Saturday, June 23, 2012

Japanese food

We ate at a place called the "pupu kitchen"!  It was really good!

We also ate at the home of a Japanese family.  I tried vegetarian sushi and did not like it so much (I know most of you like it!)  I also tried fried pumpkin and it was SO good!

I am not so good with chopsticks!
As most of you know, I am a very picky eater and don't often try new things I think I won't like.  Well, I decided that in Japan (well actually anywhere I travel) I will try the local flavors.  So far so good here in Japan!  I have liked more things than not!  The first videos are things I did not like.  These sticky rice balls in a sugar soy sauce.  I am not sure if you can here it but you can see my reaction then Audrey's!The next video is me trying to use chopsticks (pretty unsuccessfully!)  The last video is Shawn demonstrating how to eat noodles in Japan.  They are cold and you dip them in a sauce and slurp them!  I was not so good at it because I didn't really care for the sauce so my noodles were not slippery enough to slurp!

Japanese race cars

There is a special kind of racing in Japan called drifting.  While we did not get to go drifting, we did get to go racing with Audrey's boss.  He is a race car driver and he is so good.  It was so fun!  Oh...and in Japan they drive on a different side of the road then we do!

Okazaki Castle

To get to the castle, you had to cross a bridge over the moat that once protected the castle from invaders.

Okazaki Castle

Unfortunately my videos are very hard to hear (if you can hear them at all).  I will still post them in case the sound will come out better on a computer with speakers.  This video tells about Okazaki castle, one of the oldest castles in Japan.  Before entering you must wash your hands a special way in the well.  The castle was home to one of Japan's emperors and the shrine next to it is where people go to pray.  Before praying though, you must ring the big bell to announce to God that you are here.


One of the things that people in Japan love to do is sing karaoke!  It is not like you would do in our country though. In our country you would go to a place with lots of people and sign up to sing one or two songs.  In Japan, you actually go to a karaoke building (of which there are many) and rent a room with just you and your friends and you get to sing lots of songs!  Most people sing just sitting down right on a couch.  We got lucky and got a room with a stage so of course that is where I sang!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Japanese Kanji

In English, this says the name of the family that lives at this house...Kinmaki.

This says "Let's give peace of mind to the people who live in this apartment complex."

This says, "Be careful of old people crossing."

This was a sign at the airport that tells us how to get our luggage and go through customs (you have to go through customs when you go to a new country to make sure you are not a bad guy and not bringing something you are not supposed to to a new country.  In Japan, one of the things you are not allowed to bring in is rice!)
Since we are in another country, they speak another language.  In Japan, they speak Japanese.  But there alphabet is not like ours.  They use symbols called kanji.  Here are some pictures of some Japanese signs!

Presents from my sister

When we got to my sister Audrey's apartment, we were very jet lagged.  That is what happens to you when you fly to another country.  The world is divided up into time zones and when you travel east and west, you enter into different time zones.  So, when we got to Japan, it was 9:00 at night  but it was 7:00 in the morning in Louisiana and 6:00 in the morning in Colorado.  It was hard to get to sleep.  Then we woke up super early because even though it was 5:00 in the morning in Japan (when I normally like to sleep) my body felt that it was still 3:00 in the afternoon the Louisiana!  After we got up my sister gave us presents!  Mr. Shawn got some moustache stickers and I got a pink tu-tu!  (Oh and I got to meet a 5 year old Japanese boy last night.  He mostly speaks Japanese but knows a little bit of English.  Maybe he can be our pen pal!)

Heading off to Japan!

Konnichiwa (hello) from Japan!  We left from Louisiana on Wednesday morning and arrived in Okazaki, Japan Thursday night.  We took 3 planes, 1 bus, and 1 car and then we got to see my sister Audrey!  Japan is part of Asia (the biggest continent) and is an island.  A couple of years ago, there was a very big earthquake here that they are still recovering from.  The nickname for Japan is the "Land of the Rising Sun".  Sayonara (goodbye!) for now!