Sunday, May 20 - Saturday, May 26, 2012
Day 1523 ( One Love Jamaica Festival in Tokyo 2012 Part 2 )
Sunday, May 20, 2012 ( 4 years 2 months)
Went to Tokyo this morning a bit later than planned because I was waiting on a friend of mine for a very long time. Yesterday for the festival, I took a train to a station name Yoyogi Koen (Yoyogi Park). Because the festival is at Yoyogi koen. BUT! the station and the actual park are not exactly right beside each other. So I got lost and had to be asking where the park was. I eventually heard the loud music and followed my ears. But it took me about 15 mins to find the location. While coming back from the park however, I walked with a couple Japanese friends of mine to Shibuya, which was only like 10 mins away from Yoyogi park.
That was yesterday. Today, I decided to try the Shibuya route by myself. And no surprise again, I ended up getting lost. I was using the GPS on my iphone but that was only helping a little. Again I had to be asking persons where the park was. It took me about 30 - 45 mins to eventually find the park. Not only because I am "directionally" challenged but also there was a huge matsuri (festival) going on in the middle of Shibuya.
|Hey I look like I have a mo hawk hair style|
This festival was going on.
Yeah so I eventually found the park and headed to the Jamaican embassy booth where all the excitement was going on. But my phone battery was at 10% because of me exhausting the GPS. At the embassy booth, I saw Tomoko Uemura who has been living in Jamaica for about 17 years now. She helped me to translate one poem for my book. She also teaches Japanese at my university in Jamaica.
I bought a few banana chips from the booth (You can see them in the yellow bags in the picture above). They were selling for 200 yen, about triple the price it is in Jamaica. I also saw couple of other friends. around the booth area.
|Tracy in the Yellow introduced me to the YMCA, her husband is in the black.|
Rhondeen living in Niigata prefecture also in black.
|A Japanese Reggae artist. Don't remember her name|
|Some Japanese dude in a Jamaica T-shirt|
Unfortunately, these were all the pictures I managed to take with my camera phone. These others I copied from other people.
|They all lived in Jamaica for 2 years as JICA volunteers|
There was also a modelling segment as well as a dancing segment. The dancing portion I missed because I got to the park late. But the modelling section I couldn't see properly because of the crowd. I heard there were about 235,000 people there this year. Only about 10% or less were actual Jamaicans. There were quite a few Africans though posing as Jamaicans. But most Japanese people can't really tell the difference.
To be honest, quite a few of the Japanese girls, maybe 70% or more, are like these ones who entered the Jamaican dance hall queen competition last year in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I am not complaining though :p
The following fancy photos were of course taken by a professional. www.paulstevensphotography
This was their dance. I am not sure who took the video but I am borrowing it and also added it to youtube. Whomever is the owner of the video... sorry about the infringement :) found it on facebook.
Bob Marley's son was even there. Don't know his name though. Anyone can tell me?
|My friend Otis with one of Bob Marley's sons|
|Otis with Monique (singer/entrepreneur) and Jamaican Ambassador Claudia Barnes|
|Otis and Dave Mcanuff (Reggae artist)|
|The guy in black on the left actually owns a banking/investment firm in Japan :o|
The other guy in black with the glasses is an actuary and division manager
|In the centre are the Peruvian ambassador and his wife|
Day 1524 ( Annular Solar Eclipse )
Monday, May 21, 2012
This morning I woke up with some messed up cold symptoms. "Again", I thought to myself. It seem like every change of season, I get a cold twice. I even spat out some blood this morning.
There was a Solar eclipse this morning in the 7:00 am bells. I went out to look at it but I could only see clouds. Nothing else. A couple of my friends took some great photos though. The last time I remember seeing an eclipse of any sort was maybe 15 years ago or longer.
Rare eclipse delivers spectacle despite cloudy weather
Monday's rare annular eclipse wowed millions nationwide as they looked up in the morning sky to witness the astronomical event.
Events were held at schools, along waterfronts, at zoos, parks and rooftops to witness the point when the moon passed in front of the sun, leaving a perfect fiery ring, or annulus.
Day 1525 ( Sky Tree Grand Opening/Blog Facebook Page Update )
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Forgot to mention that 2 weeks ago my former student at my last job in Jamaica, visited me. He has a really cool bike.
The world's tallest tower finally opened today, but an elevator had to be stopped in the tower because of strong winds. Scaaaary!!!
Skytree has elevator glitch on first day
Despite cold and rainy springtime weather Tuesday, Tokyo Skytree attracted thousands of people to the new landmark as the world's tallest tower opened to the public.
After work today, I stayed in and sort of tweeked my blog's facebook page a bit. It was a lazy tweek though. I created the picture below using the conventional MS paint instead of using Adobe photoshop, because I couldn't be bothered with the lasso tool stuff, plus it takes up too much memory on this old laptop.
So please please please to like my facebook blog page at
Day 1526 ( Visit to Asakusa )
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
My friend wanted to speak to me about some pressing matters, so I rushed off to Asakusa in Tokyo. I always confuse Asakusa (Temples and shrines area of Tokyo) with Akasaka (upscale part of Tokyo where the US embassy and TBS TV station is). Today was the first time I was going to Asakusa. But I've visited Akasaka at least 4 times already.
I bought a Yukata (traditional Japanese robe looking thing) along with a belt. Together they cost a little over 5000 yen (US $63) . We then went to the main temple there, known as Sensoji.
|Sensoji Temple, the kanji reads Kaminari mon|
|A view of the sky tree (opened yesterday) from Asakusa|
|2 big white dogs. They were much bigger up close|
|Another view of Sky Tree|
|A park in Ueno|
Day 1527 ( Drugs in Vending Machines )
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Just went home early and played some games.
Hallucinogens sold in vending machines legit?
|Hey there is even a Bob Marley sign|
police last week raided a self-proclaimed "general merchandise store" in Yokohama for allegedly selling herbs containing cannabislike ingredients like those in illegal drugs like marijuana and stimulants.
Vendors of quasi-legal hallucinogens take advantage of legal loopholes. Unless illegal ingredients are found in the drugs, police can only request that sales be restrained. Even if illegal substances are found, most vendors claim they are unaware of the fact, according to police.
Day 1528 ( Meeting up with Jamaican/New Yorker )
Friday, May 25, 2012
Had a full, tiring day of teaching today from 8:30am - 3:00 pm. Luckily it seem like this year, it isn't so often. Even the principal said to me after work "Hey 6 classes for the day is tiring isn't it?" Well I told him its not so bad actually. In the early stages yes, but now, not so bad.
So there is this American guy who was working in Nagoya as a dean in a small university, married to a Japanese but didn't really like his job that much. I met him once last summer, then another time earlier in January.
He eventually got an offer to work in New York where he is a dean at a much bigger university. He told me online that there is a Jamaican student there who is coming to Japan to visit. So I got this information from February. I kept in touch with the Jamaican guy via email until he finally got to Japan 2 days ago. So I met him along with his friend and his friend's mom (all from New York) tonight in Shibuya. Kevin who has been in Japan for about 9 years now also came along.
I tend to go to Shibuya a lot because there is a Jamaican restaurant there and Shibuya is only about 40 mins from Yokohama. Compare that with Niimi (where I previously lived) which is about 1hr 30 mins from Okayama city (the main city of the prefecture).
Yeah so we met up and went to the Jamaican restaurant. He said he left Jamaica since 1994 and has never been back since. So he is more American than Jamaican, just like a couple of my cousins.
Day 1529 ( )
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Had 4 lessons at the YMCA today. I think this has been the best day so far with the 3 year olds. The kid that was always crying wasn't crying that much today, because his mom was there again. Almost as if she is a teacher as well. The "always running around" 2 year old was absent today so I am guessing that is why it went well. But the other kids kept talking about breasts and feces almost entirely throughout my lesson. I was trying to teach them body parts, and every thing I held up was either breasts or excretion.
Body Parts lesson
ME: (held up picture of an eye) Whats this?
kids: oppai (breasts)
ME: No no this is an eye, please say EYE
kids: OPPAI !!!