I have officially graduated from my bachelors degree program and I am ready to cease the day “carpe diem”. There is only one problem. I can’t find a J.O.B! Who would have thought it would be this difficult to become a real adult. I think I would much rather go back to the days of mother waking me up for grade school, coming home to watch the Friday night line up followed by the hardest decisions that followed me in my day to day life…what pair of shoes to wear with each outfit. Those were the days. But I must face reality, and the truth is I don’t have those luxuries that I once thought were boundaries, anymore. Graduating college is a well respected accomplishment, but search for jobs and actually landing a suitable candidate is an even greater accomplishment. Stay posted for the updates of my job search and the ups and downs of my life that WILL occur along the way. Thanks for Reading, Jo!
So today I explored Japan on my own with a couple of my group members. We took the JR train and rode for about thirty minutes. Our final destination was Tokyo Disney. I was so excited when I got off that train I felt like a little child who had never been to Disneyland before. While the train was pulling up to our stop the first thing I saw was Cinderella castle, simply breath taking. The Disney park in Japan compared to the one in the states is very small. There were a total of about maybe twenty rides throughout the whole park. The great thing about Tokyo Disney were the shops that careered some things that the American Disney does not. I also enjoyed the many shows that went on during the course of the our time at the park. I saw many Japanese dancers dressed as Disney characters and they did a very good job. This was one of my best Disney experiences.
Today in my spare time I was able to meet with the Vice President of Fox Entertainment Television in Japan. His name is Dan Smith. He has been working in Japan for over ten years now. Dan let me know a little bit about the business and how the television industry works. I felt very privileged to be able to talk to such a high rank in the television industry in Japan. He makes his job look so easy but he was sure to let us know that it takes a lot of hard work to put out a product of quality. After sitting down in Starbucks with Dan we later were able to visit Fox Entertainment TV Japan. There office was not too far from Rapunge. After going in and looking around and talking to some of the editors and producers that worked there I began to feel a bit more comfortable with envisioning myself in that position. I also found out that they use the same type of video editing software that I use right now. Talk about motivation.
Every car that I see here aside from the taxi’s of course are all high priced Mercedes Benzs and Lexus’s and of course some Toyota’s and Audi’s spread out amongst them all. I love automobiles so being able to walk down the street and admire a well manufactured vehicle was sometimes the highlight of my day. I have been told that it cost a lot of money to be able to drive in Japan, so I would imagine that the people that do drive around Japan have a great amount of money which would explain the amount of nice cars on the road compare to the amount of simply mediocre cars. There are fees to park fees for insurance, plates, as well as the car note you may have. On top of all those fees the gas it takes to make the car move is very expensive. The gas in Japan is about 700 Yen per gallon. Which is equivalent to seven dollars per gallon American money, that is outrageous.
After a while it began to fill like all I did in my spare time in Japan was shop. I just could not help my self, there were so many stores and so many different types of merchandise in each I felt like I owed it to my self to at least explore them every chance I got. I went to high end stores I visited little no name stores that still had cute merchandise. I also went to these malls that are unheard of in America seven story malls. There is a different store on every floor. The reason for the seven story malls I think is to save space, because Japan is so over populated this country needs to conserve space anyway they can. Shopping in Japan is an experience I will never forget. I not only enjoyed shopping for new cloths and items that had to do with fashion, but I also enjoyed buying and trying new foods that I could go back to America and talk about.
Today we went to Japan’s Marina It was so beautiful. I really love water so that might have been why I enjoyed this trip so much. The structure of the Marina was breath taking. The Japanese really put a lot of work into making this place easy on the eyes. The Marina had plenty of boats and coastguard outlets. Once we walked below the Marina dock there were shops and boat models to look at. While looking at the shops I saw different types of clothing and bags that I hadn’t seen before. After looking at the shops we made our way back up to the Marina dock and I got a Ice cream cone that with 2 scoops. After leaving the marina we walked through china town located in the heart of Japan. Then after the day was over we had to find our way back to the hotel by using the JR line. I felt very accomplished being able to navigate through Japan on my own.
