Sunday, July 23, 2006

Touring the city

My host dad has a way of turning what seems to be aimless sightseeing, into great memorable experiences. I love his spontaneity. After the mall touring, we went back down to the underground center where the subway station was intermixed. Apparently we were going to just ride the subway for fun, I was game! It was great to witness everything, and see how smoothly Japan can order up and transport so many people. Tickets and gates were all electronic, and the subways lived up to their name to being insanely prompt. At this time of day the subways were empty, but I have heard that Japanese city subway systems get incredibly packed. We didn't go far, only a few blocks away, switching subways once, but I loved it. It was a very cool feeling moving around amongst the bustling pedestrians. I first figured that we had just went in a small circle to just sample the subway systems, but I was wrong. My host father took me to see the bullet train station, or Kyushuu's "Shinkansen" as they are called in Japan. The bullet trains are very fast due to their magnet technology. I have always wanted to see one, and not only did I see it, I touched it! This particular train was headed for Tokyo. I got to experience the station and see how the above ground system works, and what it looks like inside. It was very interesting. That wasn't the last surprise of the day. I figured we were going to return to our parking structure only a few blocks away by subway, but I was wrong. My host father waved down a taxi and all four of us got to drive down Fukuoka mainstreet in a Taxi Cab! Not only was it my first time ever in a Taxi, it was also a great way to view this amazing city of Japan. The short trip was pretty awe-inspiring. When we arived at our parking garage, there was a large event set up in a courtyard of a large building. There was a collaboration of business sponsors advertising Japanese youth education, along with the current campaign for Fukuoka to be the 2016 olympic host. I got a tada fan with the olympic campaign logo on it, so it was a great way to finish off such an amazing afternoon. I had so much fun this Saturday, with the camp, and the city touring, but I later learned that my day was really just starting! The pics are of me with my host father on the subway, my host sister, Erika, and her friend Honami having fun on the subway. The last is me next to the Shinkansen!

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