Thursday, September 29, 2011


It's been a while! Sorry guys who use my blog to distract themselves from homework, I am a lousy friend. It's been long enough since I've made a post that blogger asked me to reinput my password, so for that, I apologize.

So to make up for it...I'll

(From Allie's blog, "Hyperbole and a Half")


So this is what you've missed:

Last Sunday I went to temples with David and his host father and also a Chinese girl whose name I've forgotten (Arina?) She's lived in Japan for four years so her Japanese was SUPERB. But also she had a hangover and halfway to the temples she had David's dad stop driving so she could throw up on the side of the road.

Heh. It was all right because we all related. Everyone's been there, am I right? I'm right.

POST ALL THE PICTURES! (Click to make bigger!)

This is the park I jog in! This pictures doesn't do it justice at all. It's kinda small but it's got green so that's good.

Sunday morning, on the way to the temples~Aww yeees, mountains, yeeees...

Driving into dem mountains

Love this picture for some reason


I couldn't tell which picture I look skinnier in, so I posted both. YEAH HONESTY

No, yeah, Japan is freaking gorgeous. Granted the entire city doesn't look like this because if it did the world would explode from having such a concentrated area being so beautiful, but yeah, I love temples. They're so serene.

Note the vintage fire extinguishers 

It's impossible to make Japan look ugly, I think.

That light is run by water power!

Had to take off our shoes to go inside to see a mummy; also pictures weren't allowed but here, shoes. 

Close up of that light running on water power. NIFTY!

For David, he likes this ad.

Temple number TWO! There were shops lining the street alll the way there.

Arina and the temple gates!

A really long road to the temple, by the way. It's symbolic, you know, the way to fulfillment is a journey, that kind of thing.

Still walking...

Okay, so

This tree, right? 

People have been sticking coins in it for like, a while, and then the tree grows around the coins. It's terrible for the tree but it's kind of cool because there are some coins that were really deep in there that we couldn't pull out even when we tried. But I feel bad for the tree. But it's still growing? Mixed emotions.

Almost at the temple...

But first...stairs!

Made it! That's where you put in incense and let the smoke wash over you to make any ailment you may have feel better (headache, nausea, etc)

I don't know why I didn't get a full picture of this temple, probably because I would've had to walk down four flights of stairs and back up again because it was so big, but here's parts of the inside...

From the temple stairs

Japan's sky has been doing lots of cool things lately, here's a few tidbits.

Gooooorgeous <3

Right! So that was Sunday.

Then I had school all this week (it's Thursday night now; short day of Japanese class tomorrow, study break, one class, then drinks is the plan!) so it was pretty mundane.

However, yesterday my host parents went to Hokkaido for a short trip, so I stayed with Ayame last night. We went to rakugo, where someone sits on stage in a kimono on a pillow and tells stories. They were all really funny, and although I didn't understand all of it (a lot of puns are used, playing on words, you know, and in Japanese so, a little difficult), I did understand one of the four stories fully so I consider that a success. Almost fell asleep halfway through though because they turned the lights all the way down and I'm a grandmother.

After rakugo Ayame and I rented Sherlock Holmes (when's that sequel coming out??) (Just checked, APPARENTLY THIS DECEMBER?!?! So freaking jelly (jealous), need to watch that the minute I get back to the states. Actually they might have it here on DVD too...), went to Aeon (mall) and after looking for the perfect place to eat at for about an hour (I almost ate my fist I was so freaking hungry), we ate a crapton of pizza and pasta and then complained about being fat and then I spent ten dollars on a claw game trying to win a stuffed animal pikachu and failed.

This isn't over, Pikachu.

FINALLY we made it back to Ayame's kinda late, she did her homework while I played Pokemon (I'm in Japan, for Christ's sake, I gotta do it right) and then we watched Sherlock Holmes and went to bed.

YEAHHHH so that was yesterday. Nothing else is really new, going to class like a good student, I thought I was coming down with something (I tend to get sick when the seasons change), but even without getting enough sleep, either because I now have super human powers or because of the healthy food I've been eating, I've managed to fight it off (probably the former though, Japan radiation, you know).

