CDM/MLA 675: Tokyo: Collective Identity, Mediated Selves, and the Built Environment
January 19, 2020
There’s nothing quite like an adventure out in Tokyo, and today we had a good one! Our professor gave us two free days to explore the city in a row and we had plenty of ideas for how to take advantage of them. Since the weather was amazing, a classmate and I decided to head back over to Daikan-yama to visit some of the coolest stops so far one more time.
The day started with a stroll to the shrine. It was absolutely beautiful! Both the shrine and the people visiting. The Sunday morning crowd truly added to the energy by making it seem much more local. People were performing their morning prayers while kids played. There was an energy there that I could not explain if I tried! It finally made Tokyo feel a little less like I was an outsider.
After spending a couple hours there chatting, we began our train ride to Daikan-yama. We had wanted to walk into the neighborhood like we had earlier in the trip so we got off a stop or two early. It was bustling with the Sunday morning crowd! But the walk was the perfect introduction. We stopped by a brewery to grab a light lunch and had a bright idea along the way.
We were going to get haircuts! The area was super trendy, so we knew whoever we chose would do a good job. Once we finished lunch, we dropped by a place we had seen. They were able to fit the two of us in, and my classmate went first. It was the most amazing experience. The hairdresser only spoke Japanese and used Google Translate to communicate. After almost getting our hair dyed, he gave us both amazing haircuts! It was such a cool experience to share and I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else.
Finally, we were slated to meet up with one of my fellow traveler’s connections. A colleague’s niece was in Tokyo at the same time as us, and they had arranged through this mutual friend. It was a very special dinner. The location was a super small Italian-esque restaurant. They served amazing pasta, and all three of us were stuffed after. Overall, it was a spectacular end to a long day of adventuring.
Now to figure out what I’m going to do tomorrow! But of course, I’ll be back to report.
About the Japan Study Tour
THE TRAVEL DATES
Jan. 10-25, 2020
Modern Languages Prof. Darwin Tsen
Students will get to explore and experience Tokyo, Japan, through several activities. As they are guided through the city, students will be examining the several works of art there and the multicultural and multimedia products they offer, such as literature, cinema, television, and digital design. With an emphasis on historical contexts, students will come to understand the social and cultural fundamentals that lead to modern ideas of Tokyo, the environment, and the people.