Overnight Trip to Gifu and Kanazawa Part 1

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Hey guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and that comes down to two things. One, I had my midterms, and two I was planning for this trip with my class, and knew that it would create lots for me to talk about and share! It takes quite a bit of time to write each post and insert photos, so thank you for being patient.

So, to begin, I’m going to link you guys to Wiki articles about the two areas I travelled to just to give you an idea geographically where they’re located. I currently live in Tokyo, so this was quite a bus ride. First, here are the Gifu and Kanazawa links. To be honest, before we left I thought these locations were a lot closer than they actually are. However the trip was enjoyable and the driver was perfect! We had a very energetic and “Genki” tour guide as well!

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Meeting LadyBeard, Thoughts on 1st Month in Japan

Hey everyone! It’s been a while between posts, so I thought I’d get on here and queue a few up!

Recently I went back to Harajuku to get some clothes that I needed for my stay here. Whilst entering Takeshita Dori street I spotted Lady Beard taking photos with fans and having a camera follow him around. I HAD to take a photo with Lady Beard. After all, I follow him on twitter! 🙂 He was so nice. I wish I could have a drink with him and ask him how and why he does what he does. I bet he’s an interesting person. If you don’t know who Lady Beard is, check him out here: http://www.ladybeard.com/ .

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Moving on, I discuss some thoughts I have about my first month being here in Japan in the video above. Namely, culture shock, other students, living in an international dorm, a little background on myself, and how I can afford to be here. I hope everyone finds it interesting.

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National Diet Building, Imperial Palace, Sensoji Buddhist Temple, and Asakusa Tour

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Get ready for a long post!

Every weekend that I have a culture class trip, I am surprised by what we are shown. As you’ll see from the photographs and video, Asakusa is very much where old meets new. The political hub of Tokyo is right next to an Edo period castle and the Imperial Palace. We weren’t able to go to where the main buildings are, but we saw the gates, and the moat surrounding the vast area housing the Imperial Palace. As it is said in the video, there used to be two large moats surrounding this castle, but the one furthest from the center was filled in. As you can see, I was pretty psyched to see all of this up close, as was the group! If you go to my host university, you can earn credit by attending the lecture beforehand, and writing a paper on your experience in English.

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Harajuku, Takeshita Dori Street, and Purikura!

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This is the post I’ve been wanting to write my whole life. I know it sounds silly, but that would be my first trip to Harajuku. Remember that album in the 90’s from Gwen Stephani? “Harajuku girls you’ve got some wicked style….”. I was just a wee lass when that had come out, but ever since then, I’ve been curious as to what she was talking about. Saturday October 11, 2014 I found out. Our school took a culture class trip to Harajuku and Takeshita Dori street (sounds like kindergarten, but we are all 19-30 ish). I nearly cried when I saw it. You see photos of it in magazines, and videos of the endless outfits and fashion, seeing it in person however is an entirely different story. I don’t think I put my camera away the entire time we were there. I’m such a girl.

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Meiji Jingu Shrine

Saturday October 11, 2014

We went to Meiji Jingu Shrine. It’s one thing to study this in your classroom in America and see photos. Its a totally different thing to actually be there. We stepped off the train and walked to Harajuku. The Shrine is just a short walk from there. Everyone had their cameras out before we even saw it.

This shrine is a peaceful oasis in the midst of a booming, modern fashion district. While at the shrine, the dull roar of the city melted away as we walked on the long gravely path to the shrine’s entrance. I remembered what I had studied in America, how this shrine houses the largest wooden Torii gate in Japan. Seeing it in person was outstanding. It was so beautiful. We all walked to the left, bowed, and then began our walk to the shrine. I’ll let the video do most of the talking here, as I can’t even describe how beautiful it was.

We also encountered many weddings, and girls being brought to the shrine for good luck on certain birthdays. I believe its 3, 5, and 7th birthdays, but correct me if I’m wrong. I felt like I was walking into a textbook, into somebody else’s life, into the past. It’s one thing to study something, but to really understand it, you have to experience it. Somebody in our group said, “If you cry, I won’t blame you.” I was so entranced, I didn’t cry, but I felt my world opening up.

Thanks for reading! Any thoughts? Let me know!

ブリタニ