Friday, October 20, 2006

上野動物園 - Ueno Zoo!

Huzzah, its the weekend!

Seems i've managed to survive week 3, and supposedly i'm already 150 or so kanjis smarter as well... supposedly, haha, actually its been going well. I may not remember exactly how to write all of them, but reading them wont be too much of a problem anymore, so thats good. I have been able to read alot more around town than i used to though. I gotta say, its pretty cool when you learn something in class and then randomly see it on the street or in the store, and you have one of those, "ahh! i can read that!!! sweet! i know exactly what that says now!" moments. puts joy in my heart, lol >_<

anyways, i gotta touch at least a lil on Ueno park before i get on with things. so wednesday after class i went to work on a japanese assignment (make and memorize a small conversation based on a situation) with my partner, and right afterwards i ran into some friends and it kinda went like this

"hey, you uhh... wanna go to the zoo?"


"...yea ok" >_<

so i went to Ueno Zoo 上野動物園. had to buy some bread quick before we left since i didnt get a chance to eat, although i could have since we took forever at the bank, grr, but it was definately worth it, and only 600 yen to boot! Ueno is officially one of my new favorite places to go. The park is free, the zoo is super cheap, and both places rock. Easy cheap awesome place to go hang out. Can't wait till the spring when all the sakura trees, err... cherry trees in the park bloom. Another one of those things you wont believe until you see it all, haha

The zoo was pretty much just that though... a zoo, just in Japanese. They had some weird names for some of the animals though. It was like the english names and the Japanese names were different, even though the Japanese was in Katakana, which is like, how you write foreign words in Japanese, primarily english. I cant quite exactly say how it compares to a zoo in the US, i've only really been to the Minneapolis Zoo and the Zoo in Milwaukee, so... idk, seemed to have a bunch of birds that i've never heard of before, meh, and of course they have panda

I did learn one thing at the zoo. I'm prolly gonna mess this up a lil bit, but basically, in Japanese society, a big nose is a good thing. Yes. I went to the zoo and learned this, lol. A big nose, or a high nose... like saying in Japanese would literally translate to 'high nose' Anyways, I forget the exact reasons, more than likely it spawed, i guess, from how Japanese or Asians as a whole supposedly in general have smaller noses, or flatter noses. Don't quote me on any of this, but if i were Japanese, I would love my nose. Cool

Yes, I most certainly did bring up the movie Roxanne with Steve Martin, and now i'm gonna download that and watch it again, haha. Actually, i also learned that the movie Roxanne actually comes from an old... French play i believe (called Cyrano) and its going to be performed soon here in Tokyo. I might go and check it out.

Well my birthday is comin up this weekend, i'll be turning 21. Kinda... weird, its like, turning 21 is a definately a big deal in the US, and its still cool here cause, well its a birthday, thats cool. But i find myself so caught up in the moment, it still hasnt quite hit me that i'm gonna be 21. It'll prolly take me a long while to get used to changing my answer to 'how old are you?' Or it wont really hit me until i go back to the US and get carded, then i'll feel 21. The drinking age here is 20, but Japan isnt very strict about it. Cause like, people are more responsible around here, so as long as yur not making a big mess of things or bothering people, one beer at a restaurant isnt gonna kill ya. Now of course they're not selling beer to 10 year olds, but if you look of age, chances are you wont get carded.

But... then again I am a gaijin, so they'd prolly rather just sell me the liquor and get on with things rather than trying to ask me if I'm of age, haha. Anyways, very soon no longer a problem no matter where i go, thats pretty cool.

And being my birthday weekend, i'm gonna be doing some pretty cool stuff. Saturday i'm going with Amity (a circle here at Sophia) to Kamakura, a place in Kanagawa near Yokohama (all southwest of Tokyo about 45 min to and hour). Kamakura is loaded with temples and shrines and the ever popular Daibutsu, which literally translates to giant buddha, cause well... thats what it is. A giant statue of a buddha, haha. Anyways i've been there before the last time i came to Japan, so i'm really looking foward to going back to some familiar scenery.

As for Sunday, Nikko baby. Nikko is a couple hours north of Tokyo, so it'll be the furthest i've strayed from Tokyo. I'm really lookin foward to it, a special place to go to on my birthday. Gonna try and look into more about the place before i just blindly go

Oh, and being 21, i'll have to have at least one beer :P


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