Wednesday, June 24, 2015

JSP12: Tokyo - Third Day

On the third day, there was one item in the agenda that I was particularly looking forward to. As usual, the day started with a buffet breakfast at the hotel. These daily buffet breakfast was prepared specially for participants of this program, in a food court that isn't open during such early mornings.

Again, a more international sort of breakfast food haha by the third day, the number of participants coming for breakfast has gone down a little, likely there were some who craved a more traditional sort of Japanese breakfast and decided to venture out on their own.

As for me, I went for the more budget-friendly option hehe

Milk, pancakes, cereal, yogurt and honey, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, eggs, mini sausages.

The yogurt's so good I had them every day! Don't know what's with the sausages in Japan though they're so different from the ones we usually have in Malaysia, in a good way hahaha like the outer layer that houses the meat is pulled super taunt that when you take a bite, it's like bursting through it, almost crunchy in a way like biting on jellyfish at the loklok truck. Hope this clarifies wtf.

Outfit color scheme of the day

Grey and white coordinate. Blue patch is the bus seat.

Freezing cold face of the day lol

Back then there were no such things as Heattech. All I wore was a tank top, black cotton long-sleeved top, white knit cardigan, cotton skirt, and tights, plus that black scarf. In late winter. Where it would soon snow in a couple of days (!!!). I guess my youth kept me warm hahahahah added on a pair of gloves later because it became another cold, dreary, rainy day. 

Anyway, I was looking forward to this!

A visit to one of the country's most prestigious higher learning institution, Waseda University. In my experiences I've actually had people tell me, "I hear he / she goes to Waseda University" or "Oh he / she graduated from Waseda" with a knowing look, as if it explained all I needed to know about the individual in subject. That's how tip top this university is lol but never mind that, Haruki Murakami graduated from Waseda University! That was the point that got me excited hahahaha plus I think checking out university, or any schools for that matter, in foreign countries are pretty exciting.

Walking in via one of the smaller entrances.

Branded gate stopper? Hahahaha maybe?

Oh I love the textures on the campus buildings. 

So stately, gives off vibes of important purposes. Rain continues. 

Barely saw any students walking about. Maybe it was a holiday. 

Sadly we couldn't take a campus tour under these weather conditions :(

So we moved on to the do-able agendas under the roof. More talks! 

More data and analysis!

More information and sharing! 

The organizers gave us these cute little pins as souvenirs. 

Buttoned it to my camera cover.

Then it was lunch time! Finally! Hehe

We were led to little study halls and box lunches were provided. So colorful, yum!

After that, we got on the buses once again for some recreational activity.

Each buses had two guides from a tour agency to bring us about. They spoke English and were wonderfully friendly and helpful throughout the trip. After several days of interacting with the same bunch, as the participants were sorted into three groups which travel separately according the the numbered buses, by the end of the program the guides got real chummy with participants in their group. 

Looking at that guy holding this phone, it reminded me that throughout this trip I had close to zero connection with the outside world! Smartphones were barely introduced into the market and I still had my old sony non-smart phone. My sim card is set for international roaming, but upon arrival I found out that it takes certain types of phone to be able to get signals for international roaming in Japan, fml. My trusty old ipod could connect to wifi and email (but not social media lol) but at that time, wifi still was a rare service provided in Japan. Seriously. It was so hard to find public wifi in Japan last time! 

So to let my family know I reached Japan safely, I had to resort to getting cards for public phones, which costs about RM30-40 for less than 15 minutes on the phone for international calls.

The only internet service provided by the hotel was the LAN cables to connect to laptop in the rooms, and three sets of desktop pc at the lobby for pay-per-use. It costs about ¥100-¥150 for 10-15 minutes of internet usage on the desktops, don't remember exactly. It was also real competitive having so many foreigners around that I only got to use it several times. Either wake up damn early in the morning, or wait till really late in the night to get a spot. Even so, there'll still be other hopefuls hanging around to make sure you don't hog it forever, fml. But I digress. 

Rain continues.

We were heading to the National Theatre of Japan!

It is located near the Imperial Palace, not too far from Akasaka.

On the inside, so proper and grand.

Such an amazing opportunity to be here.

We were going to watch a kabuki show! 

Luckily there are the hiragana writings next to the kanji hahaha thanks for the World Wide Wed, I just confirmed that this kabuki show is called "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki". In English, A Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani. It was written back in 1751, nu kidding bruh.

Kabuki is like a traditional theater show in an elaborate setting with dramatic, stylized characters, the story told in the Japanese language of olden days. The costumes and props were rich in details and seemed so well thought out. All kabuki actors are male, even for female characters! 

Even the stage screen is exquisite in its details.

It was a big hall, and we were seated on the higher ends. There were a small number of ladies dressed in beautiful traditional kimono seated on the front row seats. Must be really affluent, highly cultured ladies to be able to pay top notch price to enjoy this traditional form of entertainment. Respect.

The kabuki show went on for about three hours, with short breaks in between if I remember correctly. As much as I tried to concentrate, I must confess that at one point, I might have dozed off for a quick bit. I know, I know, so disrespectful, but oh I just couldn't help it :( We were given headsets for English narrations but to me, it just seems rather unnatural given the surroundings, it just couldn't match up. In the end I took it off and just listened to the melody of Japanese language, barely understanding a thing since it's all in old form of Japanese. I still remember flashes of certain scenes, it's really beautiful. I wish I had appreciated the moments more, now that I think about it.

After the few hours, it was an early dinner time. 

Little portions of delicate dishes. Mmhmm.

Since it was an early dinner, we also got these from the organizers!

Tomato cucumber sandwiches and orange juice.

Since it was a little too late to go out, I stayed in the room watching tele.

Catching glimpses of Arashi on tv every half hour hahahahaha 
 At one point it got a little boring so I took a walk to the nearby convenience store 

And got back with hot chocolate hehehe

Third day the end! Over and out! 

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