I still think the Disney World in the US is way better but I had a great time and enjoyed the beautiful park in Tokyo!

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2 comments June 4, 2010

~*~Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum~*~

Hiroshima and the Peace Museum had to be one of the most historic places that I have visited.  Stepping foot in the peace museum and learning about how all the people were killed and affected after the atomic bomb dropped August 6, 1945,  made me feel sad that this happened.  It is also remarkable that the Japanese does not hold any grudge against the US after this tragic event.   I am hoping that this would not happen anywhere in the world again! In the museum, we had little head sets that you could use by typing in the number of the exhibit and you could hear the voice recording and explanation of the items pertained to it.  There were many exhibits and also a wax exhibit that showed the melting skin of the people. Many were children who were sent to work.  Also we got to see before and after models of where the bomb hit.  Then we walked outside to the Peace Memorial Park area and took photos and we saw this statue of a crane.  The Japanese culture highly treasure the crane as it symbolizes honor and loyalty.  One of the beliefs of the Japanese culture is that if a person folds 1,000 cranes he would be granted his/her greatest wish.

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~*~ Sumo~*~

On Saturday, my teacher, peers and I went to go see Sumo! At first, we waited outside to watch the sumo wrestlers as they walked into the entrance.  They had on their kimono robes with their hair in ponytails.  Many stood outside to cheer them on as we took pictures of them passing by!   This was my first sumo match and I did not know what to expect.  As we left to go inside the stadium, we found our seats way at the top. There were so many people who came out to watch the wrestlers.

Before entering the stadium, there were a few concession stands that sold food and souvenirs.  Half way through the match, a couple of my peers and I went to get ice cream ( a favorite in Japan), and to buy some sumo souvenirs as well. At this event, I noticed people were able to bring in their own food to enjoy. Many places in the US would not allow you to do as such. Also, we saw a form of advertising when after a match was completed, men would walk around the stage holding banners of companies. One I remember is McDonalds.  This experience was quite different but I enjoyed it at times especially when a match was intense.

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1 comment June 4, 2010

~*~ Types of Transportation of Japan~*~

When arriving to Japan, I noticed one major way of transportation that many people use; the subways. The subway system was packed with tons of people. People who were dressed in business attire, to children, to even the elderly.  There was even a subway car only for women.  In the subway cars, there are cushioned seats and poles with hanging hand grips for people to hold onto.  There were signs in the subway cars that illustrated to be mindful of others and not to play your music too loud.  Also, it was instructed not to talk on cell phones, or have the ringer on your cell phone turned while in the subway cars.

women waiting to board the womens only car

Subway etiquette

Another type of transportation was the buses. They were small and compact and you entered the bus through the back and exit through the front.  The bus driver wore a head set and spoke the the passengers at every stop.  the single seats in the front of the bus and towards the back, were designed for two seats and one long row that seated up to four on the very last seat. There were buzzers on the walls and some busses had them on the polls and there was a pasmo/suica card reader to pay for your fare if you wanted to use your card.

The taxis and cars were small in Japan.  The steering wheels were on the right hand side of cars, and the people drove on the opposite side of the street than we do as well!

2 comments June 4, 2010

~*~Types of foods in Japan~*~

While staying at the Asian Center of Japan Hotel, we were given tickets for complementary breakfast from 7 am to 10am. On the menu were breads, croissants which were very tasty, cereal, salad, fruit cocktail, bacon, sausages, eggs, boiled eggs, grill fish, misu soup, and rice.  Every morning in Akasaka, I would have the scrabbled runny eggs, croissants, sausages, orange juice and water for breakfast! Sometimes I would have a salad, and once I tried the Co Co Rice Crispies cereal! Some days, the eggs and sausages were cooked better than other days.

My Breakfast

For Lunch, we would usually be out to meet our companies and would stop at restaurants to grab a quick bite. One meal I had was chicken, rice, a salad and a diet coke. It was pretty good! At this restaurant, we had to take off our shoes and climb into little rooms to eat. This was definitely a different experience for me!

Japanese Menu

My Meal

While staying in Tyoko, there was this restaurant where you order from a vending machine.  Once you chose whether you were dinning in or taking out, you received a little ticket and you gave it to the waitress. This restaurant only had water or beer, so we were able to bring in our own beverages to drink.  I ordered some curry with rice and pork! It was very Delicious.

Pork and rice Curry

Another night, we had a group dinner at this restaurant where we had to grill our own meat. we did not have to take off our shoes here but we all had a great time and enjoyed the food! It was after our company visit with Lucent pictures and they all met us at the restaurant as well.

Korean BBQ

A couple of nights while staying in Osaka, I had chicken on some sticks and rice. It was so delicious.

