About Me

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Virginia Beach, VA, United States
This blog (or 日記 if you will) is intended to chronicle my experience in Japan at the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan from July to August, 2012. I have always wanted to have a journal, though, so I will try to get into a habit of writing frequently about the things important to me in my life. Besides, I plan on returning to Yamasa to participate in the AIJP after I get out of the Navy! These are the Espelancer Chronicles. Erica is also blogging about the trip, and you should totally check it out. It is The Marvelous Misadventures of Schneewittchen link over on the sidebar.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Japanese Pizza, Dutch Pancakes, and a Night at the Movies

Pizza Hut Pizza in Japan
That trailer above is for おおかみ子どもの雨と雪 (The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki), which we watched tonight.  Anyways, I have to catch up from last night's quest to order a pizza from Pizza Hut and have it delivered right to my Japanese doorstep..  We decided to order Pizza Hut since it is possible to complete an order entirely online (I can only imagine how hard it would be over the phone... if we had a phone to call with), and because we get a 5% discount on the already overly expensive pizza.  Luckily, they have an step-by-step instructions on how to make an order in English in a nifty little PDF file, but it still took an hour to order the pizza.  I finally did it, though -- I ordered an "Eru-Saizu" (L-size -- not 大きい or ラージ or anything else...) and 40 minutes later the equivalent of an American "Emu-Saizu" (M-Size) pizza arrived at my door.  Japanese pizza is a lot different from its American counterpart -- not just the size, but the way it is made and the toppings that are available.  Only in Japan can you try a Tuna, Mayonnaise, and Corn pizza.  In fact, a certain senior chief I know just might go for the mayonnaise pizza, only with extra mayonnaise.  Of course at 2100円, we will not be ordering any more pizza.

View of the Okazaki sunset from my window
   Anyways, today was our first full day of class, and the pressure is really starting to build to keep up with the lessons.  Even though a lot of the material is review for me, I still need to prepare for class ahead of time and practice speaking whenever I can since speaking is my weakest area.  That is part of the trick -- speak Japanese as much as possible and try to avoid using English outside of class if possible.  I just wish my class size wasn't so large -- hopefully this week we will gain enough people to split the class into two (the maximum class size is 15, any more and the class is split).

   After class we finally decided to do our laundry (which was another adventure that can wait for another day) and were invited over to Yamasa Student Village to try some Dutch pancakes from Erica's classmate from the Netherlands.  That is the cool thing about going to an international school -- you meet people from all over the world and get the opportunity to experience small bits of different cultures all at once.  For how thin those things are, they are surprisingly extremely filling and taste excellent.  After only 3 I could eat no more.  As for the Yamasa Student Village, it is basically a large dormitory building with a shared kitchen and community area where any of the students living there can hang out.  It seems like a pretty cool place to stay, although I think I prefer my villa.

   Afterwards, we invited our Dutch friend with us to see the movie おおかみ子どもの雨と雪 by director Mamoru Hosoda (surname first).  For those of you who are not familiar with anime movies, he is the same director that produced The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, and I have been waiting for the chance to see this gorgeous movie since it the trailer was first released last December.  The movie is about a woman named Hana who falls in love with a man who can change into a wolf, and has two children with him.  Unfortunately, the wolf man is killed when he is spotted in wolf form, and Hana must raise her two children alone.  Since the children can also transform, they move from Tokyo to the country, and the movie follows the two children growing up.  It truly is a fantastic film.

    As for the theater experience itself, it is much different than American theaters.  The ticket prices are slightly more expensive (1000円, or about $12.50) per person, but the concessions are slightly cheaper, so I guess it balances out.  Unlike in the United States, where you buy a ticket and then seek out a place to sit when you get into the theater, in Japan you must choose which seats you want on a seating chart.  Your tickets will actually have your chosen seat numbers printed directly on the ticket.  Also, in the movie theater lobby itself there is a kiosk where official movie memorabilia from released and upcoming films is available for purchase.  Also, the theater is extremely clean -- I seriously think you could eat off of the floor -- but then again, I have yet to see a single piece of litter in Japan.  Trash, and especially recycling, is taken to another level here, but that is a topic for another day...

   Anyways, the night at the movies was quite an enjoyable experience.  I need to finish my 宿題 and get some sleep for tomorrow's class, so またね。  I will leave you with an awesome trailer of the upcoming live-action Rurouni Kenshin film, hitting Japanese theaters soon..... a week after I leave >.<


  1. $27 bucks for that small pizza!! Damn. Stick to rice - seriously.

  2. We've also been eating the set lunches at the supermarket. They are only 380円 and are a full meal, but yeah, eating out is entirely too expensive here.

  3. You spent an hour ordering the pizza? How is that different from home when you and James hash out Papa Points lol? Also, that film sounds like a take on the Roman story of Romulus and Remus. The movie theater experience sounds much better than here.