Saturday, August 18, 2012

Colors of Tokyo /// Goodbye Tokyo

This weekend I will be flying back to the United States, concluding my three month trip to Japan.  When I stepped off the plane at Haneda Airport, I knew things were going to be different. Naive to the unrelenting wave of cultural differences yet to come.
Supermarket cashiers would stare at me blankly when I used unnatural textbook phrases. At Shinjuku station I resorted to hang gestures and air drawings to the metro police when I had used the wrong metro ticket when making a transfer from the Odakyu Line to Tokyo Metro. I was publicly reprimanded at work for not contacting the office when our train was delayed after having to make an emergency stop while underground. My vocabulary study lists didn't include "no cellphone reception underground".
Looking back on my experience as a whole, I had a tough time adjusting to the isolation and totality of the  unfamiliar. The friends I met in Tokyo helped me to take everything less seriously.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Colors of Tokyo /// Farewell Company Dinner

My co-workers at Tokyo Broadcasting threw a goodbye party for me at a local restaurant in Akasaka.  As my time in Tokyo draws to a close, it is difficult for me to find the words to describe this place and  all the people I've met. It is already night in Tokyo, and tomorrow I will be in Los Angeles. The night ends with a series of goodbyes leading up to a most anticipated welcome.

Walking through the final security check point.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Colors of Tokyo /// Ueno Zoo, 恩賜上野動物園

Adults (16-64) 600 yen
Seniors (65+) 300 yen
Students (13-15) 200 yen
Children (0-12) Free

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Colors of Tokyo /// Television Debut

For my first television appearance, the staff at I-CAMP approached to play one of their female roles.  I-CAMP had been working with another company called EIKEN to write, design, and produce skits for national television as well as serve as supplementary material for ESL classrooms. The taping was scheduled a week before I was to depart from Tokyo.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Colors of Tokyo /// Ghibli Museum (三鷹の森ジブリ美術館)

(Photograph by  Tokyo-Mo)
As our internship draws to a close, Fukumi organized one last field trip for Louis and I. She picked the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. One of the reasons for her choice comes from her strong believe the work of the Studio is one of Japan's great cultural treasures. 

We arranged to meet in in Shinjuku station at 10am before taking the train to Mitaka. It was already warm with unrelenting humidity, as are so many of the Japan's summer mornings. Fukimi and I arranged to meet first, as our routes intersected before we arranged to meet Lou and Elisa

In keeping with the European fetish-ism of Ghibli's later films, the interior of the museum is reminiscent of turn-of-the-century French and Flemmish design: stain glass, titles, ornate moldings, dutch style windows, brass knobs doors, carved wood doors, etc.