Today I went to my first Japanese baseball game. It was very enjoyable. I felt like I really cared if our team won. I might have felt some type of connection to this team because there colors were orange just like the Detroit Tigers back at home. I sat down and no more than five minutes later I was out of my seat getting food. I ordered some chicken from the concession stand, this chicken did not taste like it should be sold at a concession stand. I then got back up and went to buy some soft serve ice cream which was wonderful. Once I came back to my seat with this ice cream two more of my friend got up to get what I had. The Ice Cream in Japan tastes a bit different than that of the United States but I really liked it. Once the baseball game ended I wanted to get some food to go, but as soon as the last play was over every concession stand simultaneously closed there doors, it was kind of entertaining.
Today the group visited Waseda University in Japan. This University was very nice pertaining to modernity and the way in which the building was kept up. When we first arrived we met a fellow American who has been teaching at this university for years and who allowed us to come and visit and take from this experience what we could. After we sat in his class for a little over an hour it was time for lunch. The cafeteria wasn’t the greatest mainly because they didn’t have one. They had a store they sold food that could be micro waved or just eaten cold. After I bout some noodles and ate them I made my way to a Waseda restroom. When I walked into the stall I saw this foreign toliet again but this time I was a bit confused. I didn’t see the lever to flush the toilet at first because it was blocked by another part of the toilet. So when I look to my left I saw a red string so I think to myself this must be the flusher, so I pull it. Once I walk out the restroom I hear a faint siren of some sort and a Japanese security guard running at me, at that moment I realized that it was not a flusher.
After visiting Japan for the past three weeks I decided to make my technology review about the toilets of Japan. I know what most may think, how can toilets fit in the category of technology? Well it fits within this category because the toilets of Japan are not just any run of the mill toilets. I never thought I would ever enjoy having to take time out of my day to visit the restroom but while studying abroad in Japan one of the highlights of my day was visiting the facilities. The bathrooms alone were impressive.
My first experience with the bathrooms of Japan occurred after checking into what I would call a three star hotel in Japan. I walk into the bathroom that in my mind should be the least foreign aspect of my trip, and I was immediately confused. For starters the tub was shorter in length in comparison to American bathrooms but deeper in depth. The showerhead was adjustable in length and water pressure. I felt like I was in a very different world.
After exploring that side of the bathroom I made my way to the toilet. As soon as I set eyes on it I was immediately impressed. All of the toilets are not completely the same in Japan in fact in some public restroom that are placed in lower class areas such as the subway system, they don’t even have toilets. In some subways public bathrooms there are just holes in the floor with a flush know on the wall. But the toilet in my hotel room was so very high tech. On the side of the toilet there are a series of buttons. These buttons are not just for show they actually have many useful purposes for being there.
The first button I noticed said spray. That is when I came to find out that this toilet was not just a toilet but it worked as a bidet as well. I personally never used this button because I just could not wrap my head around the fact that clean water could come out of such a dirty bowl. The other buttons that were on the side of this high tech contraption were labels that read adjust, mode and flush. The adjust button I really did not understand fully, I pressed it but I did not notice anything really change. The mode button only worked in one way that I could tell. Apparently you can change the sound of your flush if it’s not appealing to your ear. The flush button in my opinion was not needed because there was also a handle on the back of the toilet to flush by I believe the button on the side is more for convenience and luxury.
The toilet in my hotel room was nice but it was nothing compared to the toilet that I saw at NTT DoComo that is a successful technology company in Japan that also produces the majority of the cell phone business in the country. The toilets in there public restroom had heated seats. I was so astonished, and in order for these heated seats to work all of the toilets were plugged up to the wall. Which now makes them electric toilets as well. Heated seats on a toilet are one of the most intelligent inventions of technology I have seen thus far in Japan. On the side of the Toilets at NTT DoComo there sat a radio and an option to make flushing noising even when the toilet is not being flushed. I think this aspect of technology will come in handy when a person wants their private time to stay private and the music and flushing noises will drown out the sound of the toilet being used. I absolutely loved my experience with the restrooms in Japan. The day I buy a house and have enough money to splurge on the finer technologies in life these toilets will definitely be my first purchase. Simply Incredible.
Today I went to visit about two Japanese temples. One of the temples I visited was Todai-ji Temple. The outside of this temple looked so beautiful. Once I walked in the first thing I saw was a very large statue of Buddha. This Buddha was about as big as the temple itself. There were many people in this temple observing the magnificence of its art. I saw a lot of school children that seemed to be there for there a field trip. The culture is very different form that of America. There were about 60 elementary age kids there on this field trip with only two chaperons. I have also noticed the difference in culture with the children by observing five and six year olds taking the subway trains by themselves to get to school. That would never happen in America and the main reason that it would not happen is because there is a lot less crime in Japan than there is in the United States. There are more suicides every year in Japan than there are murders.
