Saturday, October 28, 2006

That's why people love Japan!

Now, this is the first time for me to say: I'm in Japan, and I love it! The reason? I'm visiting Kyoto right now, and it's amazing. There's life, there's silence, there's nature, there's culture... there's everything :)
I arrived on Friday morning on the nightbus, and during the day I did not see too much. But at least beautiful Ginkakuji Temple and the Philosopher's path. Yeah, I think not the only thing, that Kyoto and Heidelberg have in common. And just the right timing, 2 Maikos crossed my way very slowly.
And, as always when your travelling by yourself, you meet people. So I spent the evening in downtown with a German couple.

Time's up. C U

Saturday, October 21, 2006

This is where I'm living

Since I have only 2 weeks left in Japan, I guess it's time to post some pictures from where I'm actually living.

This is how streets around Konakadai neighbourhoods often look like (once you leave the main streets). Two typical japanese houses, one with a not so typical green garden ;)

This is in a park close to university, the entrance to a small shrine. I just liked this view :)

This is in a pretty big park in the south of Chiba. I went there the first weekend, I was in Japan. There a lot of interesting sculptures... and flowers ;) I liked it really much.

My faculty's entrance - Graduate School of Science and Technology on Nishi-Chiba Campus

This picture I took from the uppermost floor of my faculty. We've had a view of these most amazingly colourful sunsets in September. The towers in the back are in Makuhari, a city part recently built for conferences. Anyways, you can kind of guess, how high up one would need to be, until you could see anything else than suburbs... that's the most depressing thing about living in the area of Tokyo :(

My kitchen... just after I got here - before I cleaned it ;)

Javier and me at the beach of Makuhari Messe. It is the innermost part of Tokyo Bay; Tokyo Bay is completely surrounded by industry. So don't even think about swimming here!

That's it for now. Take care everybody - and hope to see some of You soon back in Germany :)

What makes me happy in Japan

Allright, allright...

thanks to Carlos, I'll give a little update on my blog.
He's a friend from my Capoeira group, who has just recently backpacked around Europe - and created a great blog!

So, the most fun I am having here in the country, where parties are supposed to end at midnight, is with my Capoeira group. I actually just started Capoeira here in Chiba (well, yeah, go to Japan to learn a Brazilian "martial art" ;) ), but I enjoy the combination of singing and dancing martial art so much, that this is the place to go, whenever I don't feel good (and any other time, of course).

Of course, Capoeira would way not be so much fun, if there weren't Hanna-san, Ai-san, Dai-san, Take-san, Carlos, Ume-san, Mike, Sato-san, ... and everybody else ( I'm sorry guys, I'm just soooo bad at remembering japanese names :( ). Thank You so much for letting me be part of your group! I will miss You so much :(

This is in a batizado in Yoyogi-Koen in Tokyo where we went in September.
While a few people are playing instruments, most are standing in a circle (roda) and singing, and 2 are playing each other within the circle. The roda is very dynamic, so the 2 people in the circle change very often.
Here, Ai-san is playing with Pablo from another group.

Another very important part of my non-university life are the people in the dorm. The first day I already met some Latinos from my building, and these are the guys I still spend most of the time with. Javier, José, Francisco, Jon, Olivia - thanks for being great friends!

This is Claudia (the only other German girl), Francisco from Cuba, Anthony from the US, me and Javier from Argentina visiting the Asakusa shrine in Tokyo.

This is Peter, me and Aki from the Japanese class I took. With Peter from Slovakia/Austria/Britain, I spend as many lunch breaks with as I can. My group usually does not go together for lunch, so I could enjoy many discussions and coffees and pasta at "Konnichi wa" with him. You brighten up my mental stiffness!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Peak of Japan

The last week I've experienced so many peaks of my life in Japan...

  • Actually climbing the highest mountain (or rather volcano) of Japan: Fujiyama
  • Doing this, experiencing the longest line up ever for reaching a point!
  • Reaching halftime in my experimental work
And by all this, having the most exhaustive week ever...

and just now, a short but hard earth"jump"quake scaring the sh... out of me (4.8 on the Richter Scale).

Here we go, some impressions for you

We climbed up Fujisan (the Japanese name) over night - the weiredest trek I've ever done. Starting at 2300m up to the summit at 3776m, we passed 1500m of rainy freezing times in line-ups. And how could I be so crazy, doing this after 4 days of GAME field work...(hello mates!)?

The mass of people did not allow us to reach the peak until the sunrise, but the "ahhhh" from the crowd when the clouds allowed the first view on the amazingly coloured horizon made it an unforgettable experience in any case.

Olivia and me, before our battle against nature - and mankind...

and after our victory :)

"Begegnung der 3. Art"
my shadow in a circular rainbow on the summit, above the volcano's crater

The next morning revealed the real beauty of Fuji-san:

even in black and white... (the slope is real!)

The feeling, to be above the clouds on red and black gravel with a brilliant blue sky...

...and scattered patches of green plants, braving the harsh conditions of this altitude, more than compensated for the exhausting ascension.

Further down the misty morning atmosphere added a magical touch to the natural beauty of the most respected mountain of Japan.

The hard trip filled me with such a good feeling, that amazingly I did not have any problems to get up at 5am the next morning... starting the second set of experiments.

Yesterday we successfully transplanted our marine fouling panels from one site to the other, crossing the peak of my thesis' experimental work. I hope to add some more pics and explanations for all the "non-insiders" soon. Sorry.

This morning, I could finally get some sleep - and enjoy a wonderful espresso with foamy milk. Can You imagine the smile on my face?

I hope You're all doing as well as I am. Enjoy life - the happy moments just weigh so much more than memories of exhaustion :)

Ki o tsukette kudasai,


Friday, August 11, 2006

Hello everybody!

I hope to put some tales about my life in Japan soon...

Until then - practice Japanese patience with me ;)