Saturday, August 31, 2013

ISA English Camp 2013

Hey guys I'm back!! I've been sick for the past few days so I didn't have time to update this Blog.
I volunteered at an English summer camp held near Nagoya by the ISA organisation. The camp was basically for young Japanese aged from elementary school to high school who wants to learn and improve their English. I was an assistant teacher there along with five other exchange students. My fellow exchange students were all very nice people, I had so much fun with them! My job during three days was to help and support the Japanese students in my class. My group was students with the age ranging from grade eight to grade nine. The adult teacher is also from Canada and is a very kind person. On the first day, each group had to prepare a performance to perform in front of everybody that night during the camp fire. I taught our group the Canadian lullaby ‘Frere Jacques’. Then I realised how most Japanese kids are wonderful at singing. I'm so proud of them! Then we had to do a skit of Momotaro and I laughed so hard at some points that I felt like as if I was finally going to get abs! These are all very smart kids and they had wonderful ideas. 
Rehearsing for Momotaro

Group picture


Actual Performance

My guy best friends in that class! 

Another group picture before saying our farewells

As the camp progressed, I grew closer to my students. They were shy at first but after we got to know each other, I soon realised that they were actually very energetic and funny people! I've never thought that I could teach anything but after this experience, I felt a major sense of accomplishment along with a higher level of self-esteem. Maybe the camp taught me something instead of me teaching the kids.  

If you want to contact me for anything please comment here or
Youtube: Manou Liu

Thank you for reading!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Host Family!!

After 2 days of orientation provided kindly by the program, I finally arrived at my host family's house! The orientation was very fun while being extremely helpful. It teaches the students how to survive in Japan including how to ride a train and how to buy food! I got to know a lot of new people from around the world such as Finland, Australia, America, France, etc. This is such a great way to meet people, I'm glad I came! 
My host family is the Nagashima family from Kanagawa Prefecture. They are so kind I even got surprised! My host mom is a very youthful and energetic person with a great sense of humor. My host dad is funny and very friendly even though he's very busy everyday. Last but not least, my little host brother, he's the cutest kid I've met in Japan! He looks like a half child since he has light brown hair and big eyes. He's very energetic and has a great personality, I'm sure he's going to be really popular when he gets older. This family is just... So cool and awesome! They're way more than I can ask for. I feel like I'm going to have a lot of fun with them. Their house is very pretty and clean too! The grandma who lives across the street is very kind and friendly too, always giving us vegetable from her garden. This is so helpful for Japanese people because fruit and vegetable are very very expensive in Japan! 

We ate sukiyaki today and had our own little Hanabi festival (firework)! It was very fun. 


My host brother. 

If you want to contact me for anything please comment here or
Youtube: Manou Liu

Shinjuku Kabuki-cho

This is kind of a controversial area of Tokyo for some people. It has stores called Fuuzoku (風俗店) which have 'special services' for the ones in need and also Host Clubs which are the paradise for many women. If you go to Kabuki-cho will most likely see suit wearing guys with light brown hair standing along the streets trying to talk to the girls passing by. Those are most likely hosts! They sometimes will hand out business cards with their number written on it. 
While walking there, two of them tried to talk to me so it's safe to say as long as you look like you know Japanese there will be some who will come to you. Now, hosts are only there to drink and talk with the ladies and most of them don't want to have any deeper relations with their clients. 

The red gate thing is the entrance to Kabuki-cho.

The actual street.

Suit and light brown hair... 

Not really sure what this is... It says free information center...

Sorry for the poor quality of these pictures it was taken with my phone and it was at night. :( 

If you want to contact me for anything please comment here or
Youtube: Manou Liu

Saturday, August 24, 2013


We went to Odaiba on the last free day we had and it was full of surprises. Odaiba is the new kind of business area of Tokyo with a lot of big companies and sky scrapers. It also has Fuji TV station as a main attraction. To get there, a special train line is available named Yurikamome line. For tourism, the best choice is probably to purchase the one day pass of 800¥ in order to get off at several stations. It depends on the individuals as in which station to visit but I definitely would recommend Aoumi and Odaiba station. Aoumi has the Tokyo Leisureland with karaoke, Game Center, bowling and lots more within one big structure. There's also a mall called Venus Fort which is a very westernized shopping center with a lot of European and American brands such as Roxy, Billabong, Zara, etc.. Finally, this is for my fellow Prince of Tennis fans, if there is any, if you watched the musicals for this anime Tenimyu then you might know, some of the shows were held in a place called Zepp Tokyo... Which is situated right beside the Leisureland! This was a big surprise for me. 

I also found a poster of my favorite Japanese athlete (gymnast) Uchimura Kohei!!

Odaiba is the home of Fuji TV station which some of you might know for their dramas or their shows. They have VS Arashi and SmapXSmap going on as well as the drama Summer Nude. 
During the summer it's filled with attractions and shops. 

Despicable me slide at Odaiba

Poster for Summer Nude.


Kiosks at Fuji TV

VS Arashi's poster in Fuji TV

Nazotoki ha dinner no ato de's poster!!

VS Arashi!!!

A studio in use.


Sato Takeru's attire for his new movie/drama?

Domoto Kyoudai!!

SmapXSmap's guest room.

If you want to contact me for anything please comment here or
Youtube: Manou Liu

Friday, August 23, 2013

Meiji Jingu (shrine)

On the same day we went to Takeshita Dori, we also went to Meiji Jingu which was pretty much right beside the fashion district. This is a Shrine dedicated to the Meiji emperor who was very popular amongst the people during his rule. The shrine is right beside the Harajuku station but is, in contrast to the area, very quiet and relaxing. It is surrounded by a forest which is accessible by little trails. 
The gate of the shrine. 

In the shrine people can buy something called 絵馬(ema), wood boards that are supposed to carry the wishes written on them to The Lord. It's 500¥ per ema. After writing the wishes on there, the emas are hung on to racks full those. 

If you want to contact me for anything please comment here or
Youtube: Manou Liu

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Harajuku Takeshita Dori (street)

First of all, let me just tell you how hot it is in Tokyo right now. It is 34 degrees and feels like 36 outside because of the humid ex so when I get out, I actually feel a certain difficulty to breath normally. This is what told me "Welcome to Asia in Summer!" And on the news, they said that places like Kumamoto and Kochi are getting 39 and 40 degrees over a long period of time. To be honest, I don't feel like going to school in this weather...

Anyways, our second day in Tokyo we decided to go to Harajuku, the new fashion district for young people of Tokyo. It's actually quite small since it's a street that's around 400m long filled with little shops on the side, selling accessories, clothes, shoes and idol shops! There were a lot of people on the street when we went and some of them had a very special fashion sense. The stores like Paris kids and kutsushitaya sell super cute accessories and socks while other stores sell various styles of clothing, some inspired by Liz Lisa (the popular Japanese gyaru clothing brand) others by the more western style. A very big highlight for me was the idol shops, selling pictures, stickers, books, everything about Japanese idols such as the Johnny's family idols (my favorite boy bands are from this company producing Kat-tun, Arashi, Smap, Hey! Say! JUMP, etc.), AKB48 and other celebrities. Another popular feature of this area is the Crepe kiosks along the street, with deliciously made crepes. Due to the weather, we only stayed there for about an hour there and then we had to get into somewhere with the AC on and eat Kakigori (shaved ice)! 

The entrance to Takeshita Dori has a very cute sign so it's very easy for people to find!

One of the Idol shops on the street

Matcha shaved ice, it was sooo good!!

If you want to contact me for anything please comment here or
Youtube: Manou Liu

Thank you for reading!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

First Day in Japan

After 13 hours of sitting on a plane, I finally arrived in Tokyo! The plane had a wonderful collection of movies such as Iron Man 3 and Cirque du Soleil so it wasn't a boring ride for me. The food was very good as well, especially the omelette for breakfast was very delicious! Upon our arrival in Japan, I felt what I like to call the "Japanese service" which is basically everybody being very polite and nice to you. It always makes me feel like a princess with everybody bowing at me but I also don't know how to return their kindness when treated like this. 

Our hotel is in Shinjuku, one of the most popular place in Tokyo. The staff here is, like I explained before, very kind. Everybody seems to work so hard because they enjoy their job. In the hotel itself, there are many choices of restaurant with food from around the world that you can choose. Also, there's a "combini" which is a convenience store selling everything people need to live. Did I mention before that I love eating? Well, food is my love for life. The food sold in convenience stores in Japan such as Onigiri and Obento are to kill for! They are just so good I can keep on buying them and eating them forever. 
The view from the bus
The hotel lobby
The view from our hotel room window
Japanese pajamas provided by the hotel
Yogurt from the combini

Ultimately, this was a pretty smooth trip but I'm still very tired and jet-lagged so all I want to do right now is to sleep in a bed. Therefore, I will go do that! 
Summer vacation is almost over... Enjoy what's left of it since in a few years there won't be any summer vacation anymore! 

If you want to contact me for anything please comment here or
Youtube: Manou Liu

Thank you for reading!!