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Showing posts from 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Christmas!

Or at least the holidays. Tokyo really decks itself out for Christmas, beginning almost immediately after Halloween (there's no Thanksgiving interlude here, of course). The trees that line the major streets are all wrapped in lights and almost every single department store has some sort of themed Christmas light show.

Shibuya's trees have little red Hello Kitty bows.


The pathway outside Shinjuku station is somehow penguin themed?



The nearby Odakyu department store is entirely pink.




Generic lights aside, Tokyo also has its fair share of Christmas festivals.
I decide to go back to the one in Hibya Park, near the Imperial Palace, which I had stumbled upon last year. I found it last year because I had just been rejected from a job interview--I finished my last final, flew home, flew to Japan, interviewed, was rejected, and STILL had my senior thesis to finish. I found the Christmas market while wandering around the area somewhat disconsolately and it cheered me right up…

Boroichi

When I told my coworkers that my Friday plans included going to Boroichi, I was met with blank stares. One or two people had sort of vaguely maybe heard of it. Most people had to google it themselves, quickly whipping out their phones behind the counter while no one else was looking.

Boroichi (bless you) is a massive semi-annual flea market held every year in Setagaya on December 15-16 and again in January. It's known for its cheap prices and massive crowds--apparently over 200,000 people will come each year, crowding the narrow streets around the Setagaya and Kamimachi stations, on the hunt for a bargain. Fun fact: the word "boroboro" in Japanese is an onomatopoeia for "worn out" or "raggedy," and "ichi" is another word for market, so Boroichi (ボロ市) is a market for worn-out things. 


I met up with Troy and his mom around 10:15am and already the crowds were intense. Stalls lined both sides of the street and you really had to fight for a viewi…

The Gorgeous...Kappa?

Fall moves along. The leaves continue to turn vibrant shades of red and orange and yellow (in the case of ginkgo trees). I can't believe that it's already December and that I've been in Japan for six months--tying my previous high school record for the longest stay I've had in Japan. I've noticed a lot of improvements in my Japanese, I can now navigate the elaborate Tokyo train system(s) with impunity (though I'll be the first to admit that I did actually get on the wrong train last week and had to back track, much to my embarrassment), and recently discovered that I'm the size of a Japanese men's medium button-up shirt. Revelations, I tell you. (Though what I CAN'T tell you is if that revelation is a compliment to my physique or not...)

The above photo is from Ueno Park, tourist and museum mecca in Tokyo. I had 100 yen off a ticket to the much-touted Van Gogh and Japan exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and figured I would take advantage…

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
OK so it's still a bit early for everyone in the US, but I celebrated Thanksgiving this past Saturday.


Someone from the Yale Club of Japan was kind enough to plan, cook, and co-host a party that had a strong cohort of Yalies present. Here we are, along with the gracious host who opened her house for the event (she's in the center right, next to me). 
Dinner was DELICIOUS. All the traditional trappings of Thanksgiving:

butter corn, green beans, collard greens, ham, stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots, sweet potatoes glazed in brown sugar and (not pictured) squash soup and cornbread. 
There was even pie, and everyone knows how much I LOVE pie. 

It was great to get together with everyone again, catch up on how we had been doing, and have some libations together--in advance of Yale's excellent win against Harvard! Boola boola!
That being said, Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without a little bit of self-reflection about the …