Melissa in Japan

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hello again!

I know I haven't posted since I got to Kyoto, but we had no internet access and there was way to much to do instead of take the time to stop at an internet cafe. It was amazing! We saw shrines and temples and had an overall good time. We also went to a Suntory whiskey distillery and Kyocera. The shopping was amazing. I got lots of good stuff!!!

We went to the Gion district last night and saw some Geishas and apprentices. The pictures aren't stellar, but it was great to see them!!!

Now I'm sitting in the airport and we're waiting for our flight. I loved being here but I'm also excited to be going home! I miss my bed and my cat and my friends and family. Two weeks is a long time, but there are some great ppl I met along the way and I will always remember this trip.

I'll be home on Tuesday late late. No work on Wednesday and then back in the swing on Thursday! I hope to see you all soon!!!!

Miss you!
Love you!


Thursday, May 25, 2006


We traveled today to Beppu and visited APU. APU is an international university, with half the students being Japanese and half being international. The picture is a view from the university, which is situated on the top of a hill.

Then we headed back to the hotel, which is super nice and way bigger than any we have stayed at yet, and hung out. It's about 5:33 pm here now, and we're going to have a bit of fun tonight and maybe check out the hot springs.

I had to post a picture of the menus outside of every resturant. They have plastic displays of the food and I find it funny. We had to take pictures to show! I have spent a lot of time pointing to things that I want, after I ask the few Japanese speakers what the meat was before I ordered it.

Tomorrow we're going to Kyoto for the rest of the trip! It's hard to believe that it's already this far into the trip! I'm having a blast and I can't wait to see more, but I also miss everyone and can't wait to see you.

Megan - I hope your party is a blast.

April - Loved the pictures of the girls! Tell Lexi I brought her some presents and I'll bring them home June 3rd. Kiss the girls and smack Jesse for me.

I hope everyone is having a good two weeks!!!!

Talk to you all soon!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another good day!

It's about 9:20 pm here now. We just got back from going to this underground shopping center. Pretty neat. Lots and Lots of shopping.

This morning we went to a Robotics Factory. Pretty neat.

I don't have a ton to write because I'm tired and I really want to sleep!!!! I know it's early but we've been running around like mad, so I'll write more later!!!


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good morning!

It's about 9 am in the morning. We're waiting to go to a factory tour.

The baseball game was great. It was so alike but so different from the twins and brewer games I've gone to. They take their baseball pretty darn serious!

I have to jet, someone else wants to communicate home as well!



Monday, May 22, 2006


It is noon now and I thought I should write so mom doesn't worry!

Yesterday we came to Fukuoka. We went to the UN habitat and learned about their southeast Asian operations and then came back to Hakata and bummed around. We went to a Kareokee bar last night. It was the best time! Everyone had a blast! I'll post some pics when i can connect my pc.

Tonight we're going to a baseball game! I can't wait!

Okay... until later!


Sunday, May 21, 2006


I am so tired! After breakfast this morning we went to see several more sights, including a detour to my host father's favorite fishing spot on the bay, shrines and the highest point in Nagasaki. We also went to the Nagasaki history museum where we saw a small theatrical reenactment of the first English speaking individual who came to Japan. It was great, but I only understood what the English speaker was saying, and that was very few words. It was quite humorous. We ate lunch at a Japanese restaurant (Soba noodles) and had an excellent dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant (had to take off our shoes and everything). We did a lot of walking and climbing the millions of stairs, but it was awesome. The picture above is me with my host family's daughter, Makiko and their dog, Coo (I think that's the right spelling). I got to show Makiko my scrapbook projects online yesterday and she is an English teacher, so I showed her how to get free English fonts!

One of the shrines was surrounded by bamboo forests. So, photo opp. I don't care if it's dorky. I know you all miss me and this picture will help ease the pain a little bit.

Tonight we have a meeting. My host father bought some of the world famous Nagasaki Sponge Cake to share with the group and some Nakasaki Oranges to share as well. The farms are on the mountains and used the tiered system. Very interesting when driving through the mountains to see.

Tomorrow we're off to Fukuoka (bright and early!!!), where we will be until Thursday. The baseball game is on Tuesday, which I think will be wonderful as well as the UN habitat visit.

I think that's all I have for now. I'm ready to get some sleep!!!! After the meeting I think I'm going to be out like a light!!!

Love you all!
Miss you all!!!!


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Beautiful morning

It is a beautiful morning. We are heading up to see some temples and shrines this afternoon with the host family before returning to the hotel. I am very excited to see that.

