Now it’s time for what everything has been culminating towards the big international week. Technos will be hosting over 30 students and faculty from many of its sister schools located around the world.
things started off rocky for me personally with my broken glasses and sim card bugging out. Ended up having to go to shinjuku for the sim card and at every glasses shop I went to my head was too big for the glasses. After that was all settled the first official day of international week had me and a bunch of other students help in bussing the sister school students to their hotel near the school and we got some ramen that night. The next day there was an orientation going over the next two weeks of the program which is basically gonna consist of a sightseeing tour, scavenger hunt, sports festival, and a retreat near Mount fuji.
first up was the Tokyo scavenger hunt around 6 different stations. This had sort of a competitive element to it, as teams were supposed to take pictures at each of the locations they were assigned. There were some basic places like convenience stores, trash boxes and mail boxes. Some more interesting things were the starbucks where you can order in sign language, a shrine, the gdzilla head in shinjuku. We had a group dinner where I got to try cold udon and horse sashimi.
Next up was the sightseeing tour around Tokyo station. We all went in a big group and walked around the imperial palace seeing the Hanzo-mon gate, meganebashi bridge, and then disbanded into groups to get lunch. There were some hiccups like losing track of some people, getting a little lost, and some cases of food poisoning, but everybody ha fun in the end.
Me and Henry did not get to participte in the retreat near Mt. Fuji so all I can comment on from now on are the class visits and some non program activities. The final weekend we had together got a little wild especially with the fellow students. I got to experience many things a tourist typically couldn’t do like staying up the whole night and taking the first train from shibuya at 5 am. Also the last train from shinjuku after a karaoke night.
I really wish I could’ve gone to Mt. Fuji, but the students did a good job with rest of the on campus events. My favorite of the class visits was the bridal course’s rendition of a tea ceremony where I got to put on a yukata and learn some traditional tea customs even though I butchered it. The sports festival also went pretty wild with a mini scavenger hunt, giant bowling, tug of war and a relay race sort of game with a giant ball.
Aside from International week I got to do some of my own travelling. At Shinjuku when I had to fix my glasses and sim card I ended up going to Ichiran ramen which is a chain everyone talks about, but it didn’t really amaze me compared to the hole in the wall places I’ve been to. After getting my stuff sorted out I ended up going to Shinjuku Gyoen national park which is definitely worth your while. Tons of gardens with different themese, ponds, and a vintage looking starbucks.
After school one day I went to Yokohoma to check out the akarenga department stores. these places have some good lighting at night and give a vibe I haven’t felt in other places in Japan. It’s also located near the coast which gives a good scenic vibe. I also got to eat some spicy ramen that was actually decent with some good chili oil. There was also an amusement park where I got to go on a ferris wheel and see the entire city at night from 100 meters up in the air. It did feel a bit lonely because there was a lot of couples and friends taking pictures which made me feel a bit homesick.
Finally there was the trip to Odaiba which is an island that is just barely off the shore of Tokyo. We got to see the mini statue of liberty and giant Gundam which are major attractions in the area. This whole place just felt a bit off to me since it was just a bunch of malls and as soon as you stepped off the pier it was just a bunch of roads leading back to the mainland. Afterwards we went to get something to eat and I’m pretty sure we went to a sort of tourist trap since it was a shinkansen themed conveyer belt sushi.