Odds and Ends: Part II (Trains, Ceramics, and Celebrations)

There are way too many things that have happened that I’ve forgotten to include on this blog. Scrolling through photos from the past couple months on my phone and computer fills me with a slight sense of dread, because I know that I will never do justice to describing all of the incredible things that I’ve been able to do or see since arriving in Japan. But writing something is better than writing nothing, and sharing pictures is probably the best of all, right? So here are some more (increasingly sporadic) photos of things/places/people that I’ve encountered over the past month or so.

Nagoya JR Museum :  This place is so cool.

Several weekends ago, Hiraku’s best friend who is currently living in Osaka came to visit, and it so happened that one of his friends is now working at the huge Japan Railway Museum in Nagoya. If it wasn’t for this connection, I probably never would have ended up making it out to this museum during my time here, which would have been a huge shame, because it was a fascinating place. Hiraku’s friend’s friend gave us a personal tour, explaining things about the mechanics and development of the trains (of which I actually understood very little). We were able to see models ranging from the very earliest trains in Japan to current day bullet trains, and he ride a simulator of what the bullet train 10 years from now will feel like. The entire time I was walking around this museum, I was wishing that Neil and especially my Grandpa who worked for an American railway company for many years, retiring when I was in elementary school, could have been there with me, as they both would have found it fascinating and probably would have understood much more than me.

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I think that I’ve already described this next set of photos briefly in one of the monthly reports that I included on the blog earlier; they’re from a trip that Hiraku and I took to the nearby town of Seto, which is famous within Japan for its over 1,000 year tradition of pottery. We visited on the day of the town’s annual pottery festival, and despite intermittent rain, we wandered around the stalls, looking at beautiful handcrafted pottery. We also visited the local shrine and were later surprised to find ourselves in the middle of the festival procession while walking down the covered market alley-way.

City Website:  Seto

Sampling one of the 瀬戸市の名物 (Seto’s special foods) 焼きそば(yaki-soba; essentially fried noodles): 14099762912_3d69d0bbc1_b  14103246614_af58813cfe_b  13916165250_f9117262ab_b 14099675372_9ef3a1edc9_b 13916121239_ffccb3e492_b 13916102009_177d73ef72_b

This talented and patient volunteer helped us to make our own pottery, statues of the Seto city mascot. 14099606052_7cb5d535b5_b 14102665525_55ec175ed9_b 14122726993_36267c13ee_b 14102626355_073bc202e1_b

Jumping several weeks forward, here are some photos from the lovely birthday that I spent in Osaka during my recent conference. Highlights of the day include a long list of my favorite foods and an amazing view of the Osaka city skyline from the top of a very tall building.

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The past couple months have also included several wonderful tea and dessert dates with Lucy, my wonderful 先輩(senpai– this essentially means a more senior person at work, in a club, school, etc.; however, it’s implications are much more complex in Japan than in the U.S.), and some of our other classmates:2014-05-06 13.19.33

We’re drinking Elder-flower cordial, something I hadn’t tasted since living in England.  2014-05-14 15.57.00 2014-05-14 15.57.25Upcoming posts will inevitably contain more photographs of food (I hope you guys don’t mind), as I feel increasing pressure to eat ALL OF THE THINGS before I leave to return to the U.S. (in less than six weeks?!).

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1 Response to Odds and Ends: Part II (Trains, Ceramics, and Celebrations)

  1. Lucas says:

    Yes! Yes! EAT ALL THE THINGS! And I have a fondness for food photography so bring it on the photos! 🙂 As always, so much to say. The pictures/places/people and experiences are all amazing. I LOVED the darling photos of you in that tan skirt and blue top. You look like Audrey Hepburn, so sweet. The trains looked really cool. My Father in Law worked the rails here in the states and would have LOVED that museum! And by all means, please EAT ALL THE THINGS!

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