Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Term 5

This term has been INCREDIBLY eventful so far! I can't believe that I haven't written a single word about it up until now (except, yknow, the awesomeness of concerts). I also still haven't written about my couple weeks hanging out with Krist in Colorado. For now, though, this term! And then later, maybe I'll do some looking at the past and post some pictures of Colorado.

Since I missed the last test when I left Japan after the earthquake, I had to miss the first day of class to take it. It went fine (well, even, despite my twoish week break from Japanese), and I got to enter into the next level up. Yay! This would feel like more of an accomplishment if I felt like I were actually doing some Japanese advancing. . .but I think I'm really just at that level where it's impossible to see any progress.

Because of the nuclear disaster, the number of Yamasa students decreased, so there's only one class for my level this term, and there are 14 of us, with 3 new students, Kim, Zack, and Cesar, all of whom are fabulous. So yeah, new class, and I love all of us! <3 Aside from learning Japanese and working nearly 15 hours a week, I feel like I've been out and about quite a bit this term! :-) First, there was hanabi - a bunch of us went up to Okazaki Castle to observe the beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom.

It was seriously gorgeous, and at night, all the lights in the trees lit up, and it was just, well, amazing!

So then we had a few days off for Golden Week, and since we had a test pretty much right when we got back, I just hung around in Okazaki pretending to study, but mostly not.

The first night, Thama had a crepes and cocktails get together in his apartment, and that was super fun!

Martin and I hanging on the balcony

Cesar used to be a bar tender, and Alexis has this uncanny ability to just mix drinks, so they both had, like, little bars set up.

Alexis, me, Kimiko

And then Sandra made crepes, which I couldn't eat, but which were apparently delicious. Joanna came over beforehand, and the two of us made a vegan curry. It was delicious!!!! Yay vegan curry!

Cesar, Joanna, me, Martin, Kimiko, and in the front, Zack

Then over the break (or was it not the break? I literally can't remember) I also went with Zack and Thama farming, which was super fun!

Thama, me, Zack

We planted onions and tomatoes and spring onions and potatoes and spinach and other things, I am sure, and, yeah, awesomeness! :-)

And then Alexis, Zack, and Thama came over to play cards, and we played spades, which filled me with immense happiness, since it is my favorite card came in the entire world, and I never get to play it.

Me and Thama and Zack reflection -
I kind of love this picture because Thama sort of looks like the cute kitty face magnet thing next to him.

Oh, and we also went hiking to Horaiji Temple, which was SUPER fun!

Us at the beginning of the hike!

At least it was super fun for me. It was raining all day, so we hiked in the rain, and I realized that, for me, there is something so calming and peaceful and wonderful about hiking in the rain. I rather love it. I don't think everyone else felt the same way, though.

Seriously, though, the rainy mist actually made the view even MORE beautiful!

Oh, and we also went to see this waterfall that's supposed to be on some list of the top 100 waterfalls in Japan.

It really was quite lovely!

And despite feeling like this term has been super exciting and fun and eventful, I feel like this post has been very boring and mostly pictureless. Sorwy. :-( Also long. Therefore, the end.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sakae Spring + LC5

I have another entry about non-musicy things coming soon, but for now, music awesomeness!

So, I finally decided that the fact that I had been living in Japan for over a year and yet had never been to a concert was just depressing. And that something should be done about it.

So, I bought tickets to see LC5. I didn't know them all that well, but the singer was the singer of An Cafe, pretty much my favorite Japanese band of all time, so I figured they were a good choice. Steven Cayco went with me, and I had a GREAT time!  I'd say it was about 90% girls there, which was funny, since their sound is pretty hard. The band members also spent about an 10 minutes talking about what makeup they wear and what their favorite brands of makeup are, which was funny, since they're all dudes.

Anyhow, the music was wonderful, the talking wasn't too much, and the environment was fantastic. I had a super great time, and I totally have a new crush on the bassist, Sato. He's so goofy and dopey seeming that I couldn't help but think he was adorable. All the other girls, though, just kept screaming "Aki-sama, Aki-sama." That's the drummer, and he just seemed, well, broody.

Isn't he cute?

The most fun part was that there seemed to be line dances to every song that everyone just seemed to know, and it was hilarious trying to dance along in unison with everyone (and, of course, fail).

So then yesterday, a bunch of us went to Sakae Spring, a summer music fest in Nagoya. It was seriously the most fun I have had in I can't even remember how long.

I went a little bit earlier than everyone, because I wanted to see Namba Akihiro at 3:00.

Yummy Japanese punk rock! Unfortunately, the line to get in was 8 stories long and then out the door. I got there about 20 minutes early (with the help of some very nice Japanese people that showed me the way, because, you know, it's me, so I got lost) but still didn't manage to get in.

The next band I wanted to see though, was also in the same club, so I decided to just keep waiting. And I STILL almost didn't get in. That's how packed this place was. Like, 10 people behind me got in and then it was full.
Still, I got to see Pay Money to My Pain, and they were AWESOME!

They put on an AMAZING show, and I got to headbang and mosh and scream along, and I felt like I like nothing more than a good hardcore punk show.

And then I went to see Skull Candy, and I changed my mind. Ska punk shows are the most fun shows ever!!!!

The singer was just the cutest thing in the entire world, and she couldn't stop exclaiming how HAPPY she was to be in Nagoya. And everyone in the band was just so energetic and enthusiastic, and everyone in the crowd (which was 98% male, which I will admit was kind of weird) was super into the music and skanking and dancing around, and I was filled with extreme happiness. It was WONDERFUL! I'm going to go see them again when they come back to Nagoya in 3 weeks.

Then it ended, and nothing could bring me down. I went to meet up with the others, who were seeing Ms. Ooja, so I got to see the end of her set.

It wasn't bad, but I was still on my high from Skull Candy, and it was hard to come down. Plus, the sound quality was really bad, and she was singing to a dj, which was weird and made it feel like karaoke.

Then, we headed over to see a band whose name I do not remember. They were all right, but they had that double guitar sound (I don't know how to describe it other than that) that I don't really like, so we'll just forget about them.

THEN, we went over to see Rookiez is Punk'd, a band I totally love.

They were SO MUCH FUN!!!! The music was wonderful, but more than that, they were super interactive with the audience, and so everyone was singing along and dancing and laughing, and the atmosphere was just WONDERFUL! The singer was so doofy and happy that I just had to go talk to him afterward. He was SO nice! There's something about doofy happiness that just does it for me everytime.

This songs not particularly pop punky, but some of their stuff is, which made the experience all the more wonderful! I will SO be there when they come back to Nagoya.

The we went to see the end of this dude playing the piano, and it was really pretty and quite good, but I don't know his name, and we only saw one song. I should try to remember his name.

So yeah, basically, yesterday was AWESOME, and I am SO in a concert mood now, and I can't wait to go to lots and lots and lots more! I'm so glad that I'm finally discovering a live music scene in Nagoya that I love! YAY!!!!