My host family told me ahead of time that I had to get to the meeting place earlier than usual, as my host sister was gonna take an English test (I still find it absurd that they have classes during summer break, but different school system I suppose) so there I was, at the Parthenon Tama– dying because of the heat. Well I didn’t care because I was excited for NIHON Animation! I’m gonna be honest, it’s not like I’m the biggest anime fan (I read manga though) but to see how it’s done professionally sounded awesome.
Just before we left Hiro decided it was kind of him to hand me my shoes I left at Mito… I had completely forgotten about those and it wasn’t like I was excited to carrying them throughout the day! I didn’t have space in my bag either… But Elizabeth had enough kindness to place one of the shoes into her backpack.
When we arrived at our destination, it was a lot smaller and less dramatic than I had anticipated. I’m not sure what to expect but it wasn’t what I had in mind? Well, my odd imagination is partly at blame here. We wandered around, taking pictures as your everyday gaijin. It was so much fun for sure!
We were taken back to a shopping mall. There we had our lunch and got dressed for our, sadly, last ceremony. By dressed I mean a very Japanese clothing called yukata. We were shown awesome performances as well and we managed to wrap everything up nicely.
Of course, the session wasn’t gonna finish just like that. We had our own little last meet up together. Hiro had a lovely speech about what we’ve faced and how much we’ve progressed. Also, a hug from each of the staff as we received a signed thank-you letter. It sucked how it as the last time together with all of us but it’s gonna be a cherished memory for sure.
And to end a great day, my host family took me to onsen! A very Japanese way of finishing it.
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.
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.
On this day World Campus- Japan visits a keisei woman university and a primary school in Tama. We get a tour around the university and get to meet a lot of the student. Then at the primary school we get to try all sorts of japanese traditional gamese and other cultural activities.
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
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