Monday, August 27, 2007


Just got back from very very tiring trips. Trips because I have been to two physically exhausting and mind breaking trips.

Izu is not easy

From the 17th to 19th of August, I was in Kawana at Ito City in the beautiful Izu Peninsula at Shizuoka Prefecture. That trip was about my lab's yearly Summer Seminar Workshop where everybody are supposed to do and make presentations about their researchs. From day one, Friday starting at 8pm, the group listened to the first batch of presenters then the following day, from 9am til 10pm with a short break from 4:00pm to 7:00pm for dinner and a quick game of tennis, the group sat and listened patiently as the presenters comes in one by one.

It was really very tiring to listen to different speakers talking about different areas of research, one has to think very vast in order to grasps the topics. Not to mention the physical endurance our butts has to make sitting for that long.

JICA Summer Seminar at Nihonmatsu, Fukushima

After a few hours of rest and sleep, I was packing my things again for yet another exciting adventure. This time it will be much longer than the previous as I will be staying for 8 days starting from the 20th to 27th of August. Not to mention, the physical activities involved in the seminar.

The JICA seminar I was in was about Forest and Environmental Protection and the participation of the local community. Where would be the best place to conduct the lecture but inside the forest itself! Not really the jungle-type like what I expect, but the atmosphere is almost quite the same, with the lush trees and the singing sound of running waters with the majestic view of the mountain peaks. For about one week, we stayed at Forest Park Adatara in Nihonmatsu and learned a lot of things about Forest and Environmental Protection. At the campsite we where introduced to some of the very physical but fun (I guess for starters) ways of maintaining the environment like thinning out trees from the forest then making charcoals. Yes!! We did cut some trees and made the charcoals, and I say you, it is not that easy. Even if we cut the tree trunk into 1 meter length, still some weighs a bit heavy. Then in the charcoal process, hitting the kiln takes about 1 day, then burning the woods for the charcoal will take about yet another day. But again, when you are that enthusiastic, things are quite fun even if the weather is really really very hot!

There are some fun parts though, we did some wood crafts which I would say is quite very easy even kids can enjoy. There were also a BBQ party with new JICA staffs, not to mention the times I deep in the hot spring and beer drinking spree with my co-participants.

Early Sunday morning, we packed again and headed for a ryoukan to meet a local club Nihonmatsu Yuuhigaoka Sinka Club that also works with environmental projects. We stayed there for one night before heading back home but the stay is really quite interesting. Meeting with the club members we did a lot of activities, like clearing and cleaning the forest (again we went up the mountain though not that high), craft making using old leaves, there was even a story telling session about the Moon Princess or "Kaguyahime (かぐやひめ)". Interestingly, last year, the group traveled to Manila and the areas of San Fernando, La Union and Mt. Pinatubo for their environmental field trips. The owner by the way of the ryoukan is a member of the group.

We had an early dinner, which is actually some sort of party to get to know the members much better, after which everyone donned their costumes (witch costumes for the JICA participants) then headed for the town's main street to join the celebration of O-Bon Matsuri. In my case, I just wore a yukatta. Everyone had fun dancing to the tune of the drums, celebrating with the local people.

I'm still quite tired for now so pictures will be posted later.

Friday, August 10, 2007

ハロハロ in Japan?! (Halo-halo in Japan)

Went out for a swim at Fukayashi with a friend yesterday and we stopped by a MiniStop outlet along the road to have lunch. Was taking a last bite when I noticed this sign --> ハロハロあります。(Halo-Halo available <-- translation in English, see photo below). I was amazed to find out that they have it here in Japan, though it is not quite the real thing as they tend to put the ice "before" the sweets leaving you with ice and water at in the end. Anyways, I told my friend that Halo-Halo is a famous cold food or dessert during the summer seasons in the Philippines and that the term they used in Japan actually came from the Philippines. He was also amazed after learning that it is a Filipino food. Currently, it is quite hot here in Japan and I think this will last until the mid of October. I promised him I'd prepare some next week, I just need to get some items from Ueno.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Japanese Name (日本の名前)

Got this link from a friend about a Japanese name generator. Though not really real it's just a fun site to play with.

By the way, I'm MORITA KAITO. 森田海斗です、どうぞよろしく。

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Still busy

Currently still busy with school work. Most of my posts includes pictures and since I am having a hard time uploading it and doing the layout, I tend to just save it as drafts. For now I still haven't uploaded the posts from April to July.

School is out actually but I still have to finish one more paper for my intensive class. After this I need to be busy conceptualizing my research and try to be more specific. Then I have to attend a couple of seminars that requires some travelling so it is really tiring just thinking about all the things that I need to do. What a life!