Skip to main content

Making Sushi and Dazzling 5th Graders (Or is it 6th Graders?)

Come one come all and listen to the tale of Claire, an English speaking girl who has to catch a train by herself to a strange location known as the Ooizumi-gakuen station! You will be dazzled with the history of her wit and skills at navigation!
(As if!)
Sunday was an AFS-Nerima chapter event, where Valeria and another exchange student, Huang (who is from Vietnam) were going to make sushi! Yummeh, I know. Anyhow, I had to get there myself, and my host mom printed out a sheet with my train times: I had to take the Seibu-Shinjuku train from my home station to Tokorozawa, which is big and busy. Once at Tokorozawa I had a minute to find my transfer and get on it.

I missed it.

So there is Claire, standing in this station trying to figure out the map of what trains go where. And taking an educated guess, she gets on the Ikebukuro train which seems like it'll work.

Fortunently, it does. CRISIS AVERTED!

There ended up being quite a group of us: Valeria, Huang and me, plus some AFS volunteers/ moms and some Japanese students who are going to be exchange students next year:
But look at all the yummy food we made:
I made most of those, except the one where the lettuce is exploding. That's not mine. They were YUMMEH, and I know I can make them again if I get the right ingrediants, and make some sticky rice. (So Mom, Dad, Pete you're in luck!) And yes, some of that is meat and cheese.

Then we made this fruit-cocktail dessert thing with shirotama, literally "white balls", which is some rice-type thing? It's chewy and doesn't really have much flavor, but when you eat it with the fruit it's pretty good.

Then Valeria, Huang and I had to give brief presentations on our home countries. But guess who forgot her flashdrive with the presentation on it?
I'll give you some time.

If you guessed Claire, you were right! So I ended up using a whiteboard and making some inaccurate drawings of the US and famous Chicago landmarks and just generally babbling on. It worked all right!

Then today, the 24th, my school had some standardized tests, so I didn't have school. Instead, I went with another exchange student in the highschool and three exchange students from the University section of Musashino Joshi to give country presentations to Elementary School 4th years, which I THINK translates into 5th grade here (they were 10) but I'm not 100% sure).

Being rather horrible with names, I don't remember them. But, going from left to right they're from the Philippines, Korea and China.

We each went to different classrooms and gave presentations. I brought a poster, pictures, some American money and a book in English. The talking went all right, but the pictures, money and book really impressed them. So it all ended well. Afterwards we played this game where you toss sticks in the air and move pieces around a board (my team won) and ate lunch together. It was a BLAST!

Peace everyone, Claire out!


  1. I can't wait for you to make us some of this delicious looking food!


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…

100K Announcement


Thanks to everyone who has read and followed my journeys in Japan from 2011 to 2017. Your support of my adventures and observations means the world to me.

In celebration of Riceandramen finally hitting 100k views, I am pleased to announce that I will be running a giveaway!

I will send one lucky person a custom box of goodies from Japan that could include (but isn't limited to): snacks, stationary, character goods, traditional Japanese crafts and more. The only limits are weight and size and your imagination (I'll be keeping everything small and light to keep the shipping costs down).

Without further ado, the details and rules of the giveaway are as follows:


The giveaway will run from today, February 25 2018 JST/ February 24 CST to March 11, 2018 JST/ March 10 CST.You don't have to be in Japan to enter: since almost all of my readers are international, this giveaway will be, too. The winner will be picked at random and notified via p…