My Summer Experience in Japan ~ Part 1
By Nicole Brown
Senior Captain, Women's Volleyball
Nicole is in Japan on a summer exchange program. She will update us on her travels, about once a week, with her blog.
My trip has been so much fun!!! First of all Tokyo is very beautiful...everywhere is so scenic. When we arrived we stayed in Narita, Japan which is about an hour from Tokyo. Narita is a smaller village that is home to many temples and shrines. In Tokyo we visited the government building and were able to see all of Tokyo from one single high rise. Speaking of high rises, many of the buildings in Tokyo have at least eight floors because Tokyo is very densely populated.
So far I have visited the towns of Harajuku, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Yoyogi. Harajuku is the big fashion center and is very close to my residence. Shinjuku, Shibuya are known for their nightlife and are some of the busiest districts in Tokyo. Yoyogi is a beautiful district that is home to the scenic Yoyogi Park. On any given day Yoyogi park is filled with people jogging, playing soccer, having picnics, taking nice walks, doing yoga, having HS cheer practice and so on. There is a beautiful flower garden and waterfall in Yoyogi's center that make it a popular tourist attraction. I've also visited the Tokyo Imperial Palace and rode bikes around the very historic compound!
Getting around in Tokyo is fairly easy if you're ok with being lost in a sea of people. Almost everyone who works in Tokyo commutes by train. The Tokyo rail system is much like the DC Metro only multiplied times 100 (NO exaggeration). The complexity is amazing. And, like our SmartTrips, they have either the Pasmo or the Suica. Tokyo is very expensive. The US dollar is not worth as much as much as Japanese Yen. However, shopping is so fun!!! Food is pretty expensive as well unless you love ramen and udon (Japanese noodle). I like to stick to sushi (particularly Unagi-eel). Most dishes are very spicy and tasty, but they will cost you a pretty penny. This week I am going to my home stay with a Japanese family for a week. I probably will not have internet access but I will try to get more pictures up. I'm so glad I decided to come. So far it has been an awesome experience.