Skip to main content

New Food and New Lodgings

Arrived at my host family's home! My host-mom Asako Arai and my host-sister Ayuko Arai picked me up and drove me to their apartment in Sayama. They are both very nice and evern though my Japanese needs a lot of work we manage to communicate (Ayuko's electronic dictionary is a lifesaver!!)

I figured I should put up a few pictures of what I've been eating:
イチゴミルク: strawberry milk that I bought from a vending machine (I LOVE those things). Very sweet, but delicious.

One of the meals at the Marubeni training center: cold pork, miso soup, dumplings, rice (that stuff is everywhere!) and a fruit pudding dessert.

This is the meal that my host mom made tonight: cabbage, miso soup, and a hamburger which was melt in your mouth delicious!!!

I got to take a Japanese shower (where you sit on a small stool) and I got to watch strange TV game shows. I've unpacked completely as well and my room now feels almost like home. We spent a lot of time talking about Chicago, and they looked a lot at photos I brought. Tomorrow I have to go register myself as an alien, and I think I'll walk around the neighborhood and see where there is to be seen.
(Also I want to vist a コンビに (kombini--convenience store) and look around.
I've probably used up my allotted daily computer use time (I'm guessing it's around 30 minutes, so I'll close out with a picture of my new (lovely) abode:


  1. Of course, I love the pictures of the food :-D And your room. The whole thing sounds very exciting and I'm so glad that your family is nice and that your host mom makes good food!

  2. CLAIRE! I miss you soo much already and yum it looks like you're gonna get fat! hee hee! Is there anyway to call you? cause of course you want to know what is going on at payton, right?

  3. I can't really call people...sorry! (Too expensive + the time zone difference makes it hard.) But I check my email almost everyday so send me emails ok?! Miss you too! I'll try not to get fat!

  4. Claire, what *is* your email?

    Glad to hear you're having such a great time already! That food looks phenomenal, and as echoed above, it's great that your host family is so awesome.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.

The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

Final Touring Excursions

Tomorrow is my last day. It felt strange to write that sentence, knowing that I've been gone six weeks, which feels like both no time at all but also forever. Even though this is my fifth time coming to Japan (and the fourth for an protracted trip), the coming-and-going is something I don't get used to. Just as I start getting over my "ugh, I just want to go home" hump and settling in, well, it actually IS time to go home.

What have I done the past few days?

Well, on Sunday my host family and I took a drive to Yamanashi prefecture (re: near Mount Fuji) to visit the Oshino Hakkai, the Eight Sacred Ponds of Oshino. According to the signage, when people used to hike up Mount Fuji for pilgrimages, they would purify themselves in the ponds before starting their journey. And having stuck my hand in an (acceptable) corner of the main pond, Wakuike, it was FREEZING. Some other ponds have specific purposes, however. One was for people who wanted a good marriage, for instance.