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Journals from Kanto Gakuin University

2009-09-30 A little summary

All right! So far, eight of us have been here at KGU for almost a month (two more days until one month anniversary--wow!) Time flies, and I still feel like I've been here for only two weeks. We enjoyed a lot of funny staffs, especially the first two weeks. I'm glad I survived from the super rush, busy but interesting life. Key word: Airport Buddies I arrived in Tokyo one day earlier than the other students. After checking out from hotel and arriving to Narita airport, I had to find something to do to kill time. When I was walking around in the airport, I saw a group of people waiting in front of the north exit, and it seemed as though someone was calling my name. Forgive me, but I just kept on going and totally ignored the voice until Natsue, the girl who came to Linfield last year, hugged me from behind. I was so surprised to see all of them at this time because it was 3 hours earlier than the time we were supposed to meet. I didn't know any of these people besides Natsue there, but after the short introductions, everyone was so nice to talk to. Even though both my Japanese and their English were not good enough to let us have a smooth conversation, it was not a problem! Key word: Zushi seaside The second day since we arrived to Hayama seminar house, we went to the Zushi sea with our buddies. On the way there, you could definitely tell how excited we were from everything we saw. The little cute dog that went by us, the traditional soba stores, the soda and tobacco machines on the roadsides, the narrow roads which probably can only let one car pass by, and we found a Starbucks! WOW! Some of us are from Seattle. It's great that Japanese people love ?Sutaba?(the way they call Starbucks)! The Zushi Sea was much more beautiful than I thought it would be. You can see a lot of people swimming or surfing over the waves. Once we arrived there, we were all jumping into the sea - yes, we loved it! I was looking after our luggage, and I could see they [not the luggage] were all swimming far away, close to a sailboat. They were playing volleyball in the sea, diving, and taking pictures under water. But the funniest part was when everyone came back to the shore, and we could see that almost everyone had been bitten by jellyfish. It looked really scary: the red lines were all over their arms and legs where they didn't have coverage. Since it started getting late, and probably because of the jellyfish bites, we were not interested in getting into the water anymore. But instead, the guys were doing some funny tricks, walking as they did handstands, backward somersaults, and Lily's body was unbelievably flexible! She tried to teach us how to do the backward somersault. We stayed there until dusk. Key word: Hayama seminar house Hayama seminar house is in a little mountain, and not far from where we are living. There is a pathway to climb the Hayama mountain by passing the Hayama church. The first night we arrived at Hayama, I learned something new: that you are suppose to change your shoes into slippers and put your shoes in the locker in front of the stairs. Every one of us had our own little shoe locker and the slippers to be used inside of the Hayama house. The door guard ojiisan (Japanese term for old man) were all very kind and nice to us. There were so many times I made trouble for them. I didn't know how to use the kitchen appliances, forgot the laundry that was left outside to dry, or even broke the light in my room. Sometimes, because our Japanese speaking ability is limited, it seemed hard to communicate with them, but they were all very patient to listen to me with my poor Japanese. And what really surprised me the most was their English speaking ability. Sometimes when I really had no way to express myself clearly, I just needed to write them down in English and they understood what I wanted to say. Sometimes in the morning, or when I came back to pick up the key from the front desk, they would talk to me a little bit about my day, and it was such a nice feeling. The room in Hayama house was really small, but it had an air conditioner, a mini-refrigerator, a closet, a shower, a television set, and everything we needed in a room. The really nice part about the room was that every Monday morning there were ladies who came to help us clean the room, change the towels, and other things. Key word: Yokohama, Chinatown, Ferris wheel If I am remembering correctly, we went to Yokohama the first week and had lunch in Chinatown. It was a little rainy that day, but I was still so impressed when I first saw the big red gates of Chinatown. It was a kind of funny feeling for me, because there were many Chinese stores and everything was in Chinese but not Japanese or English. On this street, most people were foreign visitors, coming to see the famous street. The street was so crowded that we had to be separated into several small groups. Looking outside from my little plastic umbrella, the whole street was beautiful in the fog. I could not clearly see every single person walking by, but I could feel their happiness and enjoy the atmosphere that surrounded them. In Yokohama, we did not really stop at specific places, but looked around the main center of the city. We saw a part of the Great Exposition for Yokohama's 150th year when we crossed the bridge. The anniversary was in memory of the 1859 opening of the Port, showing the lifeblood of this city. I saw a huge black spider, Robert, which looked like a steamer because you could see the steam coming from his mouth and hear voices. Unfortunately, we had no time to enter the ceremony park. Hopefully I can go there again soon. After we left from a mall next to the Yokohama anniversary, we saw an amusement park and a very famous Ferris wheel often shown in Japanese soap operas. I've taken the Ferris wheel many times in China and the United States, but it was a different feeling when I took it with friends in Japan. I was so excited as if it were my first time. I kept looking around, tried to shake the wheel to scare others, and there was a little girl taking the wheel next to us. She was so sweet and waved at us. I guess she was so excited to see blonde haired, blue eyed foreigners on the Ferris wheel.

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