Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Could you figure out what happened in the last post? On Sunday, Yukari and I went to a Buddhist Temple covered in hydrangeas! So pretty!! We ate yummy hot mochi and freshly roasted chestnuts. The groups were covered with a lot of little shrine and and stone figurines, at which you donate a few coinsand pray. The temple was so beautiful! A couple walking behind us found a very interesting caterpillar that nearly startled her! On Monday, Yukari, Natsuki and I went to *looks up the name* Amanohashidate; one of the "best views in Japan" (Natsuki had the day off from school, but had to go to school on Sunday for parent conferences). After stooping at Lawson for some snacks and drinks we arrived at a another Buddhist temple. We walked through their to a ferry which we rode along side the famous natural land bridge that cuts across the bay (ocean) and is covered in pine trees. On the other side, we rode an awesome lift over hydrangea gardens and trees to the top of the mountain. Up there we looked out over the pretty bay and land bridge. We also bought 3 clay disks that you were supposed to try to throw through a hoop on the side of the mountain (we were unsuccessful). We looked around in the gift store for a while, which had a plethora of items with the landmark's mascot, a little pine cone creature. On the way back, we rode the lift down again :) After that, we walked around the bridges (one that even rotated)! We saw some (fly?) fisherman, hermit crabs, lots of oyster shells and fish. On the way home, we stopped at a small hotel that advertised a "cake buffet". It was a little smaller than they made it sound, but it was still very cute and yummy. At home, we were all pretty tired and took naps (I decided to ride me bike after though). More about my town in the next post!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Photo Update

I'll let you figure out what happened :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

No Gabrielle, No Life.

Mr. Donut box
....Fiesta maybe?

More classmates and Yamamoto-sensei
That's a drawing of me on the left next to Goku... XD
A few pages from my memory album
Our class (1st year, Kumi #5)
My gifts
Today was the last day of school :( I am really going to miss everyone! Yamamoto-sensei even snuck in soda and candy for a secret party. We played a little bit of music and ate and took pictures. The class made me an awesome photo/message album and after I received that I made an ity bity speech in broken Japanese. I think the class got this jist of it and Yamamoto-sensei helped translate a little. Next, I handed out my email address to all the girls so we could hang out after their tests. After that, I was swarmed with gifts and letters, it felt like my birthday! I armed wrested 2 or 3 girls (and beat all of them X) Some of the boys wanted  a match too but I said no. Two boys arm wrestled and the one that messed with his hair a lot beat a baseball player! I'm going to miss all my Japanese classmates, the boys were really entertaining (intentionally and sometimes not) and all the girls were so thoughtful and sweet and kind and adorable :( I will miss them!! I even got a few hugs which usually is not something Japanese people do. Everyone said they wanted to talk and hang out more later, I even had to pinky-promise one girl (who also gave me a friendship bracelet). It was sad to leave but hopefully I will see everyone outside of school too.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do you know Rev. Run?

Natsuki and Riko catching crawdaddies again
Dancing in PE
See the mirror? This lasted about minutes
My friend Haruna
Cute man-hole thingy
My bike

