saru saru

Niagara Falls Tour

Posted in Travel by ローリー on July 20, 2012

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

We took this tour to Niagara Falls and back. Niagara falls could be a day trip, but to make it a two day trip, the tour took us to 1000 islands in upstate New York. It took about 8 hours to get there and then we drove another 3 hours or so to get to our hotel. The next morning we drove another 2 hours to get to Niagara Falls. We spent 5 hours there, mostly taking pictures around the falls, and we rode the Maid of the Mist boat ride.

Everyone says the view from the Canadian side is better because you can get really close to Horseshoe Falls from that side. The U.S. side wasn’t bad though – we had good views of the rapids. The Maid of the Mist boat ride is the same from both sides.

I would go back again to see it from the Canadian side or to visit during fall.

Posted in Food, New York City by ローリー on March 26, 2012

Laurie Dreams of Sushi

Laurie Dreams of Sushi

Laurie Dreams of Sushi

Laurie Dreams of Sushi

Laurie Dreams of Sushi

Laurie Dreams of Sushi

Inspired by Jiro Dreams of Sushi Movie Trailer
The story of a man who does one thing and does it well.

Music by Ikimono Gakari (いきものがかり)

Posted in Japan, Video by ローリー on July 26, 2011

I like the song ‘Sakura’ by Ikimono Gakari. I discovered them through the 2nd graders who rated them (after Arashi) as their favorite music group. Unfortunately, I can’t find many of their songs on Youtube.

I want to see the lyrics

Harajuku, Tokyo (原宿, 東京) 2

Posted in Japan, Shopping, Travel by ローリー on July 13, 2011

Harajuku

Crowds of tourists, foreigners and Japanese, teenagers, film crews, and wildly dressed Harajuku girls.

Takeshita Street

Harajuku

Harajuku

These were taken in October 2010.

I went to Harajuku 5 times. I would go there whenever I went to Tokyo.

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Harajuku, Tokyo (原宿, 東京)

Posted in Japan, Shopping, Travel by ローリー on July 3, 2011

Takeshita Street

Takeshita Street in Harajuku is filled with people, fashion, and crepes. It’s a street lined with trendy fashion stores, boutiques, and cheap odds and ends. It’s one of my favorite streets.

Takeshita Street

Harajuku

Harajuku

These were taken in October 2010.

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Japanese Manga: One Piece

Posted in All Things Kawaii, Things I Do for Fun by ローリー on June 25, 2011

One Piece

chocolate candy and cases for holding the chocolate candy.

Evangelion. Bleach. Naruto. Dragonball… are all manga classics loved by junior high school boys and girls. However, the manga series that can arguably be the most popular of them all is One Piece – a story about a crew of oddball pirates who, by joining forces, take on a dangerous journey in the hopes of each fulfilling a personal dream.

One Piece
Chopper, my favorite character before I ever started reading.

As a result of it’s popularity, I’d say One Piece characters account for one of the top five characters that adorn marketable goods in Japan. I can’t even tell you how many Chopper and Luffy faces I found adorning pen cases, straps, and these hard divider thingys kids used for writing on (we don’t have them in the US so I don’t know their proper name).

Kids will go crazy at the mention of One Piece in class. For instance, I use a picture of a manga cover on one of my flashcards and students come up to the board to get a close up of the issue number. For a V-day activity, students are instructed to write greetings for friends. A female student wants to keep all the One Piece cards for herself.

Well so, I even got caught up in One Piece mania, buying myself Chopper straps and a t-shirt. But I can’t really call myself a fan without ever reading it, right? Well, so I finally got around to reading it here. And I’m addicted. Btw, I am not a manga fan. This is the first manga I have ever started. I actually thought manga was only for kids, until I was told by quite a few 20 something year olds that they read manga too. I’m currently on Vol 194 but there are 629 + counting. The story is witty, the characters are hilarious, and the illustrations are amazing. I’d say, if you have the time, you needn’t give up a dime, give it a try, for One Piece – I guarantee! – will take you for a ride.

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Leopalace Apartment

Posted in Lifestyle by ローリー on June 2, 2011

Leopalace

My Leopalace

My Leopalace

My Leopalace

My Leopalace

These are pictures I took of the apartment when I was moving out. It was a nice apartment for 1 person. Although I did manage to use up of a lot of space with only my stuff. How Japanese couples lived together in this same type of configuration little do I know.

