月別: 1月 2020

Getting around Tokyo is easy

Do you use train every day in Tokyo? Have you ever got lost in the train station? This article will help you to go around easier in Tokyo with some tips. This year is almost my fourth year in Japan and I hope that you see this one is useful. I have used train in some other countries but for me the train network in Japan is the most complicated.

It looks scary right? But it would be fine if you stay calm and carefully check the signs! And don’t forget that all the staffs are very friendly and always be there for you!

Today I will talk about the city that never sleeps and it almost reach 14 million people this year, Tokyo. It has 882 interconnected rail stations in the Tokyo Metropolis, 282 of which are Subway stations, with several hundred more in each of the 3 surrounding densely populated suburban prefectures. Tokyo is covered by a dense network of train, subway and bus lines, which are operated by about many different companies. People in the city mostly use the train lines by JR East because it’s convenient and famous stations. When I first arrived in Tokyo and lived inside the downtown, I always used JR Yamanote Line. I guess a lot of you have already known this line as it’s passed by Takadanobaba and some other famous spots like Shibuya and Shinjuku. The city’s 13 subway lines are operated by two companies and run largely inside the Yamanote circle and the areas around Ginza and the area east of the loop line. Most of the many suburban train lines commence at one of the six major stations of the Yamanote Line (Yellow-green): Tokyo, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa.

Besides that, there are some major JR lines in Tokyo: Keihin-Tohoku Line (Light- blue), Chuo/Sobu Line (Local) (Yellow), Chuo Line (Rapid) (Orange), Saikyo Line (Green- blue), Shinkansen.

I have some friends who spend more than 2 hours every day from Chiba or Saitama to Waseda University which makes them very tired when they arrive at school. There are many other lines connect Tokyo with the metropolis’ outer regions and surrounding prefectures. There is one interesting fact is many of the private railway companies also operate department stores usually at their train lines’ major stations. That’s why when you see the name of the line; you will feel familiar because they have many famous department stores around all the famous tourist spots. Some of them are:

  • Kanagawa – Tokyo: Tokyu Railway
  • Saitama – Tochigi (including Nikko): Tobu Railway
  • Tokyo Tama Region – Saitama: Seibu Railway
  • Tokyo Tama Region: Keio Railway
  • Kanagawa: Odakyu Railway (you also can go to Hakone) & Keikyu Railway (including Haneda Airport also)
  • Chiba (connect Narita Airport to central Tokyo): Keisei Railway
  • Akihabara – Tsukuba, Ibaraki: Tsukuba Express

Here are some useful websites for your information:

Another way to go around the downtown is the Tokyo Metro. It’s one of Tokyo’s subway operators. Waseda and Nishi Waseda are the nearest station to Waseda University. There are some major lines: Ginza line (Orange), Marunouchi line (Red), Hibiya line (Silver), Tozai line (Sky blue), Chiyoda line (Green), Yurakucho (Gold), Hanzomon line (Purple), Namboku line (Emerald), Fukutoshin (Brown).

You will find it more easily as the website is very useful and friendly display in English!
Tokyo Metro Website: https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

Finally, as I’ve said at first paragraph, Tokyo’s train network is very complicated and hard to use but after a few times using, you will feel better as you can follow the website and the train apps on your phone! With a bit of planning and research, you will find it more interesting and easy to go around by yourself!

S.R (Student Staff Leader)

Myanmar in me

An enjoyable night with ICC Myanmar culture night

This will be a very long blog; I hope that you could find it’s not so sleepy. Today I will write about my experience in ICC Myanmar culture night. It was a very nice and fun memory for me. I have met many interesting people and made a lot of friends (of course ate tons of foods, too). Let me tell you a bit about my past experience with Myanmar.

My first knowledge about Myanmar is from Myanmar friends. I’ve met them from The Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP). SSEAYP is the program from the Japanese Government which promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youths of Japan and the ten Southeast Asian countries, to broaden their perspective of the world, and furthermore, to strengthen their spirit of international cooperation, and practical skills for international collaboration. Each contingent will have 28 participants and