Not too much has happened this week. I'm just happy to be with my friends. Natsuki has been catching crawdads, tadpoles, fish and snails with her friends. Everyone is getting busy for finals coming up very soon. Hopefully after that I will be able to go out with some friends. This weekend I plan to explore more cute shops and maybe buy some gifts and make a cheese cake. On Monday I dyed some handkerchiefs after school. I chose one pattern that I wanted to use, but the teacher said he didn't have it, so I picked a different once, to which he promptly set me up with another different one XD I did get to do my other design after though. The Japanese sometimes just make you do what they want you too. They provided me with a translator, kinda funny guy. Honestly though, it wasn't necessary, I was able to understand the dying and screen printing instructions pretty well :) Luckily everyone at school has not gotten used to me quite yet, I kind of like the attention. Girls still squeal and wave and say hello and "kawaii" after I leave (that means cute). Today we were cleaning the bathrooms (by cleaning I mean standing around talking about our hair) and one girl said I had "golden hair". Haha. The other day some girls were also waving and blowing kisses from the other building XD It was something interesting to do during a boring class. One particularly funny boy, who has a really messy desk saw me looking at it and said "This desk beautiful. Do you know Rev. Run? Koby Bryant". XD LOLS. At school, girls aren't technically allowed to dye their hair (which is the only thing the school really cares about) wear make up and accessorize. Girls get around this by still sneaking on a little make up and wearing bright shirts that show through their white uniform blouses. They also have cute bags (though there is a standard black leather bowling-style bag). Boys also wear bright shirts, sneak on a bracelet or necklace and do their hair like crazy. I still crack up whenever I see a boy fixing another boy's hair with gel and a mirror. It's still hard to get over the fact that boys will get down to their scivies ANYWHERE. One boy definitely unbuttoned his pants to show off his underwear to his friend I think... I also met Elizabeth, who is an assistant English teacher from Cali. We discussed this among the many other crazy things about Japan (like how Pot leaves are on EVERYTHING). She has been here for years and still can't get over the boys. That's about all it for now. Tomorrow is my last day :( Yamamoto-sensei said last period (which is homeroom) would be a good-bye party.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I love C.C. Lemon!
Boat ride
Wake boarding
Boat Dock
Ice Cream
Cute dairy farm
Chiffon/Angel Food cake
View from tables
All the cars have TVs...a little distracting maybe?

Saturday: I rode around the neighborhood to get more familiarized in the morning. Went to a shop I thought had cute stuff but ended up being an Oba-chan's sewing store. Also went to a book store..pretty boring :) I went by the cafe I wanted to eat at and it was closed, maybe some other time. In the afternoon things got really hectic XD Yukari had invited some kids over to make cookies but said she "forgot how many"...about 20 kids later and 6 sheets of cookies I was exhausted! I made a little speech for the uninterested kids about Austin and talked to some of the moms. Around 4 or 5 pm 3 boys from my high school came over and we played Mario Kart for a while (which I whopped them at). One of the guys was hilarious! He knew quite a bit of English and Yukari said he was in the advanced English class. He apparently really liked "Call of Duty" and blurted it out whenever he could! XD He said I was Mineyama High School's "idol" lol. It was also pretty funny when none of them could find Texas on Yukari's globe. (One pointed to Toronto...). So that was a lot of fun. Later 3 girls from my school also came over and we all made pizza and played more games. The really loud boy wanted a picture with me and after that he showed me photos of him shooting a gun at an army surplus event thingy and again yelled "CALL OF DUTY!!!". By then it was almost 10pm and everyone went home.

Sunday: We woke up and hopped in the car (after moderate packing) for the beach! it took about 20 minutes to get there and we stopped at a nearby store to pick up snacks. They had information about various fishing things and I picked up one of the sheets for Dad (it's a secret though). 5 of my host dad (Shingo)'s friends also went to the beach with us. The 5 of them, Yuki, Natsuki and I rode on the boat while Yukari and Shingo drove the car to the other side of the bay. Along the way, some of them wake boarded. When we arrived on shore we switched out and Yuki and Yukari wake boarded, Yuki was very impressive! After that we ate our snacks and combed the beach. I found 6 pieces of Chinese pottery, how cool! One even has part of a crane on it! We also saw a cute fiddler crab. We had to leave kind of early because Yuki needed to study for exams...kawaiisou... On the wat back we say a wild pheasent!! We also stopped at an ADORABLE dairy and herb farm- so cute! We ate yummy icecream and angel food cake (I think). They had some interesting flavors, like sea salt, herb and tomato... I stuck with good ol' chocolate. When we got home everyone was pretty tired. Later after naps and showers Yukari, Natsuki and I went to a big 100 yen store :D heaven~ I got a cute froggy notebook and Natsuki got a net to catch tadpoles. After that, we went to a book store and let's just say half of the store was...interesting material D: Japan is weird. For dinner all of us went to a semi-traditional style restaurant. We ordered several dishes and everyone took what they wanted and the amount they wanted. This works out pretty well since it is impolite in Japan to leave food uneaten.  After that, we went grocery shopping and I wheeled Natsuki around it the cart. Yuki also picked out 6 boxes of scented tissues for Father's Day...