Dinner in Osaka

One night, I was craving pizza, so me and a classmate stayed in our hotel and ordered Dominoes! We had a hard time trying to order over the phone because we had to ask for someone who spoke English, but we finally got through. I was so excited, but it cost 2500 yen!! We ordered the American Special, which consist of pepperoni and onions, and it tasted great!!

For our last group dinner before we departed back to the US, we went to a restaurant called Shabu Shabu. We had to boil the meat for about 5 seconds and then take it out of the boiling water with vegetables. It was all you can eat and many students enjoyed the meal!

Shabu Shabu

I tried a Japanese Pancake as well! It had a thin layer of pancake, cabbage egg, and bacon.

Japanese Pancakes

There were lots of vending machines of ice cream on the streets. I got the strawberry ice cream and it was actually pretty good! There was a lot of places that served soft served ice cream as well. The way that the ice cream was served was quite different, they would grab a cup and put it in a machine and out would come the ice cream. It would cost from 200 to 300 yen depending on the place!

Seventeen Ice

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~*~ Our visit to Waseda University~*~

Waseda University, known as the Yale, and Princeton’s of the US, was a very nice campus as well.  There was more greenery than Keio University, and I noticed a baseball field along with a basket ball rim, but just one! We had to take 3 trains and a bus to get to the school totaling in over an hour to get there. When we arrived, I noticed that there were not many students walking to class, but that could be that many students were in class already. When we were able to come into the classroom and meet the students, they were very welcoming and eager to speak with us.   Many students were freshmen and were around the age of 19 years old.  One of the students that I talked with told me that her schedule for the day lasted until 6 that evening and she had  4 classes. We learned that a typical schedule for a Waseda student was 90 mins. of class and they only attend once a week.  Also, some students travel 3 hours max to get to school.  I did get a chance to talk with other students who said it took from an hour or 30 mins to get to school. Many of them lived with their families and said that they enjoyed school.  It was shocking to hear the professor mention that once they are accepted to the school, because it was very hard to get in, many do not show up. They feel obligated to graduate them!

Waseda University

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~*~Getting to know the students of Keio~*~

At my table, there were a mixture of MSU students and students from Keio University. One student who spoke English very well was Shinure.  She told us that she was born in the US.  She was very polite and was not shy about talking to us.  A lot of the students at first seemed nervous though, but as we began talking to them, we soon developed interesting conversations with them. We also tried playing the name game with them! It was very humorous to see all of us try and remember each others name.  Then we asked the students to take a survey for our research. The students then pulled out their cellphones and held it up to the projector screen to take a picture of a cubed like image. This allowed them go to the link to take the survey on their phones! I was blown away with this piece of technology!

1 comment June 4, 2010

~*~ Keio University Visit~*~

Keio University, Japan~”Encouragement of Learning”

May 14, Today we went to Keio University. We were scheduled to leave the hotel around 9:00 am,but we did not depart until 9:15-9:20 ish.  We had to run to the subway station and my feet were in dire pain.  I had developed two blisters on my right foot from the day before.  One on my big toe and one on my baby toe. This made traveling very hard for me, but I did it! When we arrived to the University, we took a group photo at the steps. The campus was located within the city.  It was a very nice, clean campus, and had little greenery. Once we entered the building and was assisted to the classroom, we met with some of Keio’s students who were already in the class.  Two students from the University were ready to present their presentations which was on “Twitter in Japan”. We found out that not many people were into twitter like the US but it was growing in numbers.  Some of the students that we met had twitter accounts but claimed they hardly used them.  Then we had two of our students present to the Japan students on “E publishing”.  Later, we had a chance to mingle with the students and learn about them!

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~*~The art form of Karaoke~*~

On Friday night, May 21st we all had a chance to go to Karaoke. Many of us have been waiting to go and hopefully meet up with the other students on the study abroad program,but we just ended up going with our group. There were many signs of Karaoke places in Tokyo and Osaka.  Since I love to go Karaoke with my friends’ at home, I was no stranger to publicly embarrassing myself! Before entering the place, I did not know what to expect because of what I heard from others who said that Karaoke in Japan was different from the US.

As we all entered the building we had to find our room which was new to me.  In Japan, you rent out rooms for your party to sing in.  I think this was a great idea because there have been times where my friends and I do not even get a chance to sing because of  how crowded a place would be! By having our own private room, we were sure to pick a song and be able to sing. Then, after we went to our karaoke room, we had an hour and a half to sing and open bar.  One thing about Japan and drinking alcohol, they never carded me whenever I ordered an alcohol beverage.  This was also new for me, because in the US, I have to show ID without a doubt even though I’m over 21.  There was a telephone in the room to order our drinks and snacks and someone brought them up to our room! This was great. That night, we all had a great time singing and laughing with one another.  This would definitely be a memorable time with the study abroad Japan!


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