Sophie's Japan Journal!!!


Wednesday, April 7th.

It's been a REEEEEALLY long time since I've written... Well, I guess I have a lot to talk about. In Hong Kong, we had a good time, but people (us) were very sad.We figured out what was making us that way though! It was the Malaria medicine. Valerie is no longer crying daily. I am less whiny, and James is less angry all the time. My mom downloaded an old game called King's Quest, it's really fun. We beat the first one in Hong Kong, and now we are playing the 2nd one, (there are 7 total). So in Hong Kong we spent time with some friends of ours. They had a baby named Lucas. Lucas was a model for all babies. He was cute, he was well-behaved, and he made cute noises. We have a lot of pictures of Lucas that you can look at in the my Japan pictures. So far in Japan, we have spent 1 night in Gojo's guest house, but I REALLY didn't like it. It was too cold. And it looked like it was falling apart! Now we are staying in a hotel that's very nice. We went to a place 2 days ago that had a HUGE string of stores, going up to a temple. The temple was really beautiful with all the cherry blossoms. It also had a couple shrines up some stairs that led to some stores selling good luck stuff, and good luck in ___ stuff. Alex got a lucky coin. Valerie got an against disaster charm thingy. James got a good luck in Victory charm. And I got a good luck in Love charm, but I also want a lucky coin. Or a good luck in Happiness box thing. From all the stores on the way up I was SURE to buy stuff. I got a "Fat cat" coin bank, and fox-like thing made out of rabbit fur holding a marble. But I am going back there later to get a "Fat cat" picture frame, another fox-like thing, a lucky coin or happiness box, and a friend for "Fat cat". Yesterday we went to the zoo. Which was fun but also sad because they had the big animals kept up in very small cages. Since it IS springtime, we saw peacocks showing off their feathers, bird nests; and apparently the tigers were missing from their normal cage because the mom had some cubs? kittens? what do you call baby tigers? I think I should talk about other stuff later... Bye!

Monday, April 19th.

These past few weeks have been REALLY fun. I love Japan, and I want to come back here someday! It’s especially cool around cherry blossom time. In the past few days, we have been to a festival, a restaurant where a geisha entertained us; we went back to Kiyomizu temple (fat cat central), and best of all, Mari was here! It was really fun with Mari. We had a really good time, but then came the time where Mari had to leave… I gave Mari a birthday present, which was a stuffed dog. Mari gave me a birthday present too; she gave me a cool little cat/burger thing. It’s kind of hard to describe. But it was cool! Mari said that she had a fun, and interesting time.
The festival we went to, we didn’t really see, we just saw the floats. It was raining the whole time, so that’s why we didn’t see it. The restaurant we went to, where a geisha entertained us, was really cool. The entertainment was great! But the food I didn’t like very much… The geisha was 17 years old! She looked much older and it was hard to believe that she was only 2 years older than James. I think geishas are cool because they get to dress up and meet new people and dance. They learn all the traditional Japanese arts. The downside to being a geisha is that you only get 2 days off per month, and that no matter how experienced a geisha you are, you never stop taking lessons. Some people in the US think that geishas in Japan are just prostitutes, but that’s not true. Instead, they are experts in Japanese traditional arts and entertainment.
Mari, Alex, Dad, and me went back to Kiyomizu temple. I showed Mari around quickly, and then we went to buy stuff. Oh yeah! And we also went to a samurai movie village! That was before Mari came. We saw a Samurai show which was really fun. And we saw a bunch of other stuff there too. Like Alex saw a big Power Rangers section and looked around. And James, Valerie, and me started dancing around on a green movie stage with a camera, and it showed us dancing around in Power Rangers commercials.
I’m going to make a list about the cool things in Japan. Here it is:

1. The cool stuff you can buy! I am going to make a list within a list.

• Key chains
• Capsules
• Waving cats
• Bean bag owls (poot and zoot)
• Fans
• KOALA BEARS! (This is a candy that I have had an obsession over and I am collecting them)
• Pocky (another snack)
• See-through umbrellas that come in different transparent colors.
• “Exploding animals” (little 3D puzzle animals)
• Have you looked around at all the cool cell phones Japanese people have?
• Kimonos
• Japanese Dolls
• Plastic food

2. Japanese art! Stuff like Calligraphy, Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), rock gardens, and Zen gardens.
3. Japanese television
4. Japanese religion (Buddhism, Shinto)
5. Japanese culture
6. Japanese food!
7. Japanese style rooms! (With tatami mats)
8. Japanese Technology

So there it is! I don’t think there is anything I DON’T like about Japan!