Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mil uno budas, mas de mil portillos

¿Por qué hay mil uno budas en el templo Sanjusangen-do? ¿Y por qué hay más de mil portillos en el templo shitoísta Fushimi-Inari Taisha? Cada uno tiene su historia. El templo Sanjusangen-do está aquí porque un emperador construyó mil uno budas por que tenía muchos dolores de cabeza. Creía que los budas pararían sus dolores de cabeza, y lo más budas lo menos dolores de cabeza. El templo shintoísta Fushimi-Inari Taisha es un templo para hacer crecer arroz y suerte para los granjeros. Tiene miles de portillos porque cualquier persona puede comprar un portillo para poner en el templo. Ahora, la mayoría de las personas no son granjeros, entonces personas compran unLo m portillo para tener suerte en su trabajo. Lo más portillos, lo más suerte en los trabajos.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Better than Whole Foods

Why go to the grocery store when instead you can go to the Nishiki Market in Kyoto? The market is about five blocks long and it has tons of small shops. Each shop has its specialty. There is one shop that sells only tofu. Another sells pickled root vegetables. A different one's mastered seafood. It's truly a super market.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

3,000 People

A sea of people crosses the street every few minutes at Shibuya, one of the busiest shopping and tranportation areas in Tokyo. I estimate that about 3,000 people cross the intersection every crosssing. The people are coming from twelve different directions. It is an amazing sight.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Estupendo Reloj

Si vas a la calle Kaminarimon Dori vas a ver un reloj enorme. Este reloj parece normal, pero no es. Cada hora a la hora el reloj abre, y sale una sorpresa. En un lado, salen bailadores vestidos como pájaros. (Las personas en el reloj no son personas reales.) Al otro lado, salen unos niños con una cometa de dragón. Y en el centro, otros niños llevando un "shrine" pequeño en sus hombros. Todas las figuras están bailando y cantando. Este reloj representa el festival real que hay en el famoso Asakusa Temple cerca del reloj. Es fantastico ver este reloj a la hora.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Treat Street

My friend Flora wanted to know if there were any other good Japanese sweets besides manju. It just so happens that today I went to Asakusa Temple, where there are lots of traditional Japanese treats (Japanese sweets are called wagashi). After going through the giant gate, we tried a version of dango, which is balls of mochi (a marshmallowy paste made from mashed rice) on a stick dipped in sweet flour or sauce. The next thing we sampled was a puffy, salty popcorn-like sweet. We don't know what it is called but it is delicious. Our next stop was okashi. Okashi are crackers made out of rice. They come in lots of flavors. Our favorite flavor was plain. Another thing we tasted was fried mochi with red bean paaste inside. The cooks were cooking them on the spot. They were delicious. Last but not least, we tried another dango at a different shop. Every treat on "treat street" was great!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Five Words

Last weekend, my family and I went to a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) in the mountains that is famous for its hot springs. Here are five words that I now know from going there:

Onsen: Onsen are natural hot spings that are really hot. Some are indside and some are outside. You have to get naked to go in them--no bathing suits allowed!
Yukata: Yukata are Japanese robes that you wear around the onsen. You wear them without anything underneath.
Maguro: Giant tuna -- the one we ate for dinner (raw) weighed 125 kilos. it was very tasty. (We didn't eat all of it.)
Futon: Mattresses on the floor with pillows and blankets instead of beds. They are really comfortable. During the day they are rolled up in a closet.
Manju: A Japanese sweet treat. It has a sticky, sweet, brown and delicious outside made out of mashed sweetened rice (It sounds bad but don't worry, it tastes really good.) The inside is a red bean paste.

If you ever go to Japan,make sure you go to an onsen!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Swinging in Japan

Even if you are in Tokyo where a lot of things are different, there are still playgrounds with the same kinds of playground equipment as the U.S, like swings and slides. We have already been to a few, and even though they are metal and a bit rusty, they are still playgrounds. There was one great thing in a playground that we went to in Hibiya Koen that me and Eliza couldn't stop playing on. It was a Tarzan-like rope swing. There were two ropes on pulleys next to eachother, and you grab a rope, climb up the ladder, swing, and go zooming across. We swang on it until our palms started to get blisters!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Chiquito, Pequeño, Minúsculo

Todas las cosas que ves en Japón son chiquitas. Los coches son chiquitos. No sé porque, pero así son. Las personas son pequeñas. Cuando fuimos a un parque había unos niños pequeños, y eran mucho más chiquitos que mi hermono, Saul. Si vas al supermercado para comprar helado, no encuentras los cartones grandes que hay en los Estados Unidos. Encuentras cajas muy, muy pequeñas, suficiente para una persona o menos. Muchas cosas en Japón sun chiquitas, pequeñas y minúsculas.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Toilet Trouble

When I first got to the apartment I'm staying in, I had to go to the bathroom. I ran to the toilet, but then I stopped. "Oh no," I thought. The toilet had a strip of buttons on it. I sat on the toilet and I was in for a suprise. The toilet seat was heated. The next day, my family and I went on a walk in the park. We stopped to go to the bathroom. The toilets there were completly different from the one in our apartment. These toilets were basicaly holes in the ground, and you had to squat if you wanted to pee in them. As you can see we are having some toilet trouble here. And if you think you know how to work the toilet in our apartment, tell me because we still haven't figured out how to turn off the heat on the toilet seat.

Vending Machines

In Tokyo you can never walk a block without seeing a vending machine. They're everywhere and they have almost every drink you can imagine in them. There are hot drinks and cold drinks, from iced green tea to coffee. The vending machines are great.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Hello. Hola. Konichiwa. I'm a fourth grade student at Washington International School who will be staying in Japan for the next five weeks. While I'm here I'll be blogging every day about what I'm doing and the things I see. This blog will be bilingual -- some entries will be in English and some in Spanish. I hope you like the pictures and writing you will see here!