Category Archives: Tama City

National Diet

Japan national diet main hall
Japan national diet main hall

Starting off the day we took a train about a block away from the National Diet. We proceeded inside to have our bags checked and enjoyed the nice AC on a very hot and moist day. We had a guided tour of the diet building, getting a glimpse at the Emperor’s room and the main cabinet room. After we toured the insides of the building, we went outside to walk through a garden that had a tree to represent each of the prefectures and areas of Japan.

After the visit to the diet we were originally supposed to have some time to ask questions to a member of the parliament, but he couldn’t come, so we had extended lunch break instead. There was a souvenir shop in the building where we had our lunch, but sadly we couldn’t find any Abe-chan figurines.

We finished the day in Abiko, the third city of this session. After a brief internal time we met with the mascot, an old eel in traditional Japanese clothing, as well as our host families. And so we had to move on from Tama to Abiko; a new city, new faces and new friends.

Harrison Zurkan (USA), Juuso Myller (Finland)

World Campus – Japan visits the back-stage Tama Pantheon

This time Trine talks about a day in her life in world campus.

At the start of the day we get to go back-stage in Tama Pantheon. The staff at the pantheon shows us how they operate the back-stage and all the things they can do. After this we meet with a local organization were we eat food, play games, and interact with a lot of different people.

Parthenon Tama visit

Stella becoming an angel in Parthernon Tama
Stella becoming an angel in Parthernon Tama

Today I visited the Parthenon. Not the one in Athens as you might think I’m off topic and country, but the one in Tama city, Japan. Right on top of the redbrick pedestrian lane one can see a building resembling the ancient Greek monument. For this reason the people of Tama agreed on this name thirty years ago when their culture centre was first built.

Our group was guided around the main hall where opera, ballet, music and theatrical performances are held. We also had the chance of taking a look at the backstage areas, which honestly looked like a daedalus to me… The “irony” of more Greek words…

Off to our happy free hour where we wandered around before we went to the pot luck lunch party organized by the local international partners.

And the feast eventually begins! We got a chance to mingle with Japanese people who joined the event and cooked delicacies for us.

I had an excellent discussion about World War 2, Lefkadio Hern (aka Koizomi Yakumo in Japanese) and permaculture in Japan and Greece with elder people who sometimes spoke good English and sometimes used all possible language combos and gimmicks. And it was fun seeing their wide open eyes while I was eating octopus as normally as any Greek person would… I got a few pats on my back for that, which made me feel like home and think how stereotypes about Japanese manners have nothing to do with honesty and the light heart of people.

We played traditional Japanese games together, tried calligraphy, astonished them with weird fun facts from our home countries and enjoyed their honest responses.

All in all, yeap, delicious food and good company are all you need to have a nice day. And this does not only apply for the Greeks as proven today…

Stella Tsolakidou, Greece

Arigato Event and Culture Exchange

Playing Karuta in the Arigato event in Tama
Playing Karuta in the Arigato event in Tama

Today started out pretty grand as we practiced for the Arigato Event (always fun to sing and dance) and some of the university students joined in which made it more fun. I ate Italian which was super delicious! We also got to do country presentations. I learned a lot about the other countries, like how Finland and Norway have the chance to see the Northern Lights, Greece breaks ceramic pots on a certain holiday and Chine has sweets that I have to try!

There’s a lot more, but what I would really like to mention is the performance we got to watch. Elementary School children sang for us, which was both touching and amazing – no joke, these kids won a championship. I should mention that the Mayor also came and spoke a few words to us. It was really fun and I would say more, but I feel as though this is something that everyone should experience for themselves and I don’t want to spoil too much.

Aimee Morales, USA