My Blog

My blog covering various topics like travel, family, and technology.

 

Wal-Mart and BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Today is Japan Wal-Mart day but first we had to get there. Apparently we left right at the rush hour because we saw Tokyo's infamous train station crowds. Our experience included the white-gloved train attendants who were prepared to shove the crowds into the trains...

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US Embassy And A Computer Geek’s Mecca

Today is another busy day for us. Our first stop is the US embassy to discuss trade and other commercial issues with the diplomats here. We will be leaving a little early to have breakfast with Dr. Stapp's friend. There were a quite a few police along the streets...

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Daiwa Steel

Today was the first of the three very long Tokyo days we have. It didn't start out too well for me, we stayed up late (but not too late) just hanging out. Then I woke up at 4:30 AM instead of 7:30 AM which I set my alarm clock to and couldn't go back to sleep. Oh...

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Tokyo Here We Come

Daily Galleries Tokyo Other Links Tokyo Tourism WebsiteAfter sleeping late and a quick run to the Internet café we headed out to Tokyo. It consisted of a two and a half hour train ride on the bullet train where the landscape zoomed (and the other trains) passed us in...

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Another Free Monday, Another New City

Today was our second totally free day of the trip. A few of us decided to sleep a little late and then make it to the internet cafe for about an hour. In response to a comment from a reader of my site, fanny packs are sexy. 'Nuff said. After the leaving Kameoka, we...

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Midori Acres Is The Place To Be

Today's outing was to the farm of Dr. Stapp's former landlord Hitomi-san. Hitomi-san is a gentleman farmer of sorts. He was born and how lives in a house that his family has owned for over 300 years. His family used to be known for their archery prowess and his family...

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Pink Homecoming

This morning was a little sad. Our host families came to see us off and I got to see Hiromi-san, Naho-chan, and the boys for the last time. I gave the boys one last piggy-back ride and twirled them around until none of us could stand up. Before too long, it was time...

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Big, Big Ships

Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding's facility was a truly impressive place. One of the things that distinguished this factory from some of the others we've seen is scale. The main production building is a huge, 80 year old facility. All of the tools and workspaces...

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Hibi Rock Star

I think I now have some sort of inkling of what a rock star feels like. Our destination for today was Hibi Elementary, an 80 year old school located in Tamano City and they absolutely loved us there. The kids at this school spent weeks preparing for our visit. We were...

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The Cutest Little Girl In The World

The first part of our morning was taken up by the trip to Tamano City near Okayama. We were seen off my E-Chan and made several train and bus exchanges to get to our destination. I discovered many wireless hotspots during our trip there but again, the bullet train...

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A Free Day, Or How I Wished I’d Gotten Some More Rest

Today was our much awaited first free day during the program. After a quick meeting, with a diminishing few of our conspirators from last night we decided to head to the so-called romantic train that goes between Kameoka and Saga Arashiyama that we have seen so many...

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More Hiroshima

Today our group visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. A few of us took a walk to see where the bomb hit. It turns out, our hotel was only a few hundred yards away from hypercenter, the place where the bomb would have hit the ground if it wasn't an air burst. Of...

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Still Alive And Kicking

Sorry for no posts in a while. I've got a lot of stuff ready to go up but no usable internet connection. I am alive and doing well (if a little footsore). Keep watching the site for a ton of new updates. Take care!

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The Beauties of Hiroshima

Today I have decided to take up the challenge of packing lightly, with my laptop of course. For this trip I'm just taking only just what I'm going to wear the entire trip. If it works out then I'll take less and less and just wash what I need. I eventually just want...

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New Old Treasures and Osaka Rocks

Toji flea market located in the courtyard of a Buddhist temple was today's destination. It has been held the 21st day of every month for over 600 years. They have over a thousand stalls there selling everything from food to clothes to antiques to just plain junk. At...

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Incense and Swords

Our group has been very lucky in set of experiences we will have in Japan. We have had two very unique ones recently. Last night at 11:45 PM, there was an earthquake centered on Kameoka. It ranked a 2 out of 7 on the Japanese earthquake scale. A couple of the members...

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Toyota and Denso

The morning started today with a huge breakfast served by the lady of the house, Sumiko. She lavished me with a huge western style breakfast. I, of course, ate way too much. I told her that she has added a pound to me. The thing that put me over the edge weight wise...

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All Things Toyota

Its off to Toyota City today via the shinkansen, the famed bullet train, which was a lot of fun. The ride was very smooth, but we didn't go the full speed of the train because the track was relatively twisty. When we go to Tokyo, we should go full speed. I'm now at...

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Clay and Budo

Today is pottery day. We got hit with a rainstorm as we made our way about 7 or 8 minutes away from our hotel to Sensei Nishijima pottery studio. Nishijima is a highly rated potter in Japan. He began when he was 20 years old and has been making pottery for 35 years....

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Tuna Breakfast

Our day started off with a traditional Japanese breakfast at the hotel in our yucata robes. It was very different from breakfast in America, very vegetable heavy. I also think this is the first time that I've ever had tuna for breakfast. It was great! Next, we...

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Wardriving to Nara

Our destination today is Nara, the old capital of Japan. We are going to visit Sharp Corporation and take in the sights. I have ensured that our weather will be good because I've brought my jacket and other unnecessary crap. The train drive from Kyoto to Nara is about...

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The Sights of Kyoto

Today started with a run with my roommate, Tim. There is a famous monument about halfway up a steep hill overlooking Kameoka and at the top of the hill is another area with many more stone monuments and an observation tower with an even greater view. It has been...

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First Destinations

Today we visited the Kyoto shrines of Kinkakuji and Ryoanji. Kinkakuji was built in the 13th century. In the 14th century, it became the home of one of the retired Ashikaga shoguns. When he died, he willed the temple to a Buddhist sect who made it a Zen temple. The...

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Getting to Japan

We're finally in Japan now. It seems very late for me, but it is still relatively early locally. It is about 8 PM Japan time and 6 AM Arkansas time and my internal clock is desperately struggling to catch up. Today started very early, around 4 AM. I didn't get to bed...

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Last Minute Packing

I'm trying to finish up the last bit of packing. I've got everything that I want to take with me, now its just a matter of jumping up and down on top of the suitcases to get everything to fit. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to do a little blogging on the road and maybe...

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Places I want to visit

Its been very busy in these few days leading up to the flight out. There doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything. I have to do the following before Monday:Pack Graduate Finish research for the paper Find a job Come up with 3 questions for the various companies...

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Where We’re Going

Here are a few of the cities in Japan we'll be visiting:Kameoka (west of Kyoto) Nara Toyota City (near Nagoya) Hiroshima Tamano City Tokyo They are circled in the map above (click it for a larger map). I am looking for a better map of Japan, so please leave a comment...

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What We’re Studying In Japan

Our group will be covering a lot of ground while we're in Japan. Here are some of the places we're going to be going and some of the businesses we'll be visiting: Cultural Kinkakuji Ryoanji Sanjusangendo Kiyomize-dera Kasuga Shrine Todaiji Byodo-in Companies...

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Welcome to my Japan Blog

Daily Galleries PreJapanThis is my blog of my travels to Japan. I will be leaving for Japan on May 10 as part of the MBA program at the University of Arkansas. Part of the course requirement is a daily journal. I have decided to make my journal an online one for the...

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