Konnichi wa boys and girls! Did you know that konnichi wa means hello in Japanese? No matter where you travel, people all over world say hello. For example, in Mexico people say hola, in France they say bonjour, and in Italy people say ciao. In our one world, we have many words to say the same thing. (Check out the bulletin board outside the library to learn more ways to say hello.)
As I prepare for my “journey” to Japan, please join me in saying “konnichi wa” to this culture. While I am the lucky person who gets to travel across the world and study and live in this country for three weeks, you will also be a huge part of my experience. Your interests and questions will help me to decide what I will share with you while I am gone and when I return. Did you know that I will be learning about Japan along with you? This will be my first trip to Japan, which is actually one of the reasons why I was selected to receive this award.
The Japanese culture is new to me, but I am so VERY EXCITED to learn and share my experiences with you. In the classroom, when we learn how to do something new we practice and that is exactly what I did this weekend. My friend and I spent Sunday afternoon at the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, New Jersey. (This is a great day trip to consider taking with your family to explore Japanese culture.) This unique strip mall has a book store, ceramics store, general store, cosmetics store, video store, and a huge Japanese supermarket. Inside the supermarket visitors find a variety of small shops, a travel agency, a bakery, and a food court. Several people recommended the food court as a convenient and affordable place to try a variety of Japanese foods.
There were so many food stands to pick from, we simply did not know where to begin. I selected udon noodles with vegetables from Sanuki Sando Udon because I really wanted to master the art of using chop sticks. Honestly, as my pictures will reveal to any expert, my use of chopsticks is still a work in progress! (Luckily, the soup spoons are easier to use.) My “taste” of Japan left me hungry for more! Thank goodness my “journey” begins in less than two weeks. Sayonara! (Good-bye)