My first roll of film back in Japan is from the Chinatown in Yokohama. That should provide a fairly smooth transition out of Taiwan and back into Nihon, ne?
Were you aware, by the way, that Japanese people call their country Nihon (or Nippon), and not Japan? There’s an interesting fact for you! Why the extreme difference? According to this site, Japan Omnibus, “One theory holds that it came from the Portuguese ‘jipang’, which in turn was an attempt to pronounce ‘Jihpenkuo’, the name for Japan used in northern China. Another idea is that Dutch traders pronounced ‘Yatpun’, the name used in southern China, as ‘Japan’ (the ‘j’ being pronounced like a ‘y’).” I think the oldest recorded name for Japan was ‘Yamato’ – which sounds different than all three!
Back to Yokohama. We went there to try and find something like the delicious shaved ice we had eaten in Taiwan..but didn’t have any luck. It’s pretty much just shaved ice with sugar syrup on top here. Oh well! Instead Yuko got bubble tea and I got an ice cream cone that had tapioca balls mixed in Cold Stone style. It was interesting.. and once I got past the first inch or so of the cone I found an unexpected surprise – my cone was filled with not ice cream, but cornflakes! Oh Japan.
The pigs are filled with pork but don’t worry, the pandas are not filled with panda.
“Chinese food world champion – number 1 steamed meat bun in the world – one for 90 yen.” We saw a big sumo-san who looked like he was just about to enter a match (judging by his outfit, hair, and all) wander through here so we did too. We sampled all the sweets they were selling (instead of paying attention to the sumo player) and left.
We spent a good half an hour admiring all the things in this Tibetan/Himalayan import shop before walking along the water to Minatomirai (which was very pretty but I had run out of film! What a shame, guess I’ll have to go back : P).
So last week one of my teachers told us we would probably have today off from school, if Keio beat Waseda at just one of the two baseball games scheduled over the weekend. Well.. Keio didn’t come through. Congrats to my Waseda friends though. haha. My teacher apologized and took the blame for Keio’s loss (like he jinxed it) and jokingly said “まあ、来週は日本がなくなりそうだからもう気にしないで、もちろん授業がキャンセル!” (or something like that – my Japanese is still awful) – which basically meant, ‘don’t worry, Japan is going to be extinguished next week so of course class will be cancelled then!” Then, “Yeah I mean I’m Japanese, so its good for me to die in Japan – but what about you guys? Don’t you want to die in your own country??” Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha…
Haha seriously though, I really want to go home so don’t try anything North Korea. : P
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