Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sendai & My Host Family

After taking the shinkansen (bullet train - 新幹線) for two hours, I arrived at Sendai Station and was warmly greeted by my AMAZING host family.

from left to right: Yumi, Taiga, me, Ayumu, Nozomu

Everyone told me Japanese people didn't hug but apparently my whole host family wanted to. :)

Here are some other pictures from my voyage to Sendai, which by the way looks like a wonderful city. Hopefully I'll get to go exploring or see more of it soon!

Oh, and I bought this Newtype magazine. IT HAS YUI FROM K-ON! ON THE FRONT. :DDD

...and that's about it so far. All of the pictures I have taken so far, and will continue to take, will be up on my Facebook (I assume almost everyone reading this has me as a friend) after I return home... I only posted the very best ones here. :)

I'm going to school starting the day after tomorrow... but I get to miss Wednesday because I'm going to Tokyo Disneyland!!! :D

Bai bai for now.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lots of animu at Akiba

Today was definitely one of the best days of my LIFE.

In the morning, we visited the American Embassy in Japan which was quite puny compared to the British Embassy. BUT, they had these cool stickers that changed to blue when exposed to light for a period of time. :D

After that, we went to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, or as it said on our schedule, "will visit 'the Edo Tokyo Museum'." It was quite interesting and had lots of cool but expensive items in the gift shop-- I bought four postcards. :) There were TONS of school groups at the museum, too. A bunch of elementary school girls started following me around and whenever I looked back at them they would start to giggle amongst themselves... once they pointed to me and said "かっこいい!" (kakkoii, meaning 'cool') :D

Much later in the day after wandering about Shinjuku (the part of Tokyo I'm currently in-- staying at the Keio Plaza Hotel) for hours and buying super cute sleepy rabbit-filled stationaries in デパート (depaato, department stores) we took the JR (Japan Railways) subway to Akihabara!

Akihabara, commonly called Akiba, is a place in Tokyo filled with anime and manga and EVERYTHING LIKE THAT AND IT'S TOTALLY OVERWHELMING. I bought loli-filled magazines and figurines which made me super happy. :> And there was stuff about the upcoming anime Oreimo (Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai - My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute) and Hanamaru Youchien (Hanamaru Kindergarten) and B Gata H Kei and Working!! and Toradora! and Hayate no Gotoku! and Strike Witches and Tokikake (Toki o Kakeru Shoujo - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) and Paprika THEN THERE WAS A DVD OF SUMMER WARS THAT I REALLY WANTED TO GET... but it was close to $90. so yeah, I didn't get it, obviously. :< (yay for run on sentences!) BUT IT WAS FANTASTIC AND AMAZING AND WONDERFUL. Really fantastic. Like, indescribably fantastic. Especially since we weren't supposed to leave the hotel, and asking directions from confused Japanese people that only speak a tiny bit of English was pretty interesting. :) But really, Japanese people are so nice. On the way to Akiba, a man lead us all the way around the train station (to a different building, actually), helped us get our tickets and even board the yellow line train! And on the way back, a group of super funny high school boys rode the train back with us to Shinjuku after finding the right train for us to get on.

Oh yeah, I also bought some keychains of Bakemonogatari and K-On! characters and stuff. And I got some presents for people too. Well, two so far. Just little ones though. I don't really know where to put all of these EXCITING bits of information, so I'm just typing them down here in this paragraph as I think of them... Also: people in Japan wear masks over their faces in the streets so they don't get OTHERS sick. And nobody locks their bicycles. Their whole culture is based on respecting, caring about and trusting others... it's great. :)

Here are some pictures of Akihabara. Sorry they look kinda squished-- resizing them is a ton of work, plus I can't do that on this computer.

Oh yeah, the picture of the Hanamaru Youchien mousepad above was about $9, while the soundtrack was only $8... doesn't make too much sense. Either way, it's way overpriced.

Here's the magazine I bought:

Yes, it did come with that figure. :) :D

...and that's my adventure so far. Tomorrow, I'll be meeting my host family!!! ドキドキわくわくだよね。

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The time frame of 'wednesday afternoon' did not exist on my life. :o

And now, after a 10-hour plane ride and much wandering about, I'm in a hotel in Tokyo. I'll be taking the bullet train (新幹線, shinkansen) to Sendai on Sunday, which for me is the day after tomorrow.

I ENJOY BAD ENGLISH SIGNS. for example: The SOY SOUCE it is planted on the table

Bye for now! :D

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

California PDO

So, I'm at UC Berkely in California for a YFU Pre-Departure Orientation... and that's basically it for my update. I'll be leaving for Japan on Wednesday on a TWO STORY PLANE!!!! ...Apparently, only first class is allowed on the upper floor... but I'll find a way to get up there (without getting in trouble). :D

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Tonight my host mom emailed me. :) She was extremely nice and welcoming. My favorite part was where she said "Our house is not big, not new ,but our family is cheerful and friendly."


Telephony Communications

After multiple failed attempts, we finally contacted my host family. :) The sons are named Nozomu, Ayumu and [I think] Taiga. I couldn't understand Yumi (the mom) all that well when she was telling me the final name, so I asked her to repeat it... I asked for confirmation, "Taiga?" She replied "Not a tiger!" hahaha. :) They seem very nice and seem to have a good sense of humor as well.

Only after saying to the son two times and the mom one time that I was Eli from YFU did Yumi understand who I was. :) She said they thought my name was pronounced "Ellie" and I said people in America sometimes do that too. :P She also confirmed I was going to "Tohoku Seikatsu Bunka High School" and said I would probably be going from three to five weeks... I'm so excited!!!

I leave tomorrow morning for the CA orientation, and then 3 days later to Japan! :)