After class today, my group traveled to Hachiko’s grave, the loyal dog who waited for his master’s return until his death. It was such a touching story. After this four of us skipped off to Harajuku to have some shopping time. Later that evening we traveled with sensei via subway to get to Tokyo Tower. However, no one would ever forget the mishap that landed up in the wrong subway, packed together like sardines. It was rather entertaining, at least to me! =D We managed to quickly switch subways to get to the tower, and while the majority of the group wandered around the main observatory, seven of us paid to get into the smaller special observatory! The view up there was amazing and a few of us didn’t want to come down. As it goes, however, all good things must come to an end. On our way back to the hotel, we found this adorable girl who had a cute Donald Duck hat! Katy and I asked for a picture and this is how it turned out! Kawaii~ Well, I definitely enjoyed this day!
The group activity for today was located at Edo Furin, a glass wind chime studio. This was one of the trips that everyone was looking forward to. This studio is unique and the only kind in all of Japan. Furin is the name of the wind chimes and delivered pleasant sounds all across Japan back in the Edo period. During the process of making the chime, be sure not to blow too hard! If you do then it’ll be all messed up and then you’ll have to start over. After cooling off, we were able to paint our own designs inside of the wind chime. That was really fun and stress-relieving. The group had fun making our own unique wind chimes and hope they’ll bring pleasant sounds back home.
The Yasukuni shrine was our other stop for the day. It pays homage to Japanese war heroes. It was quite easily to find since the shrine gate was right outside the train station. There was a nice pavement walkway heading towards the opening. There were school children having snowball fights as we walked by because it doesn’t usually snow in Tokyo. The shrine itself was very beautiful. I loved the building with the enormous tree painted on the side. There was also a wall of wooden pieces that people had painted or draw dragons on them. The architecture is always beautiful on these shrines and this one is another example of that. There were flower arrangements to view to celebrate the New Year and the winter season. ~Ashley Mackie-Donnelly
The Japan Stationary Museum (Nihon Bungu Shiryokan) was a small but really cute museum Stephanie and I went to. It was settled along the train tracks and the ocean in a quiet neighborhood in Asakusabashi. They had everything from pens and pencils to large typewriters of all shapes and size. One of the most interesting pieces was the giant calligraphy brush that was a little over 5 feet long made with horse hair. The letter openers were also from all over the world and were very ornate. In addition there was an Egyptian papyrus to show how far back writing utensils go. The museum was informative and was a varied collection of items from many countries. ~Ashley Mackie-Donnelly
This is our trip to Sengakuji! Our group included Marie, Melissa, Katy, Ashley, Stephanie, and Sasha.
Today Katy, Marie, Melissa and I (Sasha) all visited Hachiko’s grave and the Advertising Museum Tokyo. It was very interesting to say the least!! In order to find Hachiko’s grave we had to ask a gravekeeper for directions and we had to ask 3 different people for directions to the Museum. The Museum was very fascinating, there were so many different commercials, and advertisements and posters. Throughout the whole museum we saw the Old Spice commercial at least 5 times, it seems to be very popular, even across the globe! -Sasha Buczek
Jan 23, 2012
Assignment for the day was to go out and visit two of a variety of locations. Jessie, Lindsay and I chose to visit the Advertising Museum Tokyo (ADMT), the only museum in Japan that promotes the importance of advertising and marketing studies. Unfortunately, there is no photography allowed inside the museum, but the ADMT hosts a collection of literature about advertising and marketing, and has multiple exhibits where visitors can trace the history of advertising in Japan on a chronological timeline. Visitors get to see award-winning advertisements, not only from Japan, but from around the world as well. The museum also boasts a fine collection of Old Spice commercials :) It was a really cool trip.
Today we went to a Japanese tea ceremony where we watched our host prepare a bowl of Matcha, Japanese green tea, for each of us. The ceremony was preformed in a traditional Japanese style room beside a very serene Japanese (rooftop) garden. We purified our hands and mouth before entering the ceremony room on our knees and leaving our shoes beside the door. She served us two flower-shaped sugar and rice sweets before another sweet to balance out the bitterness of the forthcoming tea. Once we finished the sweets and were served our individually made tea, we bowed to the person on our left and drank our tea after the person on our right had finished theirs. Once we all finished our tea and the ceremony was over, we left the tea room and moved to a after-tea room where we were served another green tea.
Time for Tea: Japanese Tea Ceremony!
Today we went to a traditional tea ceremony called Chanoyu. Before the ceremony, our group got to observe a Japanese style garden, which is based off a dry landscape. The ceremony begins by taking off one’s shoes and stepping into a tatami mat room. The ceremony is all about attention to detail and predefined movements. While there, we learned a phrase which translates into, enjoying the company you have during the ceremony for you may not have the chance to meet again. We all had a wonderful time and learned so much, thankfully though, this is definitely not the last time we will meet!