Okay, watched the trailer for Sherlock Holmes 2, looks real actiony but if they don't use as much slow motion as the trailer implies I think it'll be really good. Also their accents aren't really accents anymore? Hmmm.

Oh, by the way, Japanese people can't tell the difference between a southern American, midwest American, British, or Australian accent, kind of like how I can't tell the difference between any of the many kind of Japanese accents there are. I think it's because, specifically between American and British accents, a lot of the difference lies in the "R" sound, which, as many of you know, Japanese people don't say/can't hear (since they don't have an "L" in the Japanese language, only an "R" that sounds like a cross between an "R" and an "L", and when they say words like "car" it comes out like "caa", I think that's why)

Did any of that last paragraph make any sense? Pretty sure I'm tired. 

I'll start posting again more frequently, I promise!! This weekend will probably be boring but I'll find something to talk about.

Like Christmas. Today I went to a family restaurant with my host parents and the music that was being played was like mall music, which reminded me of Christmas because of COURSE as a kid, every year, I went to the mall to see Santa around Christmas time and then I got really depressed I'd be missing it this year. 

There are literally very few things/people that I love more than Christmas. Being atheist, I see the irony in what I'm saying, but Christmas time is maybe my favorite thing about life. The decorations, leaving Madison to return to my hometown for a long, relaxing break after working hard for final exams, the cold weather and going into a warm house, decorating the Christmas tree, the food, the aromas from candles and pine needles and food in the oven, the sense of family and unity and love and comfort. Presents and colors and happiness and shopping and giving and getting and I love it all SO MUCH that every year I start a countdown to Christmas like, a hundred days away. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. 

And I know, I know a Japanese Christmas will be fun too, because they do the decorating thing, and probably the daily hot bath will be nice, but it won't get as cold as it does in Wisconsin (yeah, no, I LOVE how cold it gets in Wisconsin. I love bundling up and walking in snow and snow days and snowmen and scarves and I FUCKING LOVE WINTER) and it won't snow as often as it does and - OHHH, the first snowfall is the BEST, don't you think it's just the best?!?!

I'm gushing about winter and Christmas and not even trying. That's how much I love it. I love it without having to force myself to find descriptive words/reasons, I know why I love Christmas right away. Le sigh. I even like it when people talk about baby Jesus and the Northern star and Mary being turned down at the inns and-


No. That's it. I'm coming back to America for Christmas. See you guys then.

Ohhhh yeah, another thing, lololol, already laughing because of how cute it was.

Today at Nanzan, Japanese kids came to practice their english and interview some native english-speakers. I didn't know about it until it was too late, but because it was out in the open I got to overhear a bit.

Remember how I feel about Japanese kids? You probably remember the term "Japanese Munchkin Baby Humans." Yeah, they were freaking ADORABLE.

So this was how it went: All these teeny tiny elementary school Japanese kids circled around a gaijin (foreigner), and in unison cried out in teeny tiny english voices, "Nice to meet you!" followed closely by, "Do you like hamburgers?" and then, "Do you like sushi?", all shouting together in their adorable Japanese Munchkin Baby Human voices and it all ended with a, "Thank you very much! See you!", and I was standing like ten feet away watching this thinking, "Oh man, the number of years I would get in prison for kidnapping all of you is astronomical and maybe worth it."

But then I realized

And so, in the end, I didn't steal even one of them.

Yep, this post totally made up for my five-day absence. OVERCOMPENSATION, YEAHHHH! 


  1. Thanks Haley, great blog, but Mother is having a little trouble reading, with the light green background and the white letters! Call me old! Sucks for me! Love you!

  2. Wow! Long! But fun! Cool to see these updates.


  3. Oh, and when you say "mummy" was it a mummified monk, or a mummified yokai? (some temples & shrines have those, believe it or not.)


  4. Very neat. Glad you're doing awesome things!