Waseda University

11.08.2014 § Leave a comment

My first week at Waseda University for a short-term, intensive summer Japanese class started with a bit of heat shock. The classroom is different every day, and the teacher is different for almost every class even when the subject is the same. Despite the heat, students are encouraged to climb the stairs to any classroom below the fifth floor. The professors are not very happy if you are late for class, so I have been running to look for classes every day in this blazing hot sun.

Still, I have had time to explore and found some great Japanese textiles, museum collections and books from their library. I’ve always found the manhole covers in Japan fascinating too, so I couldn’t help but take pictures of the ones I’ve found so far on the university campus.

Kimono Collection, Tokyo National Museum

Kimono Collection, Tokyo National Museum

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Do Something Different

28.07.2014 § 1 Comment

I have always pondered why mountain climbers, especially the ones who have regular jobs, climb such high mountains. What is their motivation—besides being interested in the sport—that they will risk their lives for it?

From what I’ve observed, doing something different is one of the best ways to relax and refresh our minds. Sitting in an office five days a week and climbing a snowy mountain are definitely two different things.

I too am doing something different. I am in Tokyo at Waseda University for an intense, three-week Japanese course in this hot, humid summer weather. It would definitely be less of a challenge if I were visiting during the lovely cherry blossom season or in a cool autumn. I was forewarned by a Japanese native: “Tokyo’s summer is disgusting.” But I wasn’t intending to be a tourist anyway; this is exactly the different kind of experience that I was seeking. « Read the rest of this entry »

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