Tuesday June 8, 2010
SHUNJUKU, Tokyo – I awoke early, had breakfast and then left for Technos College. When we arrived we were brought into the gym for an introduction to Japanese Culture. The introduction ceremony included demonstrations in Japanese Calligraphy and Japanese dance; where girls and guys wearing kimonos came out and danced with fans. Later a traditional Japanese drumming group demonstrated their skill along with dancers dressed as lions, people, and foxes. Then the 2005 World Karate Champion did a demonstration. He broke two bats held below him and one bat held above his head. All of the bats were broken with his bare feet. His final act was to break twenty Japanese tiles. His master had only broken fifteen and he had never before broken any tiles. On his first attempt he used his elbow and broke seven, on his second try he broke eight, and finally the last five tiles.
Matt, an English teacher at Technos, did the final demonstration. He was from Canada but has been living in Japan for six years. He played the samisen a traditional string instrument. After the demonstrations we had lunch. I ate udon soup, fried pork, miso soup and rice.
After lunch I checked out the school convenience store. Students that we passed along the way were always approaching us asking to take pictures with them and throwing up the peace sign.
Next ,we had to introduce our colleges to the students and faculty at Technos College. I introduced HWS with AUT, Bates, and McKendree. Then Technos students introduced the airline, hotel, bridal, English, and tourism departments.
After the introductions we went back to Shinjuku for dinner. This part of the city was what I pictured Tokyo to look like. There were bright lights and people hustled about. It reminded me of Times Square in New York only much bigger. Meagan, Bianca, Astrid, Kaad, Annie, and Kenji joined us. Before dinner we did some shopping and exploring of Shinjuku. I went off and explored the eastern area of Shinjuku with Annie. Shinjuku was a massive city, with the bright lights and signs going on forever. While walking we found a small shine buried deep within the skyscrapers.
The restaurant we went to had a very traditional feel to it. The tables were low with an area to put your feet underneath. I had a ginger highball and sake – clear, cold sake. I learned that there are three types of sake, clear sake, brown sake, and sake with clumps of rice left over from the brewing process. Sake is normally supposed to be served cold. Only less purified sake is meant to be served warm. For dinner I ate chicken and rice. The chicken was stir fried in soy sauce with sugar. Round after round of food came with Kenji ordering traditional food for all of us to try. Kenji was one of our Technos student guides for the week.
After dinner we returned to the hotel for an early night for tomorrow we had an early day.