Monja-Yaki: The Tokyo’s Okonomiyaki ! Best Day in Japan !

10 06 2010

Nothing could be more friendly than this invite! After a long game, cheering and singing, we were exhausted ! So, a good meal would make a perfect day.

Reon, and his girlfriend that was earlier with us in stadium,  invited us to have a traditional Tokyo food that we had not tried yet. So, after watching both teams singing their respecting song to their competitor team, we proceeded to exit. Bryce went back to hotel to wash his shorts, which was adorned by a bird in the middle of the game…

I can’t say we were lost, but i know Reon wasn’t quite sure how to get to the place he wanted. By the time we reached the restaurant, I was so hungry ! The main difference of this Tokyo food with the Hiroshima Yaki was that you cook your own Yaki, on your table. As you see Reon was doing it for us. I have to confess he was a great chef ! The food was just so delicious !

After few times ordering and cooking, Reon taught us how to cook a Monja-Yaki ! Here is Nicholas trying to do what Reon said. He did a good job.

This kindness in Japanese people is adorable, since we were almost two totally strangers to them who had a short conversation in a classroom few days earlier. But they invited us to this memorable restaurant, and and made our day. They guided us to subway, and showed us how to get to Aoyama-Ichome, our home station. On the way back, Nicholas and I were just still wondering how perfect that day was for us…

Yes, The Best Day in Japan… Thanks Reon.


Japanese Culture: Kindness !

3 06 2010

Culture, a collection of behaviors and thoughts, is sometimes more complicated than we assume. The way cultures go in different directions surprises many people! That’s when “cultural shock” happens.
As my first impress in Japan, I see their kindness. In Japanese culture helping someone is highly respected. When I arrived in Tokyo, I was waiting for my classmate to come, then we would go to hotel together. I had 3 hours to sit in Narita airport. A lady next to me started the conversation. Later on it turned out she was waiting for her daughter, who was coming with the same flight as I was waiting for. In 3 hours she told me all she knew, from historical attractions, to shopping malls. Though many of Japanese have language barriers, they never give up on helping you. They will find someone who knows English, and together they’ll help you. More wonderful, was the story of me and my friend trying to find our hotel. We asked a lady to give us the shortest direction from the subway station to hotel. She walked out the station with us, helped us in carrying our luggage, and walked half way to hotel, just to make sure we get to hotel. It was the best welcome for me; Welcome to Japan!
Story ends with a WOW…

Keio University Visit: Tech

3 06 2010

Keio University: Ranked 11th in the world in 2009 – According to a study by École des Mines de Paris.

A good day including an academic experience, on 15 th of May we visited the Keio University : An old university, with a good ranking among Japan and world universities. A student from japan presented her research about growth of use of twitter in Japan. Nicolas Henry and Fatima Abdelwahd from Michigan State University’s both campuses presented their research about E-publishing and Education. The friendly atmosphere in the university was adorable. By the end of the meeting, Dr. Coursari asked students in university to fill out a few surveys. I was wondering how they would write down complicated URLs correctly, from the screen. I almost didn’t notice a small barcode-like icon next to each link. Every student took a photo of the screen with their cellphones. I thought the phones would recognize the text links, and convert them to an internet link (that’s the state-of-art technology I had seen before in my cellphone). It turned out that cellphones in Japan are able to read barcodes. Since then I noticed the small barcodes all over the city. On a McDonald’s fries box, a Coke can, and vending machines, QR codes -quick respond codes- are taking over traditional linking styles. Wonderful, isn’t it ?

A sample of QR Codes: