Furui & Atarashi

ふるい, Furui- old
あたらし, Atarashi- new

This week I’ve been really busy trying to fit in all my schoolwork, getting to all my old favorite places, and doing some new things too. At the beginning of the week we went to Tokyo Disney Sea. Although it’s our tradition to go to Tokyo Disney, I’ve never been to the Disney Sea park before so there were some new things to visit, but the people watching was fabulous in both parks. We went on an overnight to Otsuki, a small town at the base of Mount Fuji with a gorgeous view of the mountain and the fall leaves in the chilly morning air. I’d never seen Fujisan before besides from a plane and although the trip was not so convenient for my demanding class and homework schedule it really was beautiful there. In addition to classes and traveling around, I’ve started on my long list of speaking engagements for this trip. First was a two-day presentation and Young Changemaker Workshop I led at the Tokyo International School, which I actually finished today. It was my first workshop and it went really well. I have two more workshops this trip, which I’m preparing for, and ten or so other presentations. As always, it’s invigorating to work with other kids who are just as excited as me about making positive change in the world.

Of course, it hasn’t been all work and no play! Yesterday I visited Yoyogi park with a friend who lives in Tokyo and we had a fantastic time watching and photographing lots of awesome (and strange) groups of people gathered in the park for their Sunday adventure. Including, but not limited to, light saber dudes, the Elvis people, crazy dancing kids (groups of people in matching outfits doing synchronized dances), little children on bicycles, the drink people (college kids filming something about soft drinks they all had), famous? dance group (we just decided they *must* be famous from all the attention they were getting from simply walking back and forth), awesome frisbee people (varying levels of skill), and the creepy picture guy (taking pictures of his girlfriend posing on a bench). Most of the people we encountered were filming whatever they were doing, which is awesome in and of itself. I bought yakisoba for lunch from a little stall for 500 yen, and the little yakisoba man filled my small plastic takeout container so full I couldn’t close it, so I had to eat half of it while I watched the Elvis people rock out. Getting a fantastic hot “Belgian” waffle from Manneken was a perfect end to a crazy day, it was worth the line around the corner!

This afternoon we took the Shinkansen to Kyoto, where we’ll be staying for a few days. We’re in a little Japanese style apartment with tatami floors and futons. We had a delicious dinner tonight to kick off this next leg of our adventure, but I can’t write a longer blog post because I have a 5 am class tomorrow! Yay?

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