Sunday, March 23

Osaka Jo

Keith and I met up on Saturday morning to visit Osaka Jo (Osaka Castle). The sky was clear and bright blue, and the sun was shining full force. Once I forced myself to put in the effort neccessary to get out of the dorm, just getting out and being in the sunshine fixed the elevator cable, and it started rising again.

Osaka Jo is surrounded by a big and beautiful park, so we walked through the park in the sunshine to the castle. It was incredibly warm out - I was wearing jeans and a tank top and was too hot! It was a beautiful day, though, and I'm not complaining! The river running through the park, the breeze, the sketchy pigeons (pigeons are everywhere, here!) - all in all, a great walk. There were a couple jewelry stands (which I, of course, had to stop and look at), and a street performer with a monkey! I've always wanted a monkey. Keith got a picture of me getting a high-five from the monkey...when I get it from him, I'll post it! He was adorable, and his little hands felt like soft leather.

We got into the castle after some lunch, and did the 8 floor tour. It was amazing to see all the history and displays, and stories behind the castle! They had displays and pictures and movies and original drawings and sketches... Osaka Jo was built twice, and two great wars centered around it. There were biographies on the families and the men who had the castle built. I kept stopping to imagine what it must have looked like, way back then. I would love to be able to have just a snapshot of it's court and people, so many years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the castle, and am planning on going back - both to the castle, and just to sit in the park and read a book!

On the way out (after some ice cream...yummy), we met a man selling wire bicycles. We chatted with him a bit - his name is Jaime and he's from Chile, but has been living in Japan for 10 years. He was quite interesting, and I couldn't keep my eyes off the bikes - they were so intricite and cute! I think I might go back and buy one next weekend.

Most of the coop students in Japan are leaving within the next 2 months - except for 4 or 5 of us. One of the students planned a going away party for everyone... unfortunately it was the first time I had met most of them! But it was good to meet them and hear about their experiences. We went for yakiniku to a restaurant...$30 for all you can eat and drink, for 2 hours! We ordered plate after plate of meats, cooked them on our table grill, and enjoyed! I haven't eaten that much meat since (maybe Memphis Blues?) - or never! It was delicious, though.

We've requested a list of the new coops who are coming over the next few months...I'm excited to see who is coming (one guy I know from my class is coming), and hoping that some of them are close to me!

I was glad I got up the motivation to get out of the dorm and do something...which bred more motivation for the next day. I need to stop getting in these inactive ruts, cuz they just keep going - but once I get out of them, I have a great time and lots of energy. I have a new plan for this week - No more broken elevators!

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