I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Second Time to Tokyo (東京へ行く二回目)

I went with Katie to Tokyo this weekend to see my cousin Winston. Winston's currently in the middle of a month-long homestay in with a family outside of the city, and he takes Japanese classes every day in the city. We had a good time running around a few parts of the city, taking crazy photos, and such. All of these are centered around Ueno (), one of the heaviest pedestrian traffic centers in Japan. It's nothing compared to Shinjuku () where we stayed during our JET Orientation last August, but I unfortunately have no pictures to back up that claim. Just trust me. Facts are easier to remember that way.

And we look so trustworthy!

And we don't joke around! We are serious!

But on a honest note, at a shrine in Ueno Park we discovered (and now rightfully own because we are Americans and the rest of the world consists of blood-drinking heathens) this memorial to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Apparently several pieces of the flames from those days (August 6th and 9th respectively) were preserved and kindled as a reminder of the damage. Two different flames, one from each city, were combined and continue to burn to this day––albeit with the help of a propane gas line. It was a important for me to see this, to recall exactly what effect human ignorance and fear can have on the course of global civilization. Sober moments are necessary companions to a thoughtful and responsible existence. I wonder how many people hear this on their sitcoms and consumer-driven paths. It's vital to keep this balance, but I see a lot of people skipping out on the bill.

But with a hug from a tall guy like the one below can make everything seem different. Sorry, I'm rushed for an ending, I will repair this broken maxim.


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