Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Day in Japan....

Whew, the first full day in Tokyo was very busy and my jet lag didn’t help much! I have a feeling that I will be tired a lot for the next few days!

I ate breakfast this morning at the restaurant that is at the top of my hotel. It’s a huge dome and is all glass. It’s on the fortieth floor so it has beautiful views of the city. It was a western style breakfast so all was safe! Ha! After breakfast we had a lot of meetings that were very interesting. The first meeting was about the educational system in Japan. These kids sure do study! It sounds a lot like the United States and our educational system. I thought it was interesting, though, that you need to go to school five days a week by law. This means that if there is a holiday, the students will have to go on a Saturday do make up for day they missed! That doesn’t sound good at all!

After a buffet lunch (where I did try some strange Japanese fish things….think Fear Factor), we watched a performance of Kyogen theatre and Kabuki theatre. The Kyogen actor used all different masks for his performance. The Kabuki performance was very interesting. We watched the dancer put her make-up on and it took over half an hour to make her face all white! The speaker said that they make their faces white because the theatres use to be very dark. I can’t imagine what she went through to take it off! I was fascinated by the costumes, because they were straight out of Memoirs of a Geisha one of my favorite books!

We had a huge welcome dinner (again!) and it was held on small tables that you stood at. I guess that is the tradition for big dinners in Japan. They had all kinds of Japanese foods, and I was daring! I tried some strange strange things…..things that are haunting me still in my nightmares! I will share pictures when I return!

Now for the best part….

After dinner we went to Karaoke! It was soooo much fun! In Japan you rent a room with your group and it’s private. We had a huge video screen and flashing strobe lights. There was about fifteen of us that did it. Miss Alpine sang some good tunes! Ha! We stayed for a few hours because it was so much fun. I don’t think this helped my jet lag any!

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