Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pandas in Ueno Zoo

Yesterday it was holiday exclusively for Chiba residents. All public schools in Chiba were off. So I took my children to Ueno to see giant pandas since it is too crowded in weekends. But there were so many people! Maybe they came from Chibaaaaaaah!

I looked up in the Ueno Zoo homepage to check buisiness hours before hand and tried to reach there before opening at 9:30 but my daughter could not wake up early enough and we arrived a little bit before 10:00, 30 minutes after the opening. We went directly to the end of the line of pandas. There were already many people in the line and the man in the zoo said it would take a little bit more than 1 hour to see pandas, but we joined in the line.
Luckily it didn't take so long before we could see pandas but as I expected we could not stop to see pandas. Pandas were asleep in the corner of the room and didn't move a bit! All I could hear was shouting of the man saying 'Keep moving! Don't stop to take pictures in the front line!"

This a picture is of my lunch I bought at the snack stand in the park, which is called Panda bento. Ears are made of shiitake mashrooms and eyes are black beans. It is 550 yen but small about 10cm × 15cm. I am sure it will not satisfy European's stomach!

Lastly, I happened to see this amazing dog in Yoyogi Park.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Field Day

Today I heard a news that a man living in Fukushima committed suicide for being pesimistic for his future. He was a dairy farmer and he killed himself by hanging on the rope in his warehouse. He left his message on the wall saying "only if there was no reactor". Because of the reactor's accident his dairy farm got banned to ship cow's milk products. Since then he had to discard all the milk he squeezed from his cows. He was married to a Filipino woman but after the 3.11 disaster her wife went back to Philippine with their children. I felt so sad. I suppose there are a lot of people like him now. I hope there will be no more sad news like this and earliest possible reconstruction.

Well today I would like to write about Field Day which took place on May 14 at my kids' school.

My kids' school holds several events every year and Field Day is one of them. Until 2 years ago Filed Day was held in September but last year it was held in May. I suppose because of global warming we tend to have very hot days in September and that is why they changed the event schedule. Since rainy season has not started in Kanto region it was a sunny but windy day.

First, I'd like to show you a video.  This is called Ohdama-okuri, big ball conveying. All the students aree classified between red or white and they compete each other in various games. In this video you can see how they convey each ball over head using their hands to the goal.

Typical events we see in school field days are sprints, recreational sprints, tug of war, dance, cavalry battle, combination gymnastic, tamaire and so on.
Next photo is of my daughter finishing in recreational sprints. In this event kids take each note with name of the teachers and they are required to find the teacher on the note quickly and finish together. She is not good at running fast but she was lucky to finish 2nd. An interesting point is some teacher wore a mask like hers which makes difficult to find the teacher.

This is a photo of tug of war. Neither of my children didn't do this this year.
This is cavalry battle. 4 kids make one team. 3 kids make a hoarse and one kid mounts on it like a cavalry. In the battle the cavalry tries to capture other team's cavalry's caps. My daughter was one of 3 making a hoarse. Because other 2 hoarse girls were much taller than her and it looked she got more weights of her cavalry girl.
My daughter is in the 6 grade which means this is her last field day in an elementary school. I think it was right decision that she joined cheer leaders. For a month before the event she practiced hard every day before classes and after school. But I am sure it became one of her good memories.
This is a finale photo of combination gymnastic. To be honest I don't really know how to say it in English. We call this kumitaiso. This is the last position making a big pyramid.
Both of my children were in white team. I am a bit sorry that their team didn't win this year which made them unsatisfied. But I could see how my daughter was active in cheer leading and events and how my son worked hard to fulfill his job as a scorer it surely was a memorial good event for me.