Friday, September 14, 2007
Local Orientation
Once again I have failed to update and am seriously behind in my posting. I should catch up soon though cause I've been taking less pictures and thus should be able to post more speedily.

So, let's see...the beginning of week 3 in Japan was dedicated to attending the local orientation. All the JETs in Yamanashi head to Kofu for 2 days of meetings and visiting local places of interest. Last year, everyone had to climb up some 300 stairs, in suits, in the middle of summer, to some temple, and I feared that we'd be doing that this year, but then discovered we would be going to the........wait for it.......Fruits Park! So, yeah, I went to the Fruits Park for the second time. Though, this time we actually went into the museum at the park (yeah, there is apparently a museum.....who knew?).

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The first part of local orientation was to essentially meet the head honcho of the prefecture. There was lots of introducing and bowing and talking in Japanese, which means I had no idea what was going on. But a picture of me at this meeting did make it into a news paper. Look, I'm famous! (in case you can't tell, I'm the one with the piece of paper on my lap)

After the meeting is when we went to the Fruit Park, suits and all. And it was hot! Besides just wondering around, I also grabbed a pineapple ice cream to munch on, and it was great! Real chunks of pineapple and a nice, strong, flavor. After the park (which really isn't much more exciting the second time around) we went out for some sushi.

It was my first time eating sushi while in Japan and it was quite good. It was also my first time doing the whole eat while sitting on the floor thing, which isn't as fun or as easy as it looks. After the food we went to the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum. Wasn't too bad for a museum. Had a lot of interactive exhibits like a strange map of Yamanashi printed coming off the floor, and these hanging vine things that you could pick up and listen to. And a bunch of video game type things, a video booth, dress up area, school room, tatami room with old Edo games, etc., etc.

Then we went back to the hotel for a nice rest and some dinner before hitting the town! Most people headed to karaoke, but I decided to go out with a smaller group for some drinks at an izakaya first. Good times. We were going to go karaoke next, but everyone was heading out to a bar in Kofu called the Rink, which was quite a ways away, so I decided to head back to the hotel for some shut eye along with the rest of the lazy (or responsible depending on how you look at it) people.

Anyway, day 2 of the conference was all inside at the international center. Lots of helpful meetings and advice on house cleaning, travel, and daily living, along with a calligraphy lesson.

Next up: Oh No! Its Another Conference!

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