Friday, March 27, 2009

Sea of bikes

There are a lot of bikes in Japan, so parking lots like this are very common. This was taken at the train station near my apartment which is considered small. Luckily, when I returned home later that night I remembered where I parked my bike, but otherwise I would have been in serious trouble since there are no direct lights for this area. As you can see, there are no places to lock your bike to. In Japan people use tire locks, which basically means someone can't ride your bike when it's locked, but if they want to pick it up and throw it into a truck they can do it with ease. Fortunately, theft in general is quite rare here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More fun at the park

Yuuki and I both felt that this was the coolest little kid park we've ever seen. If they were like this in America I'd be at the park all the time. There are so many interesting and creative things at parks in Japan, but they just wouldn't work in America. One reason is they're not safe enough and people would sue like crazy if their kid got hurt. Second, too many young people in America would vandalize and steal things and the unique qualities of the park would deteriorate quickly. It's sad but true, so I'm just going to enjoy it while I have it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Competetive karaoke

Karaoke is so popular in Japan that there are competitions on TV every day. I always enjoy watching the old ladies sing for some reason. They get really serious and put a lot of heart and soul into their performances. Plus, the expressions on their faces are classic.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Power lines and cash

Japan in an interesting mix of new and old technology and ideas. For example, despite all of the super computers and fancy cell phones and cars, almost everyone here pays with cash, not cards, many advertisements in front of stores are handwritten, not printed, and power lines are almost always above ground. I've been meaning to take a picture of them since the spider web look they create always fascinates me, so I decided to finally do it... here they are in all of their glory. I kind of like the atmosphere they create but it sure seems like it would be a pain to be an electrician here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Farewell party

Sadly the school branch I'm working at will be closing soon so I will be transferred to a new town and school... but to go out with a bang we had a farwell party. One of my students, Takuro, decided to shred up the dance floor like a pro at karaoke. With his permission I posted this video. It's a beautiful sight!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another eruption

There's nothing like playing frisbee at the park with a volcano erupting in the background and seeing nothing but smiling, happy, curious people.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fashion show

This weekend I went to a fashion show in Kagoshima city with Yuuki and mostly whispered the whole time, making fun of and critiquing the outfits we saw. Some were actually really good, but overall it was more entertaining due to the amount of painfully bad/strange fashion designs. Here are a handful designs up close, but sadly I didn't get any pictures of the really bad ones.