Anyway, I should probably update you on the last few days of my Tokyo trip, even though it was a million years ago.
Thursday, March 22 was our mid-year conference. It was...different than expected, but it was really nice to see everyone and get to hear about what everyone's been working on. That evening all of us except Ashley (who had other plans) went out to dinner together in Shibuya.
(We had a couple of additions, so not everyone at the table is a Fulbrighter. Also, I stole this picture from Karen because I'm a 泥棒.)
I also had my first (non-alcoholic) cocktail! It was lychee juice and ice cream, which is Essentially The Best!
Then we took a picture at That Random Famous Intersection in Shibuya.
First row: Me, Sara, Karen (who I stole this picture from too), Michele, Nellie
Second row: Alyssa, Steven, Alex
The next morning we FINALLY got a picture of all nine of us:
Left to right:
First row: Michele, me, Sara, Karen
Second row: Alyssa, Steven, Ashley, Nellie
Way in the back because he's tall or whatever: Alex
What an incredibly attractive group of people.
(Picture totally stolen from Sara.)
So then a bunch of us headed out to check out this craft shop Alyssa had found previously. It had a bunch of nice stuff, but I didn't get anything because A. I had no room in my suitcase and B. I am a miser. So yeah.
After that, Karen and I headed out to Kanda Myoujin, also known as the computer exorcism shrine (p.s. note that the article totally accidentally calls it a temple geez guys it's not that hard to tell them apart).
It's literally a five minute walk from Akihabara, which makes it the perfect place to pick up talismans for all your computer-protecting needs!
It was raining, thus the umbrellas and the not-so-great picture quality.
Inside the main gate was:
A touch-screen display which can tell you random information about things, like how to wash your hands!
Or how to pray!
Did I mention this is basically an electronics shrine now?
Oh man, let's check out the ema racks, you guys.
Ahahahahaha, yeah, this is a geek shrine.
"May Japan be peaceful."
"I want the drama CD.
(Either 2 or 3.)"
...is this guy's eye melting? Unsure.
"May I become good at drawing."
"May I also be able to have fun drawing this year!"
"May I be able to watch good anime in 2012."
"I will try my hardest to complete the game!"
This is just ADORABLE.
Then I went over to the shrine office and bought an IT情報安全守 (IT information [sic] safety omamori) which is currently installed on the THerver and also the Media PC and also somewhere else in Tech House? I should have taken a picture, but I was distracted by other things OH WELL.
Here, have some pictures of little side shrines:
Then Karen headed back to her place (in Yokohama) and I headed to my hostel. I met up with a couple of the other Fulbrighters for dinner, and we went out to get unagi (eel). After that we crashed, because we were tired!
The next day, I met up with Steven to see Sensoji, which is a big temple in Asakusa.
As can be expected, it was absurdly crowded.
This is the little street of shops leading up to the temple.
...it was still raining, because the weather does not believe in cooperating.
They also had fake sakura trees?
This is a sledge used to drag the materials for the temple, I believe.
There was a nice garden attached as well:
Then we went over to Asakusa Shrine, which is right next door.
The ground was really muddy, which made walking...exciting.
So, yeah! Steven has a bunch more picture here, if you want to see them.
After that I headed to the airport and flew to the States, beginning a week and a half of craziness. It was great to see a bunch of Tech Housers (and non-Tech Housers and just people in general), and I'm really sorry if I was supremely jet lagged at you at any point in time. (I'm relatively sure that I had a couple of conversations that made NO SENSE.) I'm not going to write up blog posts about my adventures in the States, 'cause a bunch of you were there for parts of them and also there aren't enough hours in the day.
BUT! After touring a bunch of schools and talking to a bunch of people and doing a bunch of crazy planning, I can finally announce that I'll be a master's student at Harvard University starting in the fall. I just submitted the online forms today, so all that's left is for me to turn in the paperwork. Yay!
On a final note, this is the paper I made on the not-really-Nikko tour:
It's currently in Nick's possession, so you can go bother him if you want to see it for some reason.