After such a wonderful day in Hiroshima, we jumped on the bullet train back to Osaka. This bullet train moves at least 130 mph if not more. I couldn’t believe how fast the scenery was moving around me or rather how fast we were moving pass the scenery. Once I arrived to Osaka I immediately changed my cloths and went on a mission to SHOP! Osaka has the most stores I have ever seen. This is the shopping district of Japan if you ask me. I walked in store after store seeing a wide arrange of culture. There was such a different style of clothing in these stores and such a new way of creative expression. I loved it. I enjoyed myself so much that I decided to do go by the saying “when in Japan do as the Japanese” so I went into a store and bought a couple of harojuku items of clothing along with other merchandise of the Japanese culture.
Today I felt like I step on history. My group and I went to visit the site of the atomic bomb dropping on Hiroshima. I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. I consider myself a history buff and I was so excited when I realized that I would be able to visit such a large part of Japanese as well as American history. After walking through the museum I feel as if I left knowing more than I did going into the memorial. I saw with my own eyes how harsh the bombing was and how it affected the Japanese people as a whole. In the memorial I saw burned clothing that once belonged to children that died in the bombing. Innocent sons and daughters’ dead, shoes lost book bags scattered all because of the choice my country made to bomb and entire city. This visit was most definitely an eye opener for me. I was able to see the tragedy through the eyes of the Japanese. Seeing what they saw wasn’t very difficult due to the fact that the Museum had life size wax sculptures of some victims bleeding and melting from the atomic blast.
After a somewhat long train ride the group and I made our way to the fairy. This fairy was our transportation to the Island of Miyajima. This island was so nice. Not only did it have the best ice cream but also there were deer just roaming around the island like it was normal. These were the most peaceful deer I have ever seen, the locals as well as the visitors to the island are allowed to feed the deer and touch the deer as well. Things like this just don’t happen in the states everyday. I never thought I would be able to get this close to a deer let alone feed one. After feeding the deer and walking with them I made my way to the temple at the top of the island. On the stairs leading to the temple there was native writing all over the sidewalls and steps. I also noticed statues of Buddha with Yen placed on top of it. I was told that placing money on the Buddha should produce good fortune for the ones who left the money. After entering the temple all I saw were statues of the deities and wooded squares with what looked to be prayers written on them, placed there by different visitors.
Once arriving in Osaka the first thing we did was put our things way in the hotel. This hotel was so nice it had down comforters and a radio in the wall. After getting situated we made our way to the shopping district, which was right down the street form our hotel. The entire group walked through the district and stopped to eat at this nice little Japanese restaurant. I ordered these noodles that were seasoned very well. I also ordered chicken and this meat that looked to be steak but I’m not too sure what it was exactly. After eating I left to explore the city. Osaka stays up very late but not as late as Tokyo. The stores here in Osaka close at eight thirty compared to midnight in Tokyo. There are so many places to spend money in Osaka. Many of the stores are either video game oriented or clothing stores. I honestly think I like Osaka better than Tokyo, mainly because there are a lot less people in Osaka. Osaka is a lot less congested.
The alumni dinner was so nice! I feel so special to be a part of such a cohort of people that share a common bond that is even more apparent thousands of miles over seas. I felt very welcomed by the alumni of Michigan State University as well as the Japanese hosts of the dinner. The food was great the people were so nice and inviting. The Alumni were all so willing to share their experiences and help us in anyway they thought they could. After eating all that my stomach could hold and networking with former MSU students and taking plenty of pictures my group members and I made our way to Osaka. I was having a little trouble carrying my luggage to the train station but I finally made it. We took the JR line to Osaka, Japan this Bullet train traveled at very high spends through mountains. Every few minutes my ears would pop. Other than my ears bothering me I really enjoyed the train ride.
So today I went to visit one of many Japanese temples. This temple was in a location surrounded by many shopping venues. These venues sold everything you could think of. On the way to this temple I passed by many vendors and of food and clothing. I also stumbled into the middle of some type of parade that was going on in the street. A group of men all wearing the same clothing were carrying some kind of shrine. While carrying the shrine the men would bounce up and down simultaneously and chant something that I obviously could not understand because I don’t speak their language well. After finding the temple and going inside I viewed many statues of Buddha and different sacred places that I wasn’t too familiar with. While in the temple some of my group members had their futures told. Some future were prosperous and others not so much.
I walk up the narrowest staircase I have ever seen to get to the fourth floor of a building that appears to be half of a building from the outside view. Once inside I met the founder of Q entertainment, my network has just grown substantially. Q Entertainment stands for Quest of the Future. The founder of Q Entertainment Shuji Utsumi was a member of the Sony Entertainment of America founding member reading product development team. After working there for many years he decided to leave and create his own quest there in by staring is own company Q Entertainment. Q Entertainment is a video game company that creates new generation games not only for big name systems but also for multi-media outlets such as the cell phone markets in Japan. I took away a lot form the presentation giving at Q Entertainment because it left me with a lot of inspiration to learn all that I need to and then to feel comfortable enough to venture out and start my own company that is based on my vision.
So I never thought I’d see the day that I would walk in to a University in another country. But today was that day. Keio University is where our site visit was for today. The inside of this top notch University looks like a run down high school that one would find in the States. This University had a bell that rings after every period. This bell is more like a chime. I haven’t had an indication letting me know when class is over since I attended high school. Going to this University was definitely a different experience for me. During this site visit I set through a presentation giving by a Japanese Keio University student. Her presentation was about twitter and how it connects the world. I learned during this presentation that twitter was most popular for older people up until about a year ago. That is a very interesting statistic that was brought to my attention
So much fun! I definitely think today was better than yesterday. After getting on a few trains and walking a little ways my group and I went to eat some authentic Japanese food for lunch. This food did not taste as bad has I expected it to. Some of my classmates went to McDonald’s, I guess they were trying to play it safe. After eating we went to Future Scope and Lucent Pictures this company is a partnership. They deal with video games as well as 3D movies. The presentation that I sat through at Future Scope was so intriguing, everything that they so there is all about getting new ideas out there that will appeal to the entertainment market. Future Scope not only makes video games for game systems but they also make them for cell phones. Lucent pictures the other side of future scope deals with making movies in 3D. 3D is the new wave on the market now. That is where the entertainment industry is going, in the 3D direction. Some examples that were shown to us by Lucent Pictures I don’t think I am allowed to divulge but it was very impressive. I also would like to add that the product that they are marketing I would invest in when it becomes available. At the end of the presentation the President of Future Scope gave our group free pictures and souvenirs that had images of certain video game characters. This was the best part of the presentation. I really enjoyed myself.
Today was very full. While studying abroad I made two company visits just in one day alone. The first on our agenda was D3 publishing. D3 publishing is a very well known video game publishing company that creates games such as Dream Club. D3 publishing won the Gold Prize for achieving sales over 500,000 discs and the Platinum prize for over 1,000,000. The experience that I had today was one that I will remember for years. I never thought I would be able to socialize with people on such a high corporate latter within the field I am interesting in. D3 publishing mad a very helpful and informative presentation about that company and how they conduct business pertaining to video games and Mango magazines. After leaving D3 publishing my group went to visit DNP Corporation is all about Information Communication Lifestyle Supplies and Electronics. This company spoke about publication printing as well as commercial printing. I learned a lot about Digital Media development and CG animation. DNP had new state of the art new age technology examples that were shown in their presentation. DNP innovations were very inspiring to me. It made me feel as if I could be as creative and invent something that could help the world in someway.
Getting to Japan was a breeze! Getting to the hotel was a whole other story. On one of the first days here I went out to eat at an authentic Japanese restaurant, I felt like a real native while consuming dish after dish of foods that I never thought I’d try. A lot of the food I tried was very pleasing to my taste buds, but other foods like Squid or Octopus not so much. I am just now getting use to walking on the left side of the street opposed to the right, it makes me feel as though I’m dyslexic or something because I’m so use to America. I have been taking the Subway as a means of transportation for the majority of my travel. The men here are not as polite as they are back home. A man literally stole my seat on the Subway and then took a nap like nothing ever happened. It was kind of funny if you ask me. Then later on a woman stood up and gave up her seat to a man that just walked on the train, that would be unbelievable in the U.S. unless this man had some type of aliment and even then the odds might be against him. I feel like I move so slow compared to the natives here the atmosphere is very busy and it moves extremely fast. Yet surprisingly there isn’t as much noise as you would assume there would be for the amount of people moving around. They’re a very quiet city.