Monday: Today school was kind of boring XD But luckily later on I got to go to textile class and I printed/dyed 2 handkerchiefs! That was pretty fun. It's a bit of a process to make, lots of stencils and ink and washing and sewing and ironing. I had another teacher there to translate the instructions for me but to be honest I was doing pretty well on my own :) On the bike ride home I was not the slightest bit lost either, yay!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lost: The Sequel

Cute ribbon!
Changing after PE
Cute local shrine
Natsuki and Riko catching crawdads and tadpoles
Cute kaeru
Our house by the way...

It the last day of my first week of school and I've managed to get lost twice already this week! XD Let's just say there were a few fences ran into a one soaked school uniform. I have this continuous feeling that I am going to crash into something while I am riding a bike. And let me make a modest proposal for Japan; street signs and names please. It was embarrassing and fun at the same time. I had such high expectations for my navigation skills, oh well, they are slowly getting better. Yesterday we vistied another adorable cake shop and a cute shinto shrine with lots of turtles. Also, school has been great everyone is so nice! I rode my bike to school for the first time (because of the rainy weather). And also when I went to pick up my bike to ride home after school someone had moved it out of the rain-just mine! How sweet. Today was one of my friend's birthday so I brought her a little present and she made me a sweet note and gave me a piece of candy :) Another funny thing that happened was I made a few mistakes on my English homework... I spelled "surprised" and some other word wrong. Haha. There was an English test today and when I passed my test up the some of the kids compared answers. During health class yesterday they were talking about smoking and the teachers asked the students to guess the legal smoking ages in various countries.When he asked for America no one guessed right so I said "juuhassai" (18 years old) and everyone clapped. Senior Japanese kids are just as crazy as American ones. The building to the left of mine at school is for seniors (3rd years) And one boy was yelling and gesturing for my to come over and I kind of hid/ignored him, then my friends said that he was coming all the way over to our class DX We ran in and asked me random questions, one being (like everyone else) "do you have boyfriend"? When I said yes he started yelling "I'm free! I'm free!". I really don't know what happened... During PE class yesterday I met a woman who was a PE teacher on the Kyoto board of educations, she was very nice. Before class some of my friends were asking my about the music I liked and karaoke and to explain "Michael Jackson" to me they all tied to moon walk...lolz.  During class boys still play beauty shop with each other and used hairspray and gel and little mirrors to do each other's hair...they are a lot more interested in how they look than most of the girls it seems, it's so funny! But all the girls are so nice and adorable anyways so they don't need to try. My friends Miho-chan and Doke-chan let me try on their ribbons (which I forgot to give back today...oops >O<). One boy sitting next to me was belting out "Let it Be" by the Beatles while a teacher was making him clean out his messy desk crammed full of papers and books. After school yesterday I also went to tea ceremony club for about half and hour. The teacher gave me a stool so I didn't have to sit seiza (sweet!). During long home room the class talked about what they wanted to do for the school festival in September. This array included cafe, guiness world record challenges, karaoke and the oh so popular "gay bar" as shouted quite often by a few boys XD. Today was one of our homeroom teacher's last day and she made a speech and we gave her 2 plaque-thingies with sweet messages and wrote her short notes (I tried my best to do it in Japanese and I included an English translation). It was so sad, she started crying at the end :( On a lighter note I tried the soda CC Lemon. It was lemony and dericious.