~*~ 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 shastokes

~*~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 shastokes

~*~ 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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~*~ AR Solutions~*~

At the company DNP, they talked to us about AR Solutions. It allowed for images to appear 3D onto the magazine/booklet through the monitor as we watched pictures of different settings such as day/night, and even a little figure jump into the car. The style of the car was able to change and by rotating the booklet/magazine, you could view different angles of the car as well.  There were the features of zooming in and out available in the model.   Another AR Solutions demonstration that was done was when purchasing an item, such as a piece of furniture for your house. Using a photo of where you wanted to place your new furniture, you could simply place a small card in the position where the new item would go, take a picture, upload it and view it on your computer.  With the company DNP, they had a Visa type card that you could give that was wrapped in a nicely package box for whomever you wanted to give it to shop at a certain store.  Last but not lease, was a pen that recorded your answers in a survey. It had a camera on it so knows what you mark for your answers. I really enjoyed all the technology at this company!

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~*~ Company Visit~*~ DNP

May 13, we went to the company DNP!  DNP was established in 1876. The company wants to provide a new social communication platform  for the future society.  At this company, they demonstrated different types of electronics and one that was very interesting to me was the story tube.  It was basically a long tube that had a camera at the end of it.  It was placed inside a cylinder type object with a picture at the end. As the camera spin around and climbed closer to the image, it made it seem like it was approaching a castle.  The effect was very cool. Then after the power point and demonstration, we headed downstairs to the Louvre Museum portion.  We were not able to take pictures down there but we were able to see some very interesting exhibits.  One that I remember is the car, when you touched it, the car changed colors.  Also, there was the exhibit where you could redesign a statue by placing the type of stone for clothing, or style of hair that you want the statue to wear. Simply by placing a certain stone onto the platform told the computer what you chose for the statue. This was also very cool.

The Company DNP

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~*~Finding my way in Tokyo~*~

Tokyo Subway map!

After missing my stop on the NEX for the Tokyo station, I got off the train and saw tons of people moving about to catch the subway.  I had a map of where I needed to go, but could not understand it. Then I started walking around until I found a guard  to ask how to get to the Aoyama itchome stop. After finding out he could not speak much English, I left and found someone else at the help desk.  The lady spoke a little bit more English and was able to write down each stop to get on.

I remembered that a card came with my Suica and NEC Users Guide, and saw people touching the gates to pass through. I took mines out and follow suit and I was able to use it to enter and exit through the gates.  I got on the subway by looking at the colors on the signs. After the long day and following the directions on the piece of paper I got from the help desk, I finally arrived at Aoyama- itchome station.  Looking at my luggage, and then all the stairs, I went to ask someone if there was an elavator to get on,but they guy used his hands to express that I had to go up the stairs and then chuckled a little when he saw all my luggage.It only made me sad!! but I made it up the stairs and onto the streets. It was nighttime when I arrived and the directions to the hotel was hard to make out, so I asked someone else how to get to the hotel. A girl who spoke English was able to help me out a great deal. I was very thankful and proceeded on my way. When I got close to the hotel, I asked someone else who was waiting at a light, and she happened to be going to the same place and told me I could follow her. I finally arrived to the Hotel Asian Center of Japan around 8:30 pm on Wednesday and went up to my room to find my roomie, Mz. Courtney!! and soon after Mz. Vita!! YAY!!

My suica card

Gate to place tickets or Pasmos/Suica cards for Subways in Japan!

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~*~Day of Arrival pt2~*~

After finding the Office to purchase my Narita Express ticket and activating my J Rail for the week of May 16, I then journeyed off to find my way to the train.  The lady at the office reserved my ticket for the 5:44pm train and on the ticket, was my reserved car and seat number.  I was placed in car 7 seat 10D.  When I found the car, I placed my big luggage in the front of the car and then found my seat. The train ride was about an hour, but since I did not know where I was going, I missed my stop at Tokyo station and I got off at the next stop. A lady on the train who spoke some English was trying to help me and told me that in Japan, people move fast, as well as the trains. That was the first lesson I learned dealing with the trains in Japan.

Add comment June 4, 2010 shastokes

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