My Trash

This is the bin for trash, which I ended up filling up with most of my stuff – not all of it was junk though! There’s always something I wish I hadn’t thrown away, like the first (and only) vending machine toy I won in Tokyo, one of my favorite black sweaters (that had a small hole) and my lovely light blue-green duvet cover from Cainz Home. When I threw away my futon, I found mold all over the bottom!

Now I miss my leopalace. Having my very own living space was one of the best things about living in Japan!! 

24 hours at KIX (Kansai International Airport)

Posted in Japan, Travel by ローリー on March 30, 2011

KIX

KIX

I slept on the blue chairs in another area ._.

KIX

Oh, the many places to go…

Luggage

Before picking up the luggage I takkyubined.

Airport at night

Empty at midnight.

My workstation

Free wifi, outlets, empty workstations~~ yay~~

One Piece Straps

Shopping for One Piece straps.😀

Flight Info

One place I haven’t visited yet.. Seoul!

I’m still at KIX. Well, I still have 7 hours here actually. I had one of the worst nights last night in terms of comfortableness of sleep. I slept in the airport chairs. ._.

Another lesson learned

Posted in Japan, Travel by ローリー on March 29, 2011

My last week in Japan went by so fast! I met many people and went on many trips, including to Kyoto and Okayama. I had so much fun. Unfortunately, it left me with little time to pack, and as you may know, packing is always one of my worst nightmares. Yesterday I sent 9 packages home (8 were small packets, which are cheaper) and went to the post office 4 times.

Well today I missed my flight to Taiwan! In Japan there’s a service called takkyubin, where you can send your suitcases to the airport from any convenience store. However, you have to send your bags 2 days before your flight date. Of course I forgot about this little fact and was only able to get one suitcase ready on the designated day. That means I had to lug one humongous ultra heavy suitcase along with a carry on to the airport. Since I was saving money by not using the takkyubin for one of my suitcases, I should have decided that the shinkansen was the best route. But no, I am Chinese and saving money was my priority. I would be able to make it by local JR trains in time to the airport, I thought. It would take about 5.5 hours to get to the airport if I didn’t miss any transfers. But I missed my transfer at Maibara. So I also missed my flight. Yeah. So now I am very sleepy at the airport now writing this.

So, lesson learned –

It’s not a good idea to try to save money if there’s a risk of not achieving your intended purpose when spending more means that you will absolutely achieve that purpose.

BIG SIGH. Hopefully my suitcases will make it past the ticket counter tomorrow.

Sayounara Japan.

March 11, 2011 Earthquake

Posted in Japan by ローリー on March 13, 2011

The day got off to a fairly busy start. In the morning I had one first grade class. Students spent 4th period cleaning the windows of the school. I ate lunch with another first grade class. And then in the afternoon the first and second graders had a send-off party for the 3rd graders complete with class skits and a song.

I was helping the 2nd graders clean up the gym, which doubles as an auditorium, when students pointed out that the spotlights hanging above the stage were swaying back and forth.

Then a couple of students started saying, “jishin, jishin!” (“earthquake, earthquake!”).  The teacher told us to get away from the stage and then to move away from the lights, but after a few seconds the spotlights stopped swaying, and we went back to cleaning up the auditorium. When this was happening, I didn’t feel any movement at all. Nobody ducked, and nobody went outside.

When I went back to the teachers’ room, the tv was on showing news of what had happened. The tsunami had already hit. We saw images of floating boats and flooded land, but at the time I couldn’t really comprehend the magnitude of what occured.

Sirens started going off in our town saying that because of an earthquake that occurred at 2:46pm, tsunami warnings were in effect. Students couldn’t go home. I ended up staying later than usual but I couldn’t find out more information until I came back to my apartment to check the news.

Since Friday, everything in my town has gone back to normal. While every single channel is broadcasting images and updates about the quake, I feel like it’s hard to keep things in perspective because everything is so normal here. The mood varies greatly in other areas. There have been multiple aftershocks and blackouts, people haven’t been able to sleep, and people are leaving their homes for other cities and countries. The tremendous amount of devastation and lives that have been lost in such a short span of time is a reminder of how fragile life is and how our world can change in an instant.

Please be safe minna san!

 

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