Fun Filled Weekend!
You don't know this, but as I was just about to submit my posting, the site decided that it was a good time to log me out. So I lost everything I had just typed. So now I have to star over. i'm sorry if this seems shorter than normal but there is just no way that I am going to be able to remember everything over again, and plus I am extremely frustrated that it did that so I might make it shorter because I am so mad.
Anyway, on Friday after school we went to a kabuki play. It's a traditional Japanese play at a theatre. Almost like Shakepear. There are two "acts" in a kabuki. It's actually two different plays but they call them acts. The first play was Shinza the Barbar and if you have time to read the summary please do! It's really funny. I was able to understand most of what they were saying and if there was soemthing I didn't understand, I just asked the person next to me who spoke Japanese really well. Don't worry, it wasn't some random Japanese person, it was a person I know from the school. The second play was a ghost story and I'm sure it would have been really scary and such had I have been able to understand it and had it not dragged on for so long. It took forever to end. Kabuki is known for having special effects during their second act plays so I was really looking forward to seeing what they have prepared and I was dissapointed. Even the teachers were dissappointed. It was boring and lasted so long.
Kabuki is played by only male actors. They go to kabuki school when they are young and it takes them years to master every part. There are even special schools for the men who play the women. They are called the onnagata "woman type" or "Like a woman." It's very interesting. You can also purchase one act tickets, so you don't have to sit through all the boring second act plays. I kind of wish our school would have done that but I liked that experience.
The next day after school CIEE (separate from Sophia) students went to Yokohama to the cup noodle museum. It was really far away, about an hour subway ride from the hotel I am staying at. We get there and we custom design our cups and then we wait in line to create our fillings. While you are standing in line you can watch the workers make the noodles. They deep fry the noodles and when they are drained of the oil the noodles shrink and become hard. When you had hot water they become soft again and more able to absorb flavors.
I get my noodles added, then I choose sea food flavoring of the broth. We were aloud to add up to four fillings so I chose: shrimp, egg, corn, and some sort of wafer thing that tasted like fish. It had the duck logo on it so I thought it was cute. It actually is made from fish I just don't know the word in English to describe was it is. It's good tho.
They sealed my cup and shrink wrapped plastic on it and I was able to take it home with me. I ate it today. Yum!
After we walked through the museum that taught us how instant ramen was invented back in 1958 and how it has become so popular. After walking through the museum, the CIEE staff gave us spending money and transportation money. Which is just another way of saying that they are giving me my money back. There was a carnival/theme park across the street from the museum so 2 other girls and I went there.
The first thing we did at the carnival was buy food then we got dessert. I got a crepe because it just tastes so good!!! After eating we bought our ticket for the faris wheel and we rode it. It took about 15 minutes to go all the way around. It was a rather large faris wheel. You can see all of Yokohama. It was really awesome. After we got off one of the girls was really freaked out by the height of the fairis wheel so she just went to the carnival arcade and played games while the other girl and I road a rollar coaster that went under the ground and into a tunnel. We bought our ticket and stood in line. The tunnel was full of flashing lights and bright colors. It was really cool. After the coaster we went to look for the other girl in the arcade and when we found her we went to a purikuran(I think that's how you say it) to take photos! It's like a photo booth only your pictures turn out 1000x better. We were able to print out three copies, one for each of us. Then we went to the mall we found across the street. We had fun taking pictures of all the bad English on all the shirts we could find. We bought some items for ourselves and then we got lost. But it was a mall so what did we care about being lost. Once we figured out where we were, we headed back to the subway station so we could head back home.
By this time it had been 5 hours since we ate at the carnival so we needing to get something to eat. One of the girls knew of a really cool sushi place in Shibuya so we followed her there. The place is called Genki Sushi. Apparently they have locations on the west coast of the US so you should look them up!
Every chair has a computer monitor and you order the food that you want. Then the food arrive to your table by a conveyer belt. Once you have grabbed your food, you press the button at your table saying that you picked up your food and the tray goes away. It's so cool! It was really cheap too. I got 2 sushi rolls, 2 inari, ice cream, and soda and spent about $6.50 altogether. You really need to look it up and go there if you can. It's the coolest place I have ever seen.
By the time I arrived at my hotel, had completed my laundry, took a shower, and got in bed, it was 2am.
This morning I got up about 930 or so and got ready to head out to the Ueno Zoo. It's one of the worlds most famous zoos so I was really looking forward to going. It was quite warm today or hot. Whatever you want to call it. It was 100 degrees and 75% humidity. The tempurature didn't feel that hot at all. It felt nice this morning, but that humidity made it so hard to breathe and it was making me sweat. People kept saying how hot it was, but it's not hot. I live in hot, this place is not hot. It didn't feel hot at all, it just felt really sticky and gross. I guess that's what they call hot or something. Anyway, after being at the zoo for a couple hours, I couldn't take the humidity anymore and just went home. I felt so gross. It was just something I couldn't do.
The zoo animals didn't much like the humidity either. The poor things were all huddled in their ponds or swimming around. The otters were sleeping in the water. I thought they wer dead at first but then one of them lifted it's head up to breathe then went back under the water to sleep again. Some of the birds were panting and I felt so bad for them. Except the panda. He seemed to be the only animal that was totally ok with the weather. Wasn't bothered by it at all.
The animals were no afraid of people. They would get really close to you and some would even pose once they saw the camera come out. Birds would poof up and bears would get in a funny position. The seal was even doing tricks. I think the animals were so ok with people because there were staff standing by every exhibit watching and making sure that no one bothered them. We should do that in the US. That seems like a good idea.
Once I arrived back in Kichijouji, I decided I needed to make plans to go back to the airport since I am leaving in only 4 days. CIEE staff had emailed us of the different methods to get to the airport. The trains don't allow large luggage pieces to be carried on so I would need to ship my luggage from the hotel to the airport, and that costs about $30, plus taking the trains to get to the air port would take another $25 or so. I didn't feel like paying so much money to get to my flight. They also said there was a shuttle that takes you from Kichijouji directly to the terminals of Narita airport. The travel takes an extra 30 minutes but so what? If it means I can take my luggage without having to pay extra and if the fair is cheap then why not? I asked one of the workers at the station where to buy the bus ticket and she told me it was right in front of Baskin Robins. (That's right, they have those here. :D) I head over there and it's the only place directly infront of Baskin Robins. So I told her where I needed to go, she had me fill out a form and it only cost me $30. All I have to do is arrive on time and take the bus all the way to the terminal of my flight. It takes about 90 mins to get to the ariport from here. And that's just an estimate because there could be traffic and such. But my flight doesnt leave until 3:30pm and I since checkout time at the hotel is before 10am, I chose to ride the 10am bus. That means by the time I arrive at the airport I'll have over 3 hours to be bored and cry and be depressed that I have to leave the best place I have ever been to. I don't want to be thinking about leaving Japan, but it's necessary. As much as it pains me to head back home, I know that I have no other choice.