Friday, December 16, 2011

Trip to Tokyo(東京)・Nagoya(名古屋)

This is the unofficial schedule that I made for Andrea and I when we are in Japan:

December 31st:
Arrive at the airport; take the complimentary bus to our hotel
Settle in and go out for the night and celebrate the New Year

January 1st:
Check out and head to Tokyo
Check in at the new hostel
Go have fun shopping/checking out temples (maybe with friends)
Eat conveyor belt sushi
Go to Tokyo Tower at dusk?

January 2nd:
More shopping
Eat dinner with a Japanese friend
See the famous intersection?

January 3rd:
Go to Ghibli museum with a friend and her party
Head to Nagoya
Have fun in Sakae (栄え); eat at Sweets Paradise (dessert buffet); go up on Nagoya tower; ride Ferris wheel

January 4th:
Visit Nanzan University (南山大学)
Visit some shops I know (possibly buy a kimono)
Go to Nagoya castle
Eat at MOUNTAIN - a famous restaurant near my dorm

January 5th:
Last minute shopping/sight seeing

Sign Shock 2011 (Deaf concert)

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privledge to go to a deaf concert.  What is a deaf concert?  It is a concert where the performers are either deaf or know sign language, so while they sing they also sign.  That way, both the hearing and the deaf can enjoy the music.  Many of the band members were deaf, so to see them be in rhythm and even be able to sing even though they cannot hear was amazing.  I was really moved when I was there.  I also had the chance to see the deaf community in Nagoya, which was really cool.

What was really cool was seeing the audience.  It was a diverse crowd - from toddlers to elderly folk.  Deaf and hearing all squished together (apparently over 300 people came).  At first, I was wondering how the toddlers could stand the noise without crying.  It was a 'rock' concert, but regardless the music was booming at the beginning from the bass and drums.  However, the toddlers were listening and not making any noise.  That was really surprising, until I realized that they were deaf as well!  One was even communicating with her mother in sign language, while the mother responded back in Japanese.  It was sort of heart warming to see the kids even being brought to a community event, and being exposed to the 'deaf' culture, instead of being kept at home away from sign language.

I hope I can attend more events that are for the deaf, or are related to deaf studies.  I find it really fascinating, the lifestyle and deaf culture.


On a side note: I'm really excited to meeting you all in Hong Kong!  It has been a long time - over 8 years - since I smelled the Hong Kong's city air, saw its' palm trees, or been with everyone over there.  I'm really excited!  Thank you so much for letting me and Andrea come over!  It'll be my first Christmas without mom or dad, so it'll definitely be a new experience for me!

One of my friends from my dorm who goes to school in Canada is also going to Hong Kong to visit relatives.  He and I would like to hang out one day; I hope we can find the time!

When I come, be prepared for a lot of gifts - my large suitcase will mostly be filled souveniors (お土産).