Today was the last host family day. This host family also used to be the host family of another Dutch person. They said they were hoping for another anime fan and that is what they got. They also suggested going to a place that anime fans like. So warning the rest of this blog will be about anime stuff.
I was very tired from the other days, so I was happy I could sleep until 8 o’clock today. After that I ate some toast for breakfast. This family likes Western style cooking a lot and has Western breakfast almost every day and Western style dinner three or four times a week. As we had already gone to Akihabara on our personal day we decided to go to Ikebukuro. I chose this location not only because there is anime stuff, but there was also a non-anime related place that I wanted to visit since I was very young, the planetarium in Sunshine City. I always wanted to see a planetarium and the last time I was in Tokyo, three years ago, the place was closed, so I was happy that I could go this time.
Another thing we did was looking for a new backpack. As we have a pretty tight schedule I thought that I didn’t need a lot of extra space, but everyone was so nice and gave me so many presents that I didn’t have enough space in my backpack anymore. At the Uniqlo I found a nice backpack for not too much money. After that it was time to go to the planetarium. The show we saw was in English called: Fantasy railroad in the stars. I can only understand a bit of Japanese, so I think I understood the base of the story, but the details were too difficult, so I might have some misunderstandings about to the story. The story was about a boy that traveled through the galaxy with a girl and they learn about the stars during their travels. It was a very beautiful show and I am happy to have fulfilled this childhood dream of mine.
After that my host sister wanted to show me a place where she sometimes goes: a butler café. It was a lot of fun, but also very awkward for me. It looks and feels so formal, but it isn’t. I ate some pasta as they only had Western food. After that we did some manga shopping. I bought two manga today. I want to improve my Japanese reading and manga are easier than normal books and I just like manga.
In the evening we ate chicken with onion, salad, pumpkin and onigiri. They always eat so much for every meal I can’t get used to it, but it tastes so good. We also had a good talk about the cultural differences in our countries.
Today was a very fun day. I hope the rest of the rest of the week will be like this too.
My host family told me ahead of time that I had to get to the meeting place earlier than usual, as my host sister was gonna take an English test (I still find it absurd that they have classes during summer break, but different school system I suppose) so there I was, at the Parthenon Tama– dying because of the heat. Well I didn’t care because I was excited for NIHON Animation! I’m gonna be honest, it’s not like I’m the biggest anime fan (I read manga though) but to see how it’s done professionally sounded awesome.
Just before we left Hiro decided it was kind of him to hand me my shoes I left at Mito… I had completely forgotten about those and it wasn’t like I was excited to carrying them throughout the day! I didn’t have space in my bag either… But Elizabeth had enough kindness to place one of the shoes into her backpack.
When we arrived at our destination, it was a lot smaller and less dramatic than I had anticipated. I’m not sure what to expect but it wasn’t what I had in mind? Well, my odd imagination is partly at blame here. We wandered around, taking pictures as your everyday gaijin. It was so much fun for sure!
We were taken back to a shopping mall. There we had our lunch and got dressed for our, sadly, last ceremony. By dressed I mean a very Japanese clothing called yukata. We were shown awesome performances as well and we managed to wrap everything up nicely.
Of course, the session wasn’t gonna finish just like that. We had our own little last meet up together. Hiro had a lovely speech about what we’ve faced and how much we’ve progressed. Also, a hug from each of the staff as we received a signed thank-you letter. It sucked how it as the last time together with all of us but it’s gonna be a cherished memory for sure.
And to end a great day, my host family took me to onsen! A very Japanese way of finishing it.
Starting off the day we took a train about a block away from the National Diet. We proceeded inside to have our bags checked and enjoyed the nice AC on a very hot and moist day. We had a guided tour of the diet building, getting a glimpse at the Emperor’s room and the main cabinet room. After we toured the insides of the building, we went outside to walk through a garden that had a tree to represent each of the prefectures and areas of Japan.
After the visit to the diet we were originally supposed to have some time to ask questions to a member of the parliament, but he couldn’t come, so we had extended lunch break instead. There was a souvenir shop in the building where we had our lunch, but sadly we couldn’t find any Abe-chan figurines.
We finished the day in Abiko, the third city of this session. After a brief internal time we met with the mascot, an old eel in traditional Japanese clothing, as well as our host families. And so we had to move on from Tama to Abiko; a new city, new faces and new friends.
This time Trine talks about a day in her life in world campus.
At the start of the day we get to go back-stage in Tama Pantheon. The staff at the pantheon shows us how they operate the back-stage and all the things they can do. After this we meet with a local organization were we eat food, play games, and interact with a lot of different people.
On this day World Campus- Japan visits a keisei woman university and a primary school in Tama. We get a tour around the university and get to meet a lot of the student. Then at the primary school we get to try all sorts of japanese traditional gamese and other cultural activities.