November 11 - Textiles
For class today, we went on a field trip to a local textile factory. There we saw huge machines that would create spools of fabric that were made to order. Since Tsuru is known for its fabrics, there was a television crew there as well, recording the footage that would be used in a small segment for the next week.
November 10 - Pikachu
I embarked on another art project today. I finished in 3 hours.
November 9 - Mt. Fuji Tour
The school hosted a tour of Mt. Fuji and its surrounding areas today. Fun stuff.
November 8 - End of a Week
Another end of another week of school. It’s bittersweet as the more that come, the sooner the end of the program is, signaling my return to the States.
November 6 - Mt. Takao
Since my Wednesdays are always open, I took up the offer to go explore a nearby mountain area to see more autumn colors. The nearby mountain happened to be about a half hour drive away from Tsuru, heading more towards Tokyo. Arriving at the base, there was a lift that would transport you a good amount of the way towards the top, which from that point is an extremely easy hike to get to the peak of the mountain. On the way to the top, you can experience the common temple activities, such as cleansing your hands with the water, praying to the various shrines, and giving offerings to the gods.
One thing I appreciate about Japan is how so many people take a notice to the nature that surrounds them and how some people will go out of their way in order to take in the beauty that is growing around them and for good reason. Nature plays so much in part of the daily lifestyle here as it’s even incorporated into the city plan as there will be large plots of land dedicated to communal gardens and fields in order to grow various fruits, vegetables, and rice. It’s also impossible to miss the deep hues of red, the bright shades of orange, and the vibrant tones of yellow that decorate the momiji trees of Japan.
November 4 - Dyes
This week in the arts and crafts class, we learned how to create designs on fabric the way it used to be done in Japan, which involved drawing the desired pattern in wax and then dipping the entire work in the dye.
November 3 - Kabuki
I went into Tokyo again for the second time this week (another $40 approximately for transportation…) to watch a kabuki play. Although the tickets I got were the cheapest, I still had good seats where I could see most of the action and acting. It was a wonderfully artistic experience. Each movement, line, and action was incredibly well rehearsed and concise. Although I couldn’t understand the first third of the play, there was luckily a receiver that I was able to rent in order to hear commentary and descriptions of what was happening for the rest. Because I took a class on Japanese theater back at UCI, I really enjoyed seeing a play for myself firsthand. Definitely an experience that I suggest for anybody to take part of during their time here in Japan.
November 2 - Sleepy Afternoons