Monday, July 30, 2012

What i'm up to Part 1

Some have been inquiring about my everyday activities.  I thought I would write this little entry to give you an idea of the fun I've been having.  As you can see in the first photo I went to some fireworks.  The city of Ogaki put on an amazing show on the 28th, which lasted a little over an hour.  The end of the rainy months marks the beginning of summer and this show also marked it.  I would say about 1/4 of the people who lined up along the river to see the fireworks were dressed in their Yukata (summer kimomo) and geta (wooden saddles).  I do own a yukata but didn't have time to get into it since before the show I was beating the heat, along with  every other kid in Japan, at a water park.  This water park had a lazy river where I floated contently almost the whole time.  I hope to go again soon and often since it was super affordable.  Entrance only cost around $3 per person.
I also recently got my hair cut in a Japanese style by fashion savvy Shin Suzaki, pictured left.  The hair cut has really made a difference in the way Japanese people view me.  Before the hair cut, Japanese people would view me as a visitor  and not attempt to talk to me knowing I probably don't speak Japanese.  Now that I look like I belong a little bit more they still view me as an outsider but I fit in a little bit more and I've noticed more Japanese will attempt to talk to me and make eye contact. Also Shin has agreed to model for me.  After asking him I explained the photo really is a story about you.  I want people to understand a little about you when they see your photo.  I want a little bit of lifestyle, little bit hobby,  and little bit color that adds to the feeling of you.  He said street clothing is his hobby. This makes it very easy to make him stand out in the photo since his clothing is unique to begin with. For lifestyle, we works and lives in a very urban area, and I found a good location near where he works to shoot him. As for color he like the cold feeling gray, or silver adds to him.  The location I chose to shoot him continues this feeling. I haven't set up a day and time for the shoot yet but I think I'm ready to Rock-N'-Roll. Cross my fingers and pray for the best.

Even though at times it is hellishly hot here I really enjoy walking around, far and wide, getting and understanding of the layout of the land.  In the last few weeks I've covered a lot of land by foot.  Ive never been a person afraid to get lost, and I can't say I've ever really been lost.  I do feel a bit uneasy when I don't know where things are. Where is the train station? what is the fastest way to get there? Where is the park? What is the fastest way to get there? What is the fastest way to get from the park to the train? Where is the mall? Where is food? And so on.  Now I have a pretty good grasp of all of this in my little city. Everything I need or want is within 1 1/2 hours walk.  Really not that bad since I have all the time in the world on the days I have alone.  It is a much slower pace but I really like that. I really get to see and pay attention to detail on foot, whereas in a car or buss I'm only catching glimpses. Even a bicycle is a good pace.  Unfortunately I don't have one, but the crocks I wear are good for walking, so that is what I do.  The long distance walks and high heat, has really helped my weight loss along.  I've lost about 6 lbs and I'm sure I would have lost more if I weren't eating ice cream 3 times a day to cool off.

The summer Olympics have started as all of you know.  Team spirit is very strong in Japan and there is major excitement. Unfortunately I don't have a TV this year, so I haven't been watching the games.  My cell phone does have a TV tuner on in it but it only works well outside and the sun is too bright to see anything really.
This has been my time here in a nutshell really. Stay tuned for the next couple post.  I really want to write on the culture here.  Have some fun photos to share.  Plan to use my digital camera a lot more this week so I can show you what I see. Please follow my blog if you want to keep up to date.
Until next time, じゃ、またあしたね。


  1. Did you get a new cell phone since you've arrived in Japan? 'Cause seriously, a TV tuner? I know that wasn't from the US.