October 11, Saturday
Class. I totally did not realize I had a test this day. I paid for it, but I will still be able to pass this class, yes I will. Make sure to always check your schedule.
But I got to do a bunch of fun things, so it made up for forgetting and making a fool of myself! After Japanese class, Ching and I both went to Tamachi Station to take a train to Ueno. Bought a yakisoba-korokke dog first, then ate it at Ueno. We had to wait quite a while for George, Juu, and Kyuu to come, since they woke up late. But after they finally came, we made the short walk to the park area, where the famous zoo and Starbucks were located.
Ueno seems to be a tourist attraction, since a lot of museums were in the area and Tokyo University’s campus is nearby. We came especially for the Tokyo National Museum, which was holding a free day for exchange students. There were a bunch of food trucks past the gates serving food from Taiwan
and Korea. There are a total of three buildings within the museum. We went first to the building with Chinese and Korean exhibits. The first floor had a lot of Buddhist statues and heads, with the upper floors holding pottery, beads, cloth, etc. There was one place with fortune-telling activities, as well.
The next building we went to was the oldest one, which had all Japanese artifacts. There were samurai clothing, paintings, scripture, and kimono. One exhibit had beautiful hair ornaments.
Our last stop was the gift shop, in which I bought a pin of one of the mascots. Juu bought a book, and George and Ching bought mini artifact replicas. They were in capsules so you couldn’t tell which one you would get.
The museum was actually playing Toki wo Kakeru Shojo/The Girl Who Leapt Through Time at 7:30 on a screen outdoors, but we couldn’t make it, since we planned on going to the Akabane Fireworks Festival later that evening. We left on the train out, met other friends at the station, and ate dinner at Akabane. I bought a kimchi gyudon bowl at Matsuya, while a
couple of our friends got take out and left for the location to get seats. It was a long walk to the area, and we bought beer and snacks on the way.
The fireworks were quite pretty, and there were four rounds. Sadly, my camera ran out of battery and I lost the cover for my lens. I also made the mistake of trying one of the beers. It was disgusting and I could not drink even half of the can. I tried a sip of a friend’s apple cider beer, though, and that was alright.
Going out the fireworks location was quite difficult. There were so many people and only one bridge.
Back at Hiyoshi, we bought takoyaki and headed home (once again, I was the only non-Shimodian)
October 12, Sunday
The next day I had to wake up early to head to the Tsukiji Festival with the same people. We took two (?) trains there and headed into the crowd. Most of the time we were just walking around. There was a lot of fresh seafood around, and a bunch of stalls. The first food item we bought was tamagoyaki. One stall sold a piece for ¥100.
It was way too sweet though. I don’t like my eggs to be sweet. I ate it with mustard, but the mustard was very wasabi-like. Juu, Ching, and George bought a lot of other snacks, like okonomiyaki on a stick and butter oyster. The oyster looked super delicious, but ¥500 for one was too much
for me. I wanted a grilled squid, but since everyone wanted sushi instead, I went along. It was Tsukiji after all. We had to wait in line for about 20 minutes before we got seats, and we each bought a nearly ¥1000 meal. But the sushi was so good. George told us that good sushi, when flipped upside down, does not fall apart. I experimented with my ikura sushi,
and none of the salmon eggs fell out!
Afterwards, we headed to the festival across the street, but there didn’t seem to be much. Went to Ginza instead (by walking) and bought clothes at GU and looked inside the ZARA store. GU was nice, though. They have pretty good prices. I ended up buying a pair of earrings and a beanie.