Took an adventure on the bullet train, just because we had two days left on it. We didn’t want to waste it. Ate at this famous chain we didn’t know was famous until we left and saw like 6 stores of the same thing. They led us from one location to another to seat all of us. Ate chicken wings and miso eggs since Nagano was famous for their chicken wings and miso. Had to sneak onto on of the last trains since the lady gave us the wrong information, so we missed our last train. We all pretended to sleep in case they tried to check our ticket. I was ready to pretend to be a Vietnamese speaking tourist. LOL, one of the biggest adventures of the trip. We made it back safely, luckily without being caught.
Went to the ramen museum but didn’t eat their ramen since it was quite expensive. Went to Chinatown. Their Chinatown was a lot neater, more Chinese-inspired architecture than the LA Chinatown. Ate Chinese food which was pretty decent. I dropped a porcelain spoon here and broke it. -__- Typical Cindy, I know. Our friend busted out her Cantonese and was our translator for the night. Our group had to separate towards the end to make traveling easier for our sick friends. Yet another sleepover!
Odaiba is a fake island in Japan. Vacation area. Lots of cutesy stuff. Went to the Jump Shop. And their mall. Technically, Jump Shop inside the mall. Saw cute puppies and kitties in the mall pet shop. Saw a pretty decent band who sound better live than on the CD. Went to Joypolis. I got a number one spot on this jumping arcade game! Friend played lots of claw machine and won something each for our friends who stayed behind. Went on the world’s largest ferris wheel. We made it on one of the last rides! It was very slow and not scary but breathtaking scenery.
Think Disneyland…under the sea. Prince Eric wouldn’t take a picture with us, even though we were waiting for awhile. He kept taking pictures with the little kids (which I understand) and the Japanese girls (which I don’t understand since we were waiting before them). The decorations for the theme park is really nice, really intricate. I actually felt like I was in a new world, not at a theme park. I have to admit, the rides here are way less intense than the rides in the US. Except for Journey to the Center. The ride was…not to spoil it for anyone, unexpectedly…surprising. The food here is cheaper than Disneyland food. The prices is actually the same if you were to eat outside the theme park. And the food was awesome! Strawberry and milk tea popcorn, maple churro, seafood rice cheese thingy. And we saw a not-so-ordinary janitor who apparently does magic tricks and give magical hi-fives. We thought all of the janitors gave these magical hi-fives, but when we tried, they only got confused. LOL. Sadly the water show was modified due to rain and wind but it was still pretty nice. And some of our friends abandoned us…they didn’t even wait 30 minutes. What jerks! Luckily, we all got back safely.
Tsukiji Revolving Sushi
Awesome really fresh sushi. Revolving. And the chef gave us an extra piece when we ordered from him. He was adorable. I hate 9 plates…worth $27 by myself. What a pig, I know. But it was soooo DELICIOUS!
This cool technology center. Saw art stuff with technology. Like this train with a light that went around a track and showed us a town with shadows. And a room designed not to bounce sound. And a room with sensor light that light as you walked. And a thingy that recorded but then kinda played certain parts, again and again, and it was kinda messing with your mind.
Bought food and ate together in our room. It was our first family dinner. Somehow, we made one of those fake families in Japan. Our friend melted a pan and made a permanent burn mark on our stovetop.
Highlight…crows the size of my forearms. They are HUGE!
Karaoke: Take 2
Wore pajamas to karaoke to see people’s reactions as part of an experiment for class report. Got laughed at by the workers there. Knocked over a rack of magazines. Made things worse. They tried to rip us off but used what little Japanese we knew to get the price from $24/person to $14/person. Karaoked from 11pm til 5 am with unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with snack bar.
Gundam Cafe! Broke umbrella due to high winds. More cosplay and sticky-pics. And of course, shopping for last minute souvenirs.
Discovered a capsule hotel, love hotel, and night lady escorts. This is a businessmen area. Ate uncomfortably at a revolving sushi place with all men so I thought it might have a men only restaurant. But they didn’t kick us out so oh well. Search for green tea soft serve that failed.
Went to a hotel near Disneyland for our farewell dinner. Goodbye speeches, more good food, and pictures. Mini-graduation like thingy where we all got a certificate and parting gifts.
Trouble deciding between arcade, clubbing, fireworks, karaoke, sleepover. Mini-party before we decided to go play fireworks in the park. Yay for sparklers and other stuff that went in the sky. Don’t worry, we didn’t burn down any trees. I got tons of bug bites. We ran around since we were afraid we would get caught.
Stayed up all night to talk one last time before goodbyes.
Airport and Goodbyes
Took us forever to leave our hotel and say goodbyes. Ate McDonald’s at the airport and ordered a free smile. Decent tasting shrimp burger. Drank Aquarius (since it was my sign) which tasted like Gatorade. Tried to meet up with friends at the airport but missed them. Almost stayed another day but when we decided to take up the offer, other people already did so it was too late. Almost late for our airplane but kind souls let us cut so we made it in the nick of time…we were running like crazy people to our gate. Reminded me of Home Alone 2. Watched 3 movies of the plane. Ate good airplane food. Go Korean Air. I highly recommend them. Good service, food, choose own movies to watch/games/music.
- I love Japan! Hopefully, one day I can go back there. I miss it but I’m also ready for new adventures.
- I was afraid to go their on my own, but I’m glad I did. I felt like it made me stronger, learn lots of stuff, and make awesome possum friends on my own.
- Everyone can go. I feel like everyone can find something to love in Japan…whatever it may be.
- Thank you Japan for allowing us foreigners come invade your country. LOL. You gave us an amazing experience.
- Thank you very much to the amazing program coordinators, professors, Japanese students, fellow travel-study students who made this journey more wonderful by always lending assistance and just their companionship. =) You are all phenomenal people!