Melissa's Jpop Report

Giving you the hook up on all things jpop related!

Friday, December 23, 2005

I'll be home for christmas...if only in my dreams

Guess who's posting this blog from Eastern Standard Time! What's christmas without family? Besides, Japan doesn't even sell candy canes. I got back yesterday at around 3:30pm, and my sister picked me up at the airport. My cousins from Florida should be arriving sometime today; that should be fun. I'll have to try to make time during the 2 and a half weeks I'm here to study for exams...but we all know that's not going to happen. ^^V

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 05, 2005

There should be a law against this much fun Part 2!

This would be the continuation of the first post that I should have written weeks ago, lol!

The Friday after the game was the Exchange Student trip. 3,000 yen for a 2 day trip to Gunma ken (ken = prefecture) and Niigata ken. Good price if you ask me. It started out with a disgustingly early 6am wake up, a freezing walk to the train station, and a 20 minute wait for the late bus just outside Hachioji train station. But, since I was suffering with my friends, it was all good. ^^V

We took a 3 hour bus ride to Gunma ken where we stop to make kokeshi (dolls). Mine was actually a pen/pencil holder. All we did was paint them, but since I never went to kindergarden (I was homeschool until 9th grade), I, of course, did a terrible job. It was suppose to be a black cat. After the doll making, we stopped for lunch where I learned of a new religion called "Chemanism". Followers of this religion are known as "Cheminist" and live to serve their god...Chema (aka. My spanish friend). Yeah, I think that bus ride was a little too long.

We moved on to Niigata ken where we stayed overnight in a hotel. I stayed with my friend Sonnya and two other Chinese girls we didn't know (but they were really cool, and now I have 2 new friends. ^^V). The room had tatami on the floor, a little table with those chairs for sitting on the floor, and a closet with our futons (I was dumb and didn't get a picture of it. >_<). After we put our stuff down in the room, we went back downstairs where we were told to go wash our hands. (eh? o_0) Turned out we were going to be making something. It was some treat which had purpel, sweet bean paste inside paste...thing. I don't remember what it was called, and, now that I'm writing about it, I just remembered it's still sitting in my fridge. (o_0 Oops. Forgot to eat it).

After that, we went back to our rooms and hung out a bit; me and Sonnya got to know our 2 roommates better. Then we went down to have dinner. After dinner, there was a party in someone's room (no, not a party like what we have in the US) which was basically a different version of spin the bottle. The bottle would spin, whoever it landed on would introduce themself then do some sort of an act (singing, dancing, telling a joke, doing a trick. Anything as long as it was embarrassing). It unfortunately landed on me second which meant I had no time to think of what I wanted to do. At first, I said I'd sing an Otsuka Ai song(que huge gasp from everyone in the room. omg, an American that knows Japanese music, hehe). But I couldn't remember enough words, so I kind of freaked out in the corner for a bit, then spit out a barely remembered rendition of Avril's "complicated". (See that's the problem when you listen to Japanese music only. You know the tune, but can't sing the song unless there's lyrics in front of you.) After everyone in the room had been sufficiently humiliated, the teachers said their good night and left us kids to party on.

Next, they played some strange card game where you get a card and put it on your head. You're not suppose to know the card number. Through the course of the game, you're suppose to figure it out. Least, that's what I figured they were telling me in Japanese. I, and my other friends who came, left after a few minutes and went into one of the guy's room to watch tv and (they) drink. I find I don't really like the taste of acohol much, so I was just drinking tea and coke. (later I drank a little coke mixed with beer and green tea mixed with beer. Yes, that was "green tea" mixed with beer. Hey, it was good.) It was a lot of fun. We just stayed up talking, watching tv, and goofing around. Around maybe midnight, we realized it was snowing, so we ran out on the balcony to take some pictures. I went to bed at like 1am, and woke up at 7ish to realize breakfast had already started. Me and my 3 roommates threw on our clothes and rushed downstairs. After we ate, we went back upstairs to pack our things, and came back down to the main floor where we made sandals. Making sandals meant sitting in an uncomfortable position for an hour. o_0 Mine, of course, were the largest in the room. >_<

After that, we took a survey about the trip, got on the bus, and moved on to the mountains where it was snowing very hard. We went on a tour that was actually a tunnel inside the mountains. It was pretty cold yet fun. After that we had lunch, then hit the road back home. We got back to Hachioji train station at about 5:30pm Saturday evening. Was loads of fun, and I'd definitely do it again. Even the 6am wake up.


On the bus ride up
(rida, chema, hyeyoon, and yumi)
(yumi and sonnya. I'm pretty sure you know who the 3rd person is ^^V)

Kokeshi (in Gunma ken)
(I don't know what looks more ridiculous. Me crouching down like an idiot or towering over everybody. >_<)


(yukatas to wear to the public bath or just to wear around the hotel)

At dinner
(Someone's getting started on the alcohol rather early)

After party
My yukata of course stopped half way down my shins. *sigh* To quote chema when I was walking down the hall "Now you look like a real gaijin (foreigner)".
We had a good laugh with this picture. He claims it's because he was cold, but, before and after taking the pic, Chema had been screaming that he needed to go to the bathroom. Take that thought and apply it to how he looks in the picture.

Making sandals
(the 2 chinese girls I roomed with)

View from the hotel room where we ate breakfast.

Niigata Mountains

In the tunnel
Lunch in Niigata

Sunday, December 04, 2005

There should be a law against this much fun

Started this post a while ago, and was too lazy to finish it, lol! >_<>

Last week (actually, that would Nov. 16. I told you I started this post a "while" ago) was definitely one of the best weeks I've had so far. On Wednesday, I went to see the world cup soccer game, Japan vs. Angola, with 3 friends. I took lots of picture; half of which are with complete strangers. o_0 My friend has this strange habit of taking pictures with completely random, unknown people. I've got a few videos, too. It was a lot of fun, and what was even better was Aya Matsuura was there. (Hello!Project person) I had no idea she was coming, so when I heard her name announced, I was really excited. I think she was singing Japan's theme song, I missed what exactly it was. She must have been freezing because it was really cold, and she wasn't even wearing a jacket. I got to see her through my friends binoculars. Too bad I wasn't close enough to take a good picture.

The game was a lot of fun. Listening to the Japanese cheering was a really interesting experience, too. The score ended Japan 1; Angola 0. I swear, the game was rigged. The entire game nobody scores, then in the last few minutes Japan makes a goal. Speaking of the goal, 2 of my friends didn't even see it. I don't know where they were looking, but after the goal, they both were screaming about how they hadn't seen it. (baka!) After the game, I bought 2 of Nakata's #7 Jersey (one for my cousin) and a muffler towel. I don't even know Nakata that well. I just remember him from a picture in a magazine my cousin showed me when I was in Florida and from seeing him in CMs (commercials) all over Japan. It was kind of funny because we were actually about to leave, but my friend decided he wanted to buy something (me too). There were hundreds of people moving in the opposite directions, but, when I walked through them, they just glanced up, saw me, and moved out of the way. (O! Gaijin smash!) It was like partying the red sea.Picture time!

My dinner before the match. Katsudon! (right?) Fried chicken boiled in egg on top of rice. They serve it at school; I eat it like everyday. ^^V It's so good!

Hyeyoon's dinner. Bibimbo(sp? o_0) It's a korean dish. The black bowl is super hot; you cook the food on the side of it. Two of my friends burned their hand on the side. >_< (be careful!)

(her soup I guess)

Rida examining his iccecream

Atsushi and Rida

Pictures of strange people we don't know <_<
So I gather you're here to root for Japan, right?