So yesterday was the first free day that we have had on this entire packed program. It was totally worth it. I went to bed early and slept until 10. Which means that I missed breakfast but I didn't care. I still had left over food from the night before so I just ate that instead. The maid service came and they were so sorry. They got on their knees and bowed to me exclaiming how sorry they were to have disturbed me. I tried to tell them that it was fine and they could come in, but they just wanted to change the trash so I gave it to them and they chaged the bag and handed it back to me saying how sorry they were the entire time. In Japan, if you are the guest, they pretty much treat you like a god.
I decided that that day was a good day to go exploring around my hotel. A lot of the shops and stores don't open until 1030 or 11 so I just walked around looking for shops I could potentially go to, and once 0l0l (pronounced Marui) opened I went inside. I was wanting to purchase a purse since I am getting tired of carrying this huge back pack around everywhere so I looked at all the bags and purses that they had and it was very expensive. Everything in that store was very expensive. I decided that I would just walk around each floor of the department store to see what was there. The next floor up were junior and kids clothes, the 3rd floor was under garments and swim suites, the 4th floor was for men's wear, the 5th floor was Japanese Yukata (kimonos) I am thinking about buying one when the program ends so that way I know exactly how much money I have. They are absolutely exquisite, the 6th floor had a super market, the 7th floor was a craft and school supply floor, I was amazed to even see those items in a department store so I walked around to look at everything they had. I found pastel smudging sponges and tools so your hands don't get dirty and ruin the pictures, they had plenty of tools for studying and lots and lots of pencils and note books, they also had yarn for really cheap and stamps and scrapbooking things and cross stitching and pretty much everything that you can think of in a craft store, they had. The final floor was a fabric store. I ended up buying some socks at this level because it was only $.98. You can't even find socks at the dollar store in the states for that good quality and so cheap. On this floor was also differnt clubs or classes. They had tables of ladies knitting and table for ladies sewing and tables of ladies doing other crafts. It was so fun to look around but I needed to get going as a bunch of us had planned to see the new Miyazaki movie "Kaze Tachinu" (The Wind Rises).
A few of us met up in the loby of our hotel and walked to the theatre really close buy and went we got there we kept seeing the word urikire over the time that we had wanted. One of the girls looked it up on her phone and it ment that the show was sold out. So we bought tickets for the next showing and decided to head to Shibuya to do some shopping. Shibuya is a major tourist location so there are many many many shops there. A lot of the girls and guys really wanted to go to 109 for shopping. So we went inside and headed up all 8 floors and started working our way downward. The music was American pop stars, it was odd to be hearing English music in Japan. Some of the songs were not the radio versions either, so there were many bad words being sung by several Japanese girls and they have no idea what they are saying.
I wish I had the time to explain everthing that we saw in 109. It basectly was a very tall mall. It's not as wide as a typical American mall because the space is limited, but it has the basic consept. There are several small stores and food on each floor just like a mall. I did end up buying my purse. It was on sale for 50% off so it made it only $10! I looked at all the colors they had and an employing came over to help me and told me which ones would go best with what colors and which one looked good on my person. She was saying short basic sentences so it was the first time I was able to have a conversation with someone and fully understand what she was saying. I made my selection and during the check out she asked if I wanted to have some extra straps. I asked how much they were and she said that they were free so I said that I wanted all the extra ones that went with the purse I chose. If they were going to be free, then why not? She neatly wrapped it for me then walked me to the front, bowed, and handed me the bag. Japan makes you feel like royalty when you go shopping or ask for help. They are really generous and nice people.
After a couple hours we needed to be heading back to Kichijoji so that we could see the movie. We were waiting for a couple ppl to show up and after 10 minutes of waiting we called them and asked where they were and they said that they didn't want to go to the movie after all and just wanted to stay and play arcade games instead. They could have at least called to let us know that because we ended up missing our train and missing the movie. One of the girls wanted to ask if we could get a refund but they said no. They let us go to the next showing for no extra cost because we missed the showing. I thought that was really nice. Since the theatre is right next to the hotel, we just grabbed something for dinner at the local convinience store and headed back to our rooms for the next hour and a half.
Once we got the theater they had use wait in line until they opened the floor. Each floor is a different movie. They had Monsters University playing. I almost wanted to go and see it but I would rather watch it in Enlgish. We get to the theater and you basicaly have to run to a seat because they fill up so fast! I got a drink and some popcorn because it cost 120 yen! Which is $1.20. It's 10 times that cost in the US! We were just besides ourselves with excitement being able to have popcorn at a movie theater.
The movie was very good. It was based on a true story actualy. It was during world war II about a guy named Jiro who designed planes. It was sad at the ending and it made me miss my husband so much! Jiro gets married and how they act together is just how JD and I are, especially when we were first married. A lot of the girls were crying when the movie ended.
I went back to my room and just cried and called JD because I couldn't stand missing him anymore. We talked for about an hour then he had to get ready for work. I had never missed him so much while in Japan as I did last night.
Today, we had an orientation with Sophia University. There are about 200 students from over 22 different countries participating in this summer Asian studies program. I hope I am able to meet Japanese students and practice my Japanese. The students treat Americans with a bit more distain than the people on the street or the shops do. I think they have many negative stero types of us. I don't blame them. We aren't exactly the nicest selfless people in the world. Plus we like our space, and when we don't have our space we complain. Japan has no space. It's squished everywhere, so you can immagine that many of the American's living here are complaining about not having any space. It's really stupid. I hear it all the time. Espcially from the girls.
We sat in 1950's style desks and filled out our transcript mailing info and contact information while in Japan and listened to a power point presentation from the program director of Sophia University. I don't know where he is from, but he can't say "v" sounds. They all sounded like either "s" or "f." It was actually quite funny. Especially when he said very or every. They sounded like fery or esfery. After the orientation and the more packet collecting (I have so many packets of stuff. It's ridiculous) we headed to the book store to purchase our books. I needed 2 books and they only cost me $50. I liked that it was so cheap for me. Usually they are hundreds of dollars for a tiny stupid book and you only get about $2 when you sell them back. It's so dumb.
Then we had the rest of the day to have to ourselves. It was quite nice to have a relaxing last few days. I know my brain certainly needed it.