Okay, so. First off, I didn’t expect getting a hold of the internet, let alone enough time to compose a blog entry, to take so long. Unfortunately, Japan has not turned itself into one giant wireless hotspot since I was last here, so I have been depending on stealing the inn’s cable internet and, as of today, snatches of computer time here at Nanzan University.
Anyways, first thoughts.
It’s hot. It’s really, honestly, murderously hot. Add to that 90% humidity that results in the occasional downpour, and you have 26 very unhappy American college students. The orientation trip in Inuyama turned out to be a lot better than I had feared. Inuyama is about an hour’s bus trip outside of Nagoya, thought we never really leave civilization. We stayed at a traditional Japanese inn (a ryokan), called Geihanryo.
It was a neat place – our IES guides made sure we did a lot of neat things; we ate traditional inn fare, visited the local castle, and saw a demonstration of cormorant fishing. I’m planning on doing a few more detailed posts at a later date, when I have more time, but for now I’ll leave you with some highlights from the past few days.
This is Inuyama-jo, which was seriously about 100m away from the inn. The second day, English-speaking Japanese volunteers led us around the whole castle. Very cool.
After the castle tour, we were treated to an abbreviated Japanese tea ceremony.
Finally, the ramen shop where almost everyone ate lunch both days that we were there. Tiny little place, run by an older couple with a little help from their elementary-school-aged nephew. Lots of fun sitting at the bar and slurping down noodles.
Starting from tomorrow, I hope to have more regular internet access, though it’s likely I won’t be doing any posting on the weekends. I’m planning my next entry about food, though, coming sometime next week!