Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm in America, but...

I have tons of pictures from Japan I want to get up on hurr. School has started and I'm extremely busy, so thank you for being patient with me.
So...last time I posted stuff from Morioka. And after Morioka, I went to a lovely city calledHachinohe in the Aomori prefecture of northern Japan. While serving as a missionary, Hachinohe was my second area and I served there for a total of 7 months. I feel that I really grew the most in Hachinohe. I went in there hardly being able to introduce myself in Japanese and left being able to hold fairly solid conversations.
Sister Kitamura is such a kind member. She looks after the missionaries and with me, I felt we developed a certain familiarity that was deep and eternal. I was blessed to be able to spend lots of time with her in Japan. She went out of her way to help me out. She helped me find a place to stay. I stayed at Brother Ono's house, another member I grew close to. Anyway, here's some pics and vids.
Freaking sweet dolls made from paper!
Bro. Ono.

Sister Kitamura and her infamous bike.
Peeing statues
We went to the beach. The crew was solid.
Tree of Life. in Japanese. Crazy.
Japanese child.
Near the beach where we took a lunch break.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Morioka rock star

I have been to the city of Morioka a few number of times, but have never really been anywhere besides the restaurant that sells unholy amounts of kats curry and the church. Bro. Takako, a member I know from Kamisugi. And he's the most rockin' homebro I think I have ever met.
The first time I ever really talked with him, he was ta
lking about the movie New York Doll, which just so happens to be one of my all-time favorite films. Anyway, he frequently asks me about Led Zepplin, Queen, Aerosmith, etc. The guy knows American Rock & Roll better than any Japanese person I have ever met.
So, as I told Bro. Takako that I would be coming to Japan, he got way excited and invited me to go to a concert that his band will be playing at. I agreed and was excited because this is something I had never had the opportunity to do as a missionary. See the Japanese rockstar in action.

I arrived in Morioka about 5 hours before showtime, so I had a chance to hear the band practice a bit. They had some of their own music as well as some adaptations of some American rock and blues. I shot some footage of them rockin' around.
As I listened to them singing Rolling Stones, I didn't really notice it, but I guess I was singing along with them. Then next thing I knew, they told me I was getting on stage with them.
We had many adoring fans

I even got a flower from one the cool fans.
The BA band.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oh Sendai the beautiful

Made it to Sendai peeps. Working on getting the blog organized and shiz. I`ve got a few posts to go.

So, I left Tokyo. It was a lot of fun hanging out with Amy and Nathan and stuff. Good peeps with good souls. I headed up north for the land of milk and honey called Tohoku. This is the area where the major earthquake of March 11th happened.

Being back in the mission is pretty insane. Frequently, I feel the urge to run up to every single person I see and tell them about the church. Entering convenience stores is always a joy and every time I think about how we couldn`t enter, I find it funny. They are really nothing exciting. Listening to music, watching TV, and even being alone while here in Japan has brought back such refreshing, nostalgic memories. It is like going home after being in at school. Stepping off the bullet train and into the Sendai eki, I felt comfortable and at home. Sendai was my home for so long. I had returned.

I met up with Monma and Kan while in Sendai and I stayed at the Satos. We went to see the fireworks and everything. Seriously, Japanese fireworks are incredible. They spit in the face and tickle the buttcheeks of any firework show I have ever seen. Ran and Rei Sato were wonderful enough to hang out with me at the firework show. As cool as that was, the highlight of the show was watching this kid dance. I have no idea what he was up to, but he looked like he had to pee the entire time. He stood up watching the fireworks and anytime they would stop, he would do a dance like he was trying to help himself from peeing his pants. It was awesome.

Anyway, met up with Monma for some kappazushi. Then, with Kan, we went to the ocean to see the quake. This video is a little long, but I think its well worth a watch for at least a few minutes.

(insert video here that refuses to upload)

Truly unbelievable, am I right? It`s one of those things that you hear about how bad the situation or damage is, but it doesn`t really hit you until you see it with your own eyes.

So videos don't like to upload for me. dang. Man, blogger sucks. I'm going to check out tumblr.
Anyway, things in Sendai were great. I had a blast. Next, Morioka!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I know its been a while.

but heres a picture after I rocked out with some japanese rockstars in morioka.So, its been really hard to post everything I have wanted to post. I have lots of neat experiences but internet usage is really strange around here. I promise as soon as I get a chance I will show you everything I have to show you. Lets see if this video will upload or not.

great it worked. I have about 15 more minutes on the computers.
Heres some pics

Thats right Amy. It is grape ぜりー

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The things I do for this blog...and you people

So...turns out I couldn't upload anymore videos because I had no more memory on my picasa account. This morning I bit the bullet and paid a whopping $5 for 20 more gigs (that's gigabytes for you less tech-savvy people)
Anyway, got some more memory. Here's how the rest of the night went.

