Last day in Japan

Sorry for the lack of posts but we haven’t had much wifi access the past few days. Here are some pictures from Kyoto and Hiroshima. We look forward to seeing you all at the International Terminal tomorrow!

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Japanese High School

We spent the day at Shibuya High School. The first part of the visit was partnering with Tokyo University of Foreign Studies students who were also visiting the school to work on English skills with the Japanese students. The students spoke in English to us about their experiences in Hiroshima. Many of them described the shock they felt seeing the effects of the bomb, and they prepared us for our visit. Some offered advice on what sweets to buy or what food to try, and some warned about kleptomaniac deer.
After we finished our discussions in those English classes, we also discussed “the American Dream” with a class for students who had studied abroad in English-speaking countries. Although we had not read The Grapes of Wrath, the book they were studying, we were able to contribute ideas and our own insight about the American experience. After the school day ended, we helped the students clean the classrooms, a daily practice in Japanese schools. Finally, the students held a welcome party for us, and performed two dance numbers that, we were told, were prepared in less than a day. We did our best to reciprocate with a cheer, led by our resident cheerleaders, as well as with a rendition of “the nae nae”. After some time to mingle, we ended the party with some karaoke.

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Typhoon Vongfong

Just a quick update on the weather. Typhoon Vongfong began to hit Tokyo this evening. It has weakened tremendously and is just lots of wind and rain. We got a little wet this evening on the way home from the Kabuki play but nothing more. The brunt of it will hit Tokyo overnight and it is supposed to be clear by 10am. We are planning to have a relaxing morning and then visit the Japanese high school in the afternoon. This will be our last day in Tokyo before heading to Kyoto.

Harajuku

Yesterday we went to the fashion district of Tokyo called Harajuku! Seeing everyone in their crazy outfits was the most entertaining part. There was one huge street with main designer stores like Chanel, Dior, and Dolce and Gabbana. Behind that street was a much more crowded one with cheaper stores. We saw so many people in outfits that almost looked like Halloween costumes. It was definitely different than anything you would see back in the States! These are some of the pictures we got from yesterday’s trip!

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Fish market and Tea ceremony

Our first full day started at the Tsukiji Fish Market. Students were able to see everything from tuna to squid to live eels. We also ate lunch there before heading to the Hama-Rikyu Gardens for some relaxation. While there, we were able to participate in the Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony. In the afternoon we visited the Tokyo Skytree Mall, one of the newest shopping areas in Tokyo.

Tomorrow we will be off to see some street fashion in Harajuku and the electronics town of Akihabara.

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