Eric Yu

Hi everyone it’s Eric again! At the end of this week I look a little bit like this:

What? I look the same as last week? OK, the picture might be the same, but this time I’m tired for a completely different reason. Indeed, rather than getting destroyed by the time difference like last week, I have now successfully adjusted to the time difference, and now I’m just plain tired. Yep. Great Success!


Family trip day! Today I went on trip with my host family to Nokogiri-yama, a well-known tourist attraction in the neighboring Chiba prefecture. After a solid breakfast (as always), we all packed our bags for the mountain-climbing ahead of us. Mom and Dad packed the important stuff like sunscreen and bug spray. I brought along my hat, a water bottle, and a bag just in case. Meanwhile, Sho, my little brother, was busy constructing this:

In case I haven’t mentioned, Sho is a big fan of Pokemon. And it looks like he was creating an army while we were packing. But I mean, it’s to be expected — the Shogun never leaves his castle without some troops!

Ahem. Fast-forward a couple hours, and we had arrived and were now ascending the mountain via the cable-car. It was extremely konde-iru (crowded) but I was able to snap a good shot near the top:

At the top, we realized there were quite a few tourist-attractions scattered around the mountain, so Sho made the executive decision to go to jigoku (literally, hell). Not nearly as scary as it sounds, the only really scary thing in the jigoku was one overlook that Mom decided not to follow us to.

Having descended down into hell and still alive to tell the tale, we decided to seek some purification at our next stop: the daibutsu (giant Buddha). It kind of blends into the surroundings in this picture, but it’s pretty big:

We climbed a lot of stairs to get here, so we decided to take a quick rest. In the meantime, I was able to take more pictures.

We then took the cable-car back down, and drove back home after eating at an oishii (tasty) pizza restaurant. Although we kind of took it easy with the cable-car, we did climb many, many stairs, so it ended up being a good workout. Will be waiting for the gains tomorrow. Long day!


No gains yet. So while waiting, I decided to gain in a different area — fashion. According to my savvy friend Tomaso-san, there appeared to be a sale at the Ginza Uniqlo happening today, so we all decided to check it out after school. However, after school my stomach urges were overpowering my desire to look cool, so we decided to stop by a restaurant first. We all suddenly heard the call of the sea, so we ended up riding the subway all the way to Tsukiji to look for seafood. Here’s what I found:

The call of the sea was expensive, but we obtained some valuable info from the chefs. Tsukiji is known for its gigantic tuna auction at 5 AM, and it was definitely something I planned to go to. However, due to a couple of Australians strangely deciding to strip during the auction, the early morning auction is now closed to tourists. Well, at least I didn’t have to wake up early anymore.

Having now indulged ourselves in seafood, we decided to go fishing for some new clothes in the Ginza Uniqlo.

After a lot of aimless wandering around and hesitating, I eventually bought a T-shirt that I found cool. To find out whether it’s really cool or not, you’ll have to wait to see me in it *wink wink wink* ;)))))))


Today was the day. After school we had no idea where we wanted to go, so I decided to subtly suggest a place by screaming at the top of my lungs, “LETS GO TO THE POKEMON STORE!!!!11111.”

Ikebukuro, here we come. Ikebukuro is like the new, hip neighborhood for young people, featuring tons of cafes and malls. Coincidentally, the Pokemon Store is also in Ikebukuro. It took us a bit to find, but we were not disappointed.

An event also randomly started while we were browsing the goods, so we got to check out someone wearing a big, fluffy Pikachu suit.

I went in for a hug and was not electrocuted, so it was probably not a wild Pikachu.

After the Pokemon store, the girls led the march to the Otome Road, a street specializing in selling yaoi manga and goods targeting female otaku. If you are wondering what yaoi is, maybe this will help:

Surprisingly popular in Japan (actually why am I surprised), it was a pretty crowded store, and I spent my time being immature while the girls looked for some good research material.

To finish off this in-depth look at Japanese culture, we stopped by a cosplay store. With tons of outfits modeled after those of popular anime characters, it was quite an interesting store. Kevin-san took a liking to this one:


Today Seto-sensei came to visit! One of our Japanese teachers at Yale, he dropped by along with Baubonis-san from the Light Fellowship to check out how we were doing and, as always, to poke fun at our Japanese. After class we decided to all meet at the legendary Hachiko statue in Shibuya for dinner. To make sure we wouldn’t get totally wrecked by homework, we sat down at a Starbucks nearby and got to work.

At about 5:40 PM we decided to head over to the statue. We observed this lone bus literally stopped in the middle of the busiest crosswalk in the world. Not sure if it was legal or not, but it made for a nice picture.

We then all met up next to Hachiko and (of course) took a picture.

Hachiko is a famous dog that waited an eternity for its master, who ended up never returning. The story has been immortalized in a movie whose name I forget but probably has the word “Hachiko” in it. We then walked together to the restaurant, and ate some top-class washoku (Japanese cuisine) while enjoying the view.


Well, this picture is pretty self explanatory. Today we decided to go check out the rumored owl cafe. This was Haruki’s, one of Kevin-san’s friends, last day in Tokyo, so we decided to go have a hoot. We actually caught one peeping at us in the waiting room.

It also appears I have the same success with owls as I do with cats. I was attempting to charm one for a good while, but he would not even deign to look at me.

I also found a baby one I wanted to pet, but he gave me the evil glare so I kept my distance.

At any rate, we were able to play with owls for 15 minutes. Well, at least with the owls that would actually let me pet them. Also, 15 is probably more than the number of owls I have seen in my entire life.


To be honest, it was really hard for me to get out of bed today. I’ve noticed that my tiredness in the morning is inversely correlated with the amount of jet lag I have. Since I overslept my alarm by 15 minutes today, I think it’s safe to say that I have no jet lag anymore. Also, non-stop touristing for 2 weeks has also taken its toll on me. Being rejected by both cats and a couple of owls has also made me sad. Anyways, everybody seemed tired today after class, so we decided to head somewhere close by. We ended up going to Roppongi, a bustling area nearby full of high-class shopping and western restaurants. There, we found a giant spider which us guys decided to take a picture next to. We asked the girls to take a picture for us:

Hmm, I wonder what happened there.

There we go.

Unfortunately, the observatory at the top of the 55-floor Mori tower was closed today due to smog, so we weren’t able to capture the best sky-view of Tokyo just yet. So, with everyone looking tired and starved of sleep, we decided to go back home for some well-needed rest.

And here I am. It’s hard to believe that already two weeks have gone by, but there’s still a lot more where that came from. I’ve read recently that time passes the “longest” when you fill it with memories. Some psychologist a long time ago decided to do spend 2 months in pure darkness in order to be bored so that time would pass “slowly.” However, after getting pulled out of his hole, he felt like only 2 weeks had passed. Apparently, we only feel time when we have strong memories via experiencing new things or meeting now people. I have no idea if this will ever scientifically be proven or not, but I sure feel like I’ve done a lot of random things these past 2 weeks. I’ll get some rest today, but I’ll see what other interesting things I can learn about the future. If possible, I want to get better at interacting with animals. Who knows, if I end up going to another animal cafe next week, it really might become a weekly tradition. We’ll see what happens!

Thanks for reading this (looong) blog post, and I hope to see you next week!

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