Every morning our hotel provided a buffet for breakfast from 6:30am-7:30am, which included Western and Japanese food. A traditional Japanese breakfast often consists of miso soup, fried fish, vegetables, green tea and a bowl of rice. These were all available, however eggs, toast, bread, croissants, muffins, juices and so on were available too.
Australia was one of the first countries to arrive in Japan, so we had an opportunity to practice our cultural dance for the upcoming Jenesys Festival! We all boarded our buses and headed out to a sports centre nearby.
The Australian team decided to perform a traditional bush dance, called the 'heel toe polka'. Us Australians did not have an opportunity prior to coming to Japan to practice dancing/organising the routine, so this is when it all happened! For about 2 hours we just practiced our dance.
After dance practice, we headed back onto the bus and we were taken to a huge dining hall. This was where we met everyone from all the other countries and had lunch!!
For lunch we were given traditional Japanese bento boxes! Inside each bento was an assortment of food. I actually have no idea what any of it was, but you can see quite a lot of effort was put into making it! Very beautiful.
After a satisfying meal we were given a bit of free time to explore the area. I headed off in search of a book store in hopes of buying some doraemon manga. Luckily I found a book store nearby, so I happily purchased a few doraemon manga, in order to study and improve my Japanese!!! Manga cost approximately $4.50 in Japan, so very affordable. (429円)
I also came across the stationary section of the store. Take note: Japan LOVES stationary items. Although there were hundreds of pens to choose from, I knew of a special pen, a pen with ink which can be erased! The brand is very popular, it is called FRIXON. You can choose from many colours and different ballpoint sizes. I also came across an interesting item. It was the base for the pens which have 4 different colours, but it didn't include any colour ink inserts, it was just the base with a pretty and cute pattern. I was so confused, I asked the clerk if it was broken! But she told me I choose the colour/size I want individually and insert them inside later myself!!! I love it, SO ingenious.
After finishing up in the book store, I wandered around and found myself munching on this AMAZING, DELICIOUS snack: a watermelon Ice-block (スイカバー)
Shortly afterwards, a briefing was held to inform all the Jenesys participants about the program.
The briefing went for about 1-2 hours, so everyone was super excited when it was finally time for DINNER~!!!!!!! We drove through Tokyo and arrived at a very fun restaurant. The restaurant was all you can eat YAKINIKU. ♡ Yakiniku means grilling meat and is the Japanese BBQ.
COOL JAPAN #4: Yakiniku (焼き肉)
- In Japan there any many restaurants where YOU need to COOK the food YOURSELF at your table.
- Yakiniku, Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba, Monja are all foods you cook yourself
- At Yakiniku you often pay $20 (2000円) and you can eat/order as much as you like, for 90 minutes
- You can order a variety of meats- beef, pork, chicken
- From these meats, you can choose what part of the animal you want - tongue, bottom, leg, etc (it is very extensive in Japan)
- Vegetables such as pumpkin are also available
- Rice and other side dishes like kimchi are often options too
- Deserts are also included in the price as well
- Drink bar (unlimited drinks) however is extra
- After you've ordered your meat, it's time to place it in the grilling area!!! Time to cook!
- It takes about 5 minutes for meat to cook usually
- This way of eating is very social, relaxing and surprisingly quite enjoyable
- Take note: be careful not to OVER EAT!!! (Very easy to do so, since it is all you can eat, hehe)
Everyone on the Jenesys trip was thrilled and absolutely LOVED this restaurant. I'm pretty sure everyone over eat though, and felt a little sick afterwards (I sure did.. haha). Now that everyone was satisfied from their dinner, it was time to return back to our hotel.
It was about 8pm when we arrived, so there was still time to head on over to AEON mall. I have quite a few Japanese friends who live in Chiba (near Tokyo), so I planned to hang out with them that evening. Nozomi and Hinako were my host sisters during my 2012-2013 Japan exchange, and they hung out with me that night!!! I hadn't seen them for 4 months, so I was very very very excited to meet them again!!!!!!!
I met them at the station and we took the bus to AEON mall. Together we had a look around at some shops, took purikura and ate dinner together. It was really great catching up with them... (I miss these girls so much)
Every time I'm in Japan, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS take TONS of purikura.
Cool Japan #5: Purikura (プリクラ)
- Purikura is a photo booth where you take photos, edit them with writing/stamps and receive them as stickers
- One purikura photo shoot is $4 (400円)
- There are a variety of different booths available, each with different features such as writing fonts/stamps and what type of beauty you want
- You take about 5-6 photos and then you need to edit them afterwards
- Editing features include
- Adding false eyelashes, blush, lipstick, enlarging one's eyes and changing hair colour
- Various fonts to write with
- Stamps to put on your photos
- These photo booths make everyone look extra beautiful and model-like
- It enhances your features
- Makes everyone look super thin
- Removes blemishes such as pimples
- After you've finished editing you receive your photos as stickers, and there is an option to email your photos (Japanese residents only)
- You can find purikura in game centres & these are usually on the top floor of a shopping centre or near the station
Below are what purikura photos look like:
Can you see how beautiful our skin is and thin we all look!!! We are actually all models!!! ;)) (haha, only in purikura pics)
After hanging out at AEON mall, it was time to head back over towards the station where we ate at Saizeriya (サイゼリヤ). Saizeriya is a super cheap chain family restaurant in Japan serving delicious Italian dishes. I often go to this place to eat, since it is SUPER cheap and REALLY delicious! About $5 for a main meal, which fills me right up. After that it was time to part ways...
I was sad to say farewell to Nozomi & Hinako, but I knew we were going to meet again the next time I visit Japan!!!!
|I love you girls♡|
Once I got back to the hotel room, I used the wifi a bit and chatted with my room mates for a long time. The next day we had an even bigger day ahead of us, so we called it quits a bit earlier that night. (Was still late though, 1am!!)
And that was day 2 of my incredible Jenesys 2.0 experience. Stay tuned for more soon! :)