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My Second Week

I am now through my second week in Japan.

On Sunday, I met up with Devesh and Ian to explore the greater Tokyo area again. We started our day by heading into Akihabara exploring the various manga shops and eateries. Manga is very cheap in Japan with each book costing roughly 2 or 3 dollars, compared to the 10 dollar price tag you’d find in the States. Other shops we went to sold figurines, classic video games and the ancient devices to play them, and cards from games such as Pokémon and Yugioh. Although I really enjoyed Yugioh as a child, I could not justify the 120,000 yen ($1,200) price for a single card. Safe to say that I walked out with $10 worth of Manga instead.

The famous entrance to Senso-ji

Afterwords, we traveled to Asakusa where the infamous Senso-ji temple is located. Constructed in the year 645, it is Japan’s oldest temple and one of the most popular national landmarks. Spanning nearly 200m, the nearby shopping street (Nakamise) was bustling with a diverse range of tourists and the many shops selling various Japanese goods. Among the many items sold, you can find Yukata (Japanese summer dress), traditional fans, and coin purses for the abundant coins that are prevalent in the Japanese economy.

My second week of work was also a fun but rather busy time. During the week, the SALC hosted both the Wafuku event and the Fair trade tea party. Wafuku day allows the students an opportunity to dress in traditional Japanese Yukata and spend the day with similarly dressed professors and faculty. Some professors even wore it the entire day because of how comfortable they are (although mainly the male faculty kept theirs on because of the comfort difference between a male and female Yukata). A couple days later was the Fair trade tea party. In order to promote the idea of Fair trade, SALC faculty served tea and coffee that had been ethically sourced free of charge for all students and staff.

The early to mid stages of cup ramen designs
The first concept of ramen for astronaut consumption
At the age of 48, Momofuku Ando released the first packaged ramen (Above)

Momofuku’s workshop (Below)

To end the week, Ian and I traveled to Yokohama to see the famous cup ramen museum. What we think of as a small snack, is actually the accumulation of one man’s ideas for feeding a starving country after suffering from wide-spread poverty. Momofuku Ando was determined to find a solution to his country’s problem and mass produce an easy-to-make meal. After several years, his design and recipe was complete and would soon sell over 1 billion cup ramens within the decade all throughout the world. Before passing away at the age of 96 in 2007, he was commended in American media as one of the most ambitious entrepreneurs to ever live.

That’s it for my second week.

Until next week,

Jake

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