Tuesday, 1 July 2014

From the waterfalls to skyscrapers

This week started off a little bit slow because it was test week here. This means that I was left to my own devices in the library. So school wasn't really school. Kendo was also off due to the exams.

We got to go home early everyday and I used that time to catch up on some sleep. I probably should have been writing this! 

But although it started off slow, it certainly picked up. Karate was great. Well it was great and then something happened to my left leg. I received a good pummeling from Fuyuki (I put a video on Facebook) and at some point in our fight I either took a good kick to the leg or did something wrong myself because once the adrenaline had left my system, I couldn't walk.

I'm still hurting now! But we're off to the physio tomorrow so it should be right. I got some mean bruises too, which I will of course proudly show off.
He got me a real good one in the ribs and it huuuuuuurt
On Thursday, my host Mum and I went to a big waterfall that's somewhere close to a nearby town. I was pretty blown away by how awesome the scenery was when we got there. It felt like a totally different planet to where I just was, even though I already live in the mountains.

My current house is in one of the more urban areas of Gero, but it's still somewhat rural.

But this place was amazing.
That was pretty cool

Lots of trees and stuff

Pretty choice river and some more trees

So green!

It was such a cool place

I smiled too aggressively 
So that was an awesome day! We stopped off for hamburgs maybe on Friday? (Could have been Wednesday...) But what a feed that was! Two hamburgs (In Japanese: "Hamu-Baagu") and a plate of rice. 
Baaga's and raisu.
Friday night was a big-ish night. It was a farewell dinner for Jordan and a good luck dinner for the girls who are going overseas. Jordan gave a farewell speech and ironically forgot the Japanese word for "forget." Nevertheless, it was a great night! We had Italian food and ate ourselves silly over the five course meal.
The great Gero group
Damn near accidentally dressed in uniform with Jordan
We got back home late but I had to get some packing done so my plans for an early night were neglected. I packed a bag with some clothes, a list of places to go and my camera. (Yes Mum, I also packed my toothbrush.) Because I was going to Tokyo!

Jordan's current host Mum often goes to Tokyo and stays in her daughter's apartment so Jordan often gets to go too. This time I tagged along and it was an amazing weekend.

It started off with an early get up on Saturday. We hit the road at 6:30 am and were bound for Takayama first, a town that's about an hour away. From there we would ride the bus.

Five hours and a few pit stops later, we arrived in Tokyo! 

We got lunch at some buffet and it was pretty decent!
We stayed with this girl and another who we would meet later

We would be there from Saturday afternoon until Monday afternoon. It promised to be a good weekend but the weather looked a bit shit.

I got to meet up with a mate who lived in NZ as an exchange student last year. He was in my class and we were pretty good mates. It was awesome to see him again.

We wandered around the concrete jungle looking in shops and and trying not to get trampled. We went to a famous area called "Akihabara" where all the anime and other nerdy stuff comes from. It was pretty interesting, but ever so slightly odd.

Only a small amount of people here

Anime and maid cafes? Must be Japan

Still in AKB

Waiting for the train. You get 60 seconds to get on. But it's not even a problem if you miss it, there is another in about five minutes.



Jordan and Makoto

Looking over this part of Tokyo from some tall building. It was a pretty awesome view.
It's a shame about the glare on the window

It's good to be with friends

It was awesome to see all the lights come on

So excited for this pasta
And that was Saturday. We got back to the apartment and talked with the hosts until some early hour in the morning. Then it was an early get up for a 12 hour day of getting lost in the masses of the city.

Jordan and I left the apartment at sometime around 10 am the next morning and returned at about 10 pm that night. What a day.

We started with "Shibuya." The place with the big crossing where about a kajillion people all walk across the road at the same time. It's pretty awesome.

We played games in arcades and walked around looking for a feed. It was pretty damn hot. The weather report couldn't have been further off! It warned us for rain but that seemed impossible! 

We moved from Shibuya to "Odaiba" and did all sorts of fun stuffs there. There was this massive Ferris wheel, another big arcade, an actually cool car expo and it was all good. We started off with the "Tokyo sky wheel" and had a great time looking over the city, watching the lightening strike the tall buildings as we realised the weather was going to turn to shit, real soon.

We moved into the arcade and must have spent a fair bit of time in there playing all sorts of games. 

We finally moved out into this big car expo and made dicks of ourselves by doing odd poses in the cars that we were allowed to sit in. We got heaps of laughs.


Nice place

Odaiba was like a ghost town

Frodo does car ads now


Tokyo Leisure land

Lets go!

There was the coolest lightening off in the distance that we could never get a photo of

Life is pretty chill from high up

Tokyo is massive

I don't know much about cars but it looks fast

Forgotten how to drive! 
I certainly haven't! Sound effects and all

The manliest of cars
Not so pleased with the new set of wheels
The sky wheel
We found this attractive fellow outside of the arcade.
So Jordan is always one upping my stories and I guess I'm pretty used to it now. But he said the funniest thing after I took this photo. I said something like: "Dude, that's hilarious!

And he replies with: "Meh, I've kissed worse." I thought it was the funniest thing!

We ended up going back to Akihbara to kill some time and look for a bite to eat.
It's a bit different at night
We ran into one of our hosts on the way back to the apartment and then spent the rest of the night talking about the day. 

It turns out that there was major torrential rain all over Tokyo and we missed it all cos we were playing games in an underground arcade. Damn.

Also, we didn't go to Shinjuku on this day but the day before. We were almost going to go there but we got on the wrong train. I guess that's lucky because a man was protesting via self-immolation back at Shinjuku. It spooked me something wicked. I don't know much about the whole thing but this man set himself on fire in front of a huge crowd. 

Back to bed with one day left.

We were going to "Asakusa" with Jordan's host Mum and her daughter. It was another hot day and it was great fun. We had a whole heap of raw fish and rice for lunch and had a look around the "Kaminari-mon" Which means "Thunder/lightening gate." There were so many foreigners! We even bumped into our French friend who we met on that ski trip aaaages ago.

Tokyo sky tree, I'll get up there one day

Looking dumb but I don't even mind.
The big lantern thing says : "Kaminari-mon"

Obviously not a swastika. It is actually a Buddhist symbol

Underneath the thunder gate lantern thing

Our French friend bombed our photo and we didn't even realise.
We stopped and chatted though


Thumbs up

Breathing in this smoke supposedly gives you good luck or makes you happy.

Inside the big temple

We met this cool guy and had a good yarn about a whole lot of nothing

He told me I could get a job!
Pushing trolleys...

The sky tree and the Asahi beer building.
It is designed to look like a beer

Raw fish and rice for lunch

We added another foreigner to our group
That's Cameron, he's a uni student in Tokyo but he did the Rotary exchange 4 years ago in the same town as I.

I don't know how I feel about photos with Jordan

Yuki, our host sister/guide for the day

This is Jordan's current host Mum but I will be staying with her from November

A cheerful bunch

I love sushi!

Must of been something cool in the distance

There are always these cool statues in the gates
That's actually potato we are eating.
I was pretty surprised

Drinking this water probably wasn't sanitary but once again; good luck or something

I feel that I was happy enough without the smoke

I swear I wash this singlet

An awesome day!
So at about 5pm we got on the bus home. We stopped off for dinner back at Takayama (That was at about 11:00 pm) 
I love ramen and gyoza!
After our dinner, we got back in Gero at about 12:10 pm. 

Shiiiiiiit I was tired. But still, there was school the next day and here I am writing at some ungodly hour in the morning.

That's all I've got for now! It was an amazing week and I think I've got a whole month of scheduled events coming up so there are no signs of slowing down. I am pretty tired but I am just having too much fun to sit down.

Cheers for reading, until next time!
Tried to copy the pose of the fella behind me.
Jordan got this shot on the first try which is pretty damn impressive

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