.Karaoke. is. amazing.

So basically, you walk into this place, rent a room, and sing your heart out. They have these high-tech karaoke song machines that have almost any song imaginable. We paid for 2 hours and sang our hearts out.

At the end of the day, it all ends with purikura. Such a great day.

Then after that....

Japan and it's interesting stores.
We went to Harajuku. Super fun and so many random styles and fashions. Thisis the epitomy of Japanese pop culture, I felt like.

I met up with Nagahama Hikaru, my great friend from the mission. We met up with Honda Satoru, another missionary friend and Kuwahara Sei, a friend from Aizuwakamatsu. I wasn't supposed to see Satoru or Sei, but they called Hikaru and we all ate dinner at Ootoya...

Can't post anymore. Dang. Karaoke was super good. I think I'm going to have to figure this out tomorrow. I'm too tired.

To be continued...
oyasumi nasai

Then next we went to Asakusa

<--------Taiyaki. Cream inside a fish-shaped bread cover is delicious beyond belief.
Asakusa, the largest Japanese shrine I have ever been to.

So yeah, I'm a liar. You can put up lots of vids on a single post. Whudda thought?!

Shampoo flip flops

Tokyo, nothing at all like Sendai.

So holy crapper dude. Tokyo is like literally 20 times the size of Sendai. Unlike anything I have ever experienced. We never were in an area where at least 100 people were not around us on every side. The buildings are huge and wrap around each other like a confusing maze. The train system is like a nest of snakes wrapped and intertwined with one another. I was really glad I was traveling with Tomo, Amy, and Nate.
So thoughts that I have...Basically, writing is boring and I would assume that you probably think the same. You're probably bored right now and that's the only reason you're reading this. Your boredom is more dense than reading boredom; therefore, I have gained you as a loyal reader. And I thank you for that. However, vlogs are apparently a thing of the future and although I have no intention and didn't plan on this blog taking up that medium, I happened to take 84 photo and videos with my iPhone today. I'm tired, lazy, and think that my videos and photos are way more interesting than anything I can say, so here goes.

Our day started off at Shibuya Train Station, quite possibly the busiest area in all of Japan. The Shibuya crosswalk is pretty sweet!

Shoot! Blogger will only allow me to post one video at a time. Well, no need to get down. We'll just separate them into separate posts.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another travel, another time to blog

Melon cream soda. The best!!
This morning, I was awoken to the loud cry of cicada bugs. I haven't heard that sound in a long time. I rolled out of my futon onto the tatami mat of the Takabori's house. Dang it feels good to be in Japan, again.
Yesterday's travels all went smoothly. At LAX, I had about 5 hours before my flight took off. It was a long time to wait and my nerves were grinding at me. I have never been the greatest flyer, and having all that time to sit in the airport just made me think about all the things that could go wrong. I talked to my sister, Alyssa; she gave me the necessary "slap" in the face that I needed.
On the flight, I watched a few movies, read some of my book, and took a nap. Before I knew it, we were about an hour from Tokyo. Crisis averted. Usually, long flights kill me. I just get so uncomfortable. This 11 hour flight wasn't bad.
There was a really chill Japanese woman sitting next to me named Yuko. I really said only about 2 or 3 sentences to her. That was enough to play my gaijin (foreigner) card and she was impressed by my innccccredible ability to speak Japanese. After the flight, she came up to me and we chatted briefly about my trip. She asked if I was going to Kyoto and I said that I am planning on it. Out of the blue, she asked it I would stay at her house. I was like "YEAH!" Sweet! free place to stay in Kyoto. Score. She seemed pretty genuine. Not like a creeper. But we'll see. Let you know how that goes when I cross that bridge.
After getting raped by how weak the dollar is at the currency exchange counter, I walked outside and breathed in the fresh, humid, japanese air. Felt good. I walked around for about 15 minutes just soaking in the Japanese-ey feel of everything. People speaking Japanese around me, the signs, and everything created this refreshing feeling. Like coming back to your hometown. So many incredible memories were created here. It is kind of like my second home, I guess.
I took a bus to Tama Plaza where Amy's Mom, who is one super rad woman, met me. We picked up Amy on the way and headed back home. As soon as I stepped in their home, I felt that refreshing feeling once again. The smell of a Japanese home and their tatami mats, the taking off of the shoes at the genkan. So great.
So, I'm in Japan everyone. and it is one beautiful place to be. I love you all. Hope you're doing well.