Feb 27 2015, Okayama

After having a breakfast at the hotel we were living, we took the train to Okayama. We started the day by having a meeting in the lobby of the Granvia hotel, talking about the schedule and the game we were going to play—we were divided into six groups and each group were given a sheet of paper with missions written on it, including buy items from the convenience store, ask local Japanese people for photos, etc.
We first went to the Okayama castle by taking the cable car, and then did a sightseeing in the castle after Jin gave us a brief introduction about the history of it. Since the castle we were visiting is built mostly with black bricks, it is said that there is a white castle nearby that was built alone with the Okayama castle. From my standpoint, the castle we visited today is pretty similar from the one we visited in Nagoya, since some traditional Japanese items are shown in both of the castles, and there are some similarities between the appearances of both one. However, it was also really nice to see a gorgeous architecture like the Okayama castle.
After the trip to the Okayama castle, we visited a garden that set next to this. Frankly speaking, never had once had I seen a garden that is as breathtaking as this one—there were pavilions built on the golden grasses and small bridges over the flowing streams. The garden virtually offers tourists a chance to touch the nature and relax their mind from heavy works.
In the afternoon, we broke into six groups that were divided by Mami earlier, and had the competition that was introduced. The group that got back to the hotel first and had the highest point will win the competition. We, though are not sure whether will win the prize, had a great fun during the process.
We end our day by celebrating India’s birthday. It was really a tired but joyful day, and hope we can enjoy the rest of our journey.

Frank Fan’s Reflection

This M-term, I went to Japan. This was my first time and when I got my Japan visa, I was very excited. It was a wonderful trip and a fantastic experience in my life.

I learn the sustainability in Japan. In Japan, Mami, Levi, Kerrie always mentioned this word. When we needed to use the plastic things, they always stopped us and let us carry things without plastic things as many as possible. When I went to a museum about the environment, I saw some data about the plastic things that people used in daily lives. I never thought about it and I felt terrible when I saw the data. After that time, I know how to save.

I learn the respect in Japan. When people walked on the street, sometimes we could hear some bad words. The disrespect is a major problem in everywhere. But when we stayed in Japan, everyone was very friendly and very respectful. If people were respectful to us, we must be respectful to them. In order to avoid the embarrassment, Mami taught us “Thank you” and “Excuse me” in Japanese. I know the kindness of people in Japan.

I learn the greatness of the technology. In many museums, I could see the robots and nice cars. The people in Japan have abilities to make nice cars for their own citizens and I saw many videos about the quality of security of Japanese cars. In some shopping malls, I was very surprised that I saw that the robots could play the violin and the piano could work automatically and play the songs by itself. I know the advancement of Japan.

This trip is very significant for me.It lets me see and learn many things that I haven’t really known before. Thank you, Ms. Mami Takeda, Ms. Kerrie Tinsley and Mr. Levi Stribling for giving me this opportunity to have an excellent trip. Thank you for giving me a chance to learn more things.

Mar. 9th 2015, Chengxi (Frank) Fan

2nd Scavenger Hunt!!!!

2nd Kimono Day!!!

In our plan chart, it is said that we are going to wear the kimono and go around Kyoto today! I didn’t really enjoy it last time. Today we spent the whole day walking around the street.

After we wore the kimono, we went to Kiyomizu-dera temple first. Kiyomizu-dera temple is a Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. It was established in 798 C.E. Most of us did draw there to predict if we will be lucky or not in the future. Some of them got the worst one so they did it many times. Also, some of them did draw about the love, the future and so on. I took many photos and had fun there!

Then Scavenger Hunt!!

Our group has Jin, Roman, Bill and me. We went to Currency Exchange to start our tasks. Why? Because Bill wanted to change some money and we wanted to let the man who did exchange for him take photo of us. First, we asked the man to take a photo. Then we found that there were some people with kimonos. We asked two old women to took photos with us. Two tasks, done!!!2D50D31C7C9086857AD984D01AA6E787

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Then we went to Starbucks to have some drinks! Thirs task, done!!
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We found an advertisement and we reacted it!!! It was so funny!!!
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Finally we bought something for our parents. I bought something to eat for my parents. I also bought a box of playing cards!!! It was because I liked to seek different kinds of playing cards. For example, some of playing cards had the introduction of famous places and historical people on them. So I can not only play with my friends but also get much knowledge from them!

We took a cab to go back to the hotel!!!
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Mar. 6th 2015, Hiroshima & Miyajima

March 6th 2015
Group name: Onigirieeeee
Members: Taito Shimizu, Chengxi (Frank) Fan, Xiang (Jenny) Chen. Yuqing (Bill) Wang

It was a sunny day, a perfect weather to start our activities. Hiroshima, one of major cities in Japan and it was also known as the first city that was destroyed by the “Little Boy” which is an atomic bomb that was dropped by the U.S. Army. If you go to Japan and you are in Hiroshima, we recommended you to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Miyajima.
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Firstly, we visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. It is a museum for remembering people that were lost from the disaster of a single atomic bomb. In August 6th in 1945 at 8:15 a.m., U.S. Army dropped the atomic bomb, “Little Boy” in Hiroshima. Suddenly, the whole city was blasted to dust and thousands of people died and their houses was destroyed as well. Nine days after the disaster, the Mikado surrendered and then the World War II was over. Even though this thing made the war ends quickly, it was so unfair and so cruel to those innocent people who died in Hiroshima. It tells us about one thing, “Everyone wants peace. Nobody wants wars.”

After that we went to Miyajima by boat. There were deers walking all over the streets at Miyajima. They were so cute but one thing was so annoying was that they preferred eating plastic bags and paper from tourists rather eating food that nature provides them! In order to prevent it. We have to keep all trash away from these loving animals.