Last night we went to a revolving sushi restaurant. It is one where the sushi is on a converyor belt and you just pick off what you want. It was very good. I tried a few new things. It was definitely a cool experience.

Short post this morning!

Talk to you later!!!
Give Morgan a kiss for me sister.



It:s 16:43 here right now. That would make it about 2 am central time. I think. We are having a little down time!

Today we went sight seeing in Nagasaki. It was great! We went to the Glover estate. He was a Scottish (I think) man who came to Japan and did many inovative things. Sara and I really enjoyed the fact that he was the President of the Japan Brewing Company. We also visited two Catholic Churches, one which is the oldest in Japan. Then we went and had Chinese food!!! I had some Octupus. I can just see my mom`s face turning at the thought of that! It was good. Very chewy.

We also went to the 100 yen store and got some fun stuff. I got Lexi and Peyton Hello Kitty Chopsticks! I also got Oragami paper. I can not wait to try this on my own!

Tonight we are going to a Sushi meal. I have eaten so much the last few days with the host family that I think I will have to fast for a week!!! It has all been so good though!

On a side note, I have taken like 200 pictures, no kidding. I am sure some will get deleted, but that is a lot of pictures. I can not help myself. I am like a kid in a candy store!

Until next time!!


Friday, May 19, 2006

Good morning!

It:s about 7 am right now. I just got up and my host family has their computer up and going, so while everyone is getting ready for the day, I thought I would jump on!

We had a wonderful presentation at Seibold University. We saw traditional music and dance as well as an archery demonstration. After that, we met with some Japanese students and they taught us how to make oragami cranes and fish and play a game that I can not explain, but will show you all when I get home because they gave us a gift of the wooden game.

After the presentation, we went home with our host familes. I am staying with a professor from the university and his wife. They have three children, all of which are out of the house. We did get to meet their oldest daugther, who teaches english. We had an awesome meal of steak, a corn soup, salad and an egg bake (I think there was seaweed in it?!) and some Japanese beer. Then I got to sit and talk to the family about different things, like where they grew up and what they do. The mother is a nurse, so we talked about those differences. I also got to see pictures of their daughter`s wedding. The pictures were amazing. Some of the pictures had the bride in the traditional outfit, while others showed the bride in a very Western style wedding gown. We talked a lot about where I grew up and the traditions (like hunting and football) that are a part of the Wisconsin life.

Now, I am just waiting for the day to start. I have no idea what we are doing today!!

I also have to say a big thanks to my mom, who told me to bring a poncho that has already come in handy!!! It has been raining here. Apparently a typhoon is coming, but I`m not worried. We were told it will just big really rainy here because of it. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice as well as Monday, so that will be a nice change!

That is all I have for now! Thanks for all the comments! It is great to see those!!! I miss you all!!! See you soon.



ps - again, no spell check! Sorry for the broken grammar - on a japanese laptop!!!!


I am trying to type this message on a Japanese keyboard on the campus of Seibold University. I am fairly computer literate but the keyboard posed a challenge!

We visited the atomic bomb museum today. Dad would love that place! It was very sad, but exteremly interesting.

Then we had lunch at a Japanese department store and did some shopping. I thought of Jena...some of the stores had things in that I could see you loving! Then I thought of Jocelyn. Purses everywhere! I have seen a lot of LV purses...lots and lots and lots.

Now we are at Seibold University. We went to a tea ceremony where the guy video taping (Japanese student) was taping me because I made the mistake of saying the camera made me nervous!!! It was really neat though.

Seibold university has only four departments, one of which is nursing. We got to see where they teach the pre-natal and infant care sections. Very neat. I took pictures for my nursing friends!!!! We also got to meet with students. Very cool. I will post some pics when I am at my PC!

Talk to you all soon!!!

ps - no spell check!!! I can not figure it out!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Good morning!

I can't sleep anymore. Between sleeping on the plane and then coming and going to bed, I'm just not tired. So I decided to get up and check my email and post again, even though the only thing I have done since last night is lie in bed. We're going to the atomic bomb museum today and then to Seibold University, where yours truly gets to give the thank you speech on behalf of the students involved in the trip. Then we meet our host families and stay with them until Sunday. I'm not sure what we're doing with the host families. I'm excited to see their house and to try some of the cooking! I haven't really had a chance to taste anything yet!!!! Some of the other group members had some binto boxes last night at the airport. The binto box is kind of like a little lunch box. Someone had shrimp tempura and someone else had eel. The binto is like lunch on the go. This morning, they are serving a traditional Japanese breakfast in the hotel lobby. We'll see how that goes!

Alright...I think it's my turn to shower!


Greetings from Japan!


I have arrived. It's 10:30 PM here and we have just gotten checked into our hotel. So for all of you just getting up...I'm almost ready for bed.

The trip went well. Customs was not as scary as I thought it might be. The flight from San Francisco to Nagoya was a bit long at ten hours, but it was bearable. Four flights in 24 hours...I guess what doesn't kill ya makes you stronger.

I'm actually sitting in the hotel right now. It's funny because behind me are vending machines, selling beer, cigarettes, and some Japanese non-alcoholic drinks. Vending machines selling beer are everywhere here. Some of the guys from the trip are sitting down here right now having a beer from the vending machine.

Since we've only been traveling, I don't really have anything else to post. I guess I'll sign off!!!!

Talk to you all soon!



Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Tonight, I have a few hours left to clean stuff up, pack up my bags and then I'm leaving for Jocelyn's. I have a few more things I want to take out of my bag that I don't need and then that's ready to go.

I'm hoping I can post on Friday, maybe even Thursday if I'm on that travel high when I get to the hotel....

until then....

safe travels!


Monday, May 15, 2006

Uggggghhhh Packing!

I hate packing up! I did my first round of it's time to take it out, learn from my mistakes and then re-pack. We'll see how it goes!

Only two more sleeps! Crazy!


Sunday, May 14, 2006

It's getting closer!

I have the rest of today and tomorrow night to get ready for this trip! Crazy. I got the rest of the odds and ends I need this weekend, plus got all my laundry done, so tomorrow night is all about packing up and dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's.

Kristin left for Italy yesterday. Yay for her. What a blast that would be. That's another place I would love to go.

I think that's all I've got. I've got a lot I want to get done today and typing on my blog really isn't getting any of it done.

Alright. I'm off.

Until next time...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Five days!!!

Only five days left. I made my final payment, so that makes it a bit more cemented. Today I'm going to share my blog address with everyone so they can check it out, so for those of you who come to visit my blog, feel free to leave comments for me or other visitors!

I'm glad it's Friday!

I better get rocking. Gotta go back to work for a few hours before the weekend is officially here!


Thursday, May 11, 2006

The countdown continues!

Six days. I'm starting to freak a little more. Some ppl reading this might wonder why, but as I've said before, this is my first international travel experience, so I have some extra nerves that someone who has traveled extensively might not have. I'm stoked, but still a little nervous. Once I get everything I need to done, I'll feel a little better!

Tonight is all about making sure I have everything I need on my handy dandy packing list. Sounds like fun to me.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

One week!

This time next week I'll be on a plane somewhere over the Pacific ocean, about 10 hours from my destination. I'm sure by this time I'll be sick of flying.
Tonight was my last night of class. Now I just have that one more problem to finish on the final and then I'm home free. I'm glad that class is over. Not such a fan of finance. The prof was good though and I did learn a lot, just not how to do this last problem on the test! I'm crossing my fingers for partial credit!

Totally off subject: I heard Britney Spears is prego. The gene pool just got a little more shallow.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Currency Exchange

I got some Yen today after work. Only a few hundred dollars. I'll exchange the rest later when I can get a better rate. It's strange to hold it though because it makes this so much more real. I just can't believe it's coming so fast! It's like when someone gets married. You talk about it so much and it seems like the day will never come. Just like all those weddings, it will be here and gone before I know it!

Monday, May 08, 2006


Okay, so I found this great website. It's called One Bag. The site gives you tips and tricks as to how to pack in just one bag that can be carried on.

So what is my mission? To do this. I want to pack everything I need in one bag. I'll have that one awesome bag from campmor and then my laptop bag with my fun stuff to do on the plane and, of course, my laptop, and passport and all that jazz. Yeah, if I can do this, I will be impressed too. Really, once I started throwing stuff in the bag, I realized that it can be done. I just don't know if it can be done by me. When we went to Colorado to see Kristin I took my biggest bag full of stuff.

Something else I think I'm going to do is leave my other suitcase with some clothes in it for Morgan to sleep in while I'm gone. He loves to sleep in/on my suitcases. Every time I pack, he tries to stop me by laying on my luggage. The picture is of him laying down on my luggage. Yes, he is a big cat. Yes, the bag is small. He does look a lot bigger in this picture and the bag looks much smaller than it is. Everytime I pushed him off the bag, he climbed right back on and wouldn't move. He is going to miss me lots when I'm gone. Good thing all these awesome ppl said that they would watch him. He's going to have lots of visitors. He will still be pretty sad, but if he has some visitors to sit and pet him every once in a while, he will be ok. The problem is that he's pretty spoiled. Actually he's really really spoiled. That's ok though. He's my baby.

Okay, now that I've officially put off getting those last two problems on my test done, I should get a little work done before I go to bed!



9 Days!

Man...down to less than ten days. Makes my head spin and my stomach hurt.
I have a lot to do yet, including finishing my test for finance which is about 2/3 done, but what's left is the hard stuff.
I have to do some errands tonight and then I'm going to work on my test and try to get my spare room cleaned so that's one less room I have to clean Sunday, Monday or Tuesday night. My stomach hurts thinking about this trip because of all the nerves. I think it will be amazing, but I've never traveled internationally and I'm nervous. I think I'm a healthy nervous. I'm also excited. More excited than nervous. It's just getting so close!
I should go back to work!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Last Study Session!

I had the last study session today for the Japan trip! We went over a lot of the language and learned some phrases. Now the hard part will be to remember the phrases we learned?!?!
I also learned that the host family I will be staying with consists of a English professor and his wife. I'm not sure if they have any children or not. I'll just have to wait to receive and email from them! I can't wait to go!!!! I have almost everything I need now. This week and a half are either going to fly or drag. It is still hard to believe that this trip is almost here. We were having this conversation today, that the fact we're going to be in Japan in less than two weeks is pretty surreal.
That's all I've got for now.



Thursday, May 04, 2006

A little off topic....

I had my second to last Finance class last night. I'm sooooo glad that's almost over. I just have to do the final this weekend and some extra credit and I'm done. Finance is my least favorite subject. I know that has nothing to do with my Japan trip, but I don't care.

I'm writing a paper on Komatsu Ltd. It's an assignment for the class that goes along with the trip. Very interesting and diverse company. They are number two in the world of construction machinery producers only to caterpillar. They even have a WI plant. The company has presence in Asia, Canada, the US, Mexico, South America, Central America, Europe and, of course, Japan. I'm hoping to finish that paper tonight so I can hand it in on Saturday. One more thing checked off my list!

Alright...we're down to less than two weeks now. I'm getting anxious!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Two weeks

I can't believe it's two weeks. Two weeks from today, about this time, I'll be flying from Chicago to San Fran to catch the flight to Nagoya. Crazy! I am getting more nervous and more excited by the day.
I got my package from Campmor last night. The UPS guy tried to make some conversation about how he has been delivering a lot of those lately, but I wasn't really all that interested. I was excited to get my travel pillow that is inflatable and awesome and my other things. I ordered these packing cubes. One is for shower stuff, it's water proof, so I'm going to put anything that could possibly spill in that one and then the other one is just for other random stuff. I have a lot of random stuff that I feel I need to bring. They will both fit in my shoulder bag that I'm bringing and now the stuff won't be rolling around everywhere. I think that they will work awesome. I am so excited! Plus, I was able to fit almost everything in between the two. I have a few more things that I can't pack until right before I leave, like my makeup and migraine meds, but other than that, we're rocking. Hopefully on the way back, they'll be pretty empty because when the travel size shampoo, body wash, conditioner and hairspray are gone, I'm chucking them. Really, even if they aren't gone but almost gone, I'm still throwing them. I'm only carrying the necessities back.
Before I sign off for the day, I have to go back to my inflatable travel pillow. First, it's got the softest cover in the world. Second, it inflates with one breath. Third, it deflates in like two seconds and stores flat. This may possibly be the best travel pillow in the world. I am so stoked! Yeah, I know, big deal, a travel pillow, but I'm excited so I don't care what everyone else thinks. It's awesome.
Okay, signing off, getting back to work.



Monday, May 01, 2006

It's finally May!

It always seems like when you start planning a trip, it's so far away. Now, my Colorado trip is done, my Vegas trip is done and it's less than three weeks until I'll be in Japan?! I'm freaking out a little bit.

I added the link to this site to my other site, so I'll add my other site to this one.

If I have time when I'm Japan, like at night when I can't sleep because I'm so excited to be there, I'll post my pictures on that other site. Who knows, maybe having any free time is a pipe dream, but I'm really hoping I can share some of this stuff real time. I get all worked up when I'm traveling and can't sleep at night anyways, even when I should be soooo tired from being out and about all day. lunch is almost over.