Sunday, January 24, 2016

JSP'12: Miyagi & Tokyo - Final Days

The final spurt! Yay! This chapter is coming to a close (at last) after four years hahahaha I'll be combining the finals days in one post, as it wasn't that eventful for a day-by-day breakdown anyways. Giving myself a pat at the back for persevering through, not sure if I can replicate the same attention to details (hmm questionable) for other trips though hahaha we'll see we'll see! I must say though, this batch of photos looks so much better than the previous post hahahaha the final day in Miyagi was spent on cultural activities with international students!

We did stuff like ikebana (flower arrangement).

Kneeled on tatami mats for traditional tea ceremony.

Our legs were certified dead after the experience hahaha

Make kimono out of origami, I made two of these hahaha greedy.


Tried on traditional kimono too!

 and then the guide told me that its actually for weddings hahahaha fml 

Bento lunch. 

I love the variety of colors in the meals we've had. Everything seems so simple, and the portions are not that big but you definitely feel really full after, probably due to the variety of textures and tastes. The green powder on the bottom left, that's green tea salt to dip the tenpura vegetables in. I still remember how good it tasted until today! Damn, they should have it here in restaurants! After lunch, it was an afternoon of talks where we hear about international students' experiences on living and studying in Japan. Mannn, I want to live and study in Japan too. 

Then it's makan time again hehe we had buffet, look at my dessert haul. Ah youth.

Unglam night spent doing laundry hahahaha I had to go right back to university after this trip and I've got a week's worth of dirty clothes. Might as well do laundry right away since the facility is there. Bonus laundry room selfie!

There's also a communal bath which I dared not challenge at the time hahahaha 

Next day's #ootd color scheme, a bit on the aggresive side lol

The hotel staff made banners to see us off and stood in the cold to wave for the longest time!

Bento lunch in the bus. Lotsa meat and fried stuff mmm.

By the time we arrived Tokyo, it was already late afternoon almost evening as the bus kindly made several stops at the rest areas along the way. We checked-in to Shinagawa Prince Hotel and rested, before heading out for dinner. After dinner, free time exploring the city! We went to Shinjuku this time!

Hmm maybe we got out of the less-happening exit, but Shinjuku didn't really met my expectations hahahaha it wasn't as vibrant or effervescent as I thought it'd be. I believe it was this visit that shaped my lacklustre impression towards Shinjuku. It is only until a few years later that I regained a more favourable impression hahahaha more about that (muchhh) later lolol after a short exploration, we gave up searching for excitement. With the train service ending soon, we went back to the hotel. I stayed-in and watched Nino cook hahahahah no joke, Arashi every day on the tele! It's always so fascinating to watch him do things, and see which hand he uses since he's naturally left-handed yet trained since young to use his right hand too.

A good night's rest after that and an early morning on the following day. Important day! We were invited to visit Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the organizers of the Japan Study Program 2012. Without them, we wouldn't be there! I even brought along my baju kurung to fancy it up a little hahahaha there were some short talks on education in Japan before each of us were called out on-stage to receive an official certificate of participation. 

On our way to lunch, spotted this lonely tree blooming in the midst of skyscrapers! 


It was so unexpected! Everyone went crazy and started snapping photos like mad. The guides just smiled understandingly and allowed us as much time as possible. Here it was snowing just days before in Tokyo, and now flowers have started blooming to welcome spring. Thinking back, this was just two weeks before the sakura season, which may be why certain trees have warmed up in advance and started blooming so beautifully. Here's a selfie because I was one of the firsts to run over for my shot (kiasu tak) now have to wait for everyone else lol I haven't discovered concealer at this point of life, which explains the dark circles under my eyes hahahah

After lunch, went back to hotel to freshen up and again, free time to explore the city! This time, in daylight instead of night hahahaha bought candy from a little seasonal fair at the hotel lobby. These homemade rosehip candies were so damn good, I still remember it so clearly. Urgh want. 

Attacked Harajuku!

Got Converse shoes for like RM90 - still wear it until today!

Next morning, it was time to fly back to Malaysia boohoo

Not before a group shot of fellow Malaysians!

Ferris wheel on the way to airport.

Back in Narita Airport.

Saw a familiar figure from the corner of my eyes. Hi Nino ♥

Boarding soon oh noes

Boarding real real soon oh noooes

Bye Japan #uglysobs

So lucky to be flying JAL! Here's the lunch meal set hehe

Watched VS Arashi in the plane! The air was so dry I couldn't take it, mask on!

And that officially wraps up the Japan Study Program 2012. Man, it was such an amazing experience. Once in a lifetime. I'm so glad my first ever trip to this beautiful country happened like this so unexpectedly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I owe it all to the Japanese class teacher who nominated me for this program. Since then, many participants have gone to live and study in Japan, even until today. Hope one day I can be in that category too. 

Thank you, Japan.

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