A busy weekend...
Tsukuba Travel Blog› entry 13 of 32 › view all entries
October 8th, 2007 – by: hellokiel
Later that evening, some friends and I went out to Tsuchiura for the largest fireworks show in Japan.
The Tsuchiura train station is too small to handle the capacity of fireworks visitors that come out to see the show. Therefore, when it was over, the masses swarmed back to the station to catch the train home. The problem? There's not enough room on the trains to accomodate everyone, so we had to line up outside the train station and wait for over an hour.
So, this left us in Shinjuku. Luckily, we searched out a 24-hour internet "cafe" where we decided to hole up until sunrise. When I say internet cafe, it's not like you would think in the States or Europe. The cafes here are more like back rooms filled with little cubicles. Each cubicle has it's own computer and a small bench/reclining chair where you can lie down. It's a cheap solution though when you miss your last train and don't want to sleep in a "capsule" hotel.
At 6am, we stumbled out of the cafe and made our way back to the train station. I had enough time to nap on the train ride back to Minami-Nagareyama. However I was to meet my friend Aiko that same morning at 8 so that we could spend the day in Tsukuba. I rushed back to the dorm, showered, and went back to the trainstation to catch the express out to Tsukuba. Aiko and I met up with Erika and Matt, all of whom were exchange students at UCSD the year before last. Together, we caught a bus up to Tsukuba-san or Tsukuba mountain.
All of us slept on the bus ride back to the station, but our day was far from over. We went to the University of Tsukuba (where Erika is a senior) for their school festival. It was a truly enjoyable experience. Many of the schools in Japan take some time off to have their festivals which consist of events, food, concerts, drink, and merriment. I wish the schools in the States would pick up more on this.
The campus is much bigger than Sophia and is very pretty, especially as the foliage is making its progression toward autumn colors. We wandered, ate lots of delicious, cheap food, saw a magic show, participated in a traditional Japanese tea-ceremony, and listened to many different types of music, including an accapella concert.
As the evening drew to a close, we walked to a nearby pub for drinks. A tiny place, it was filled to the brim with other students and was very lively. We talked in Japanese and English over beers and more food. The time passed and finally it was time to go home. I had a great time catching up with some friends and spending the day in Tsukuba. I got back at 11:30p and crashed. I felt like the weekend had rushed by, but as I sit here typing out the events, I realize that it was truly a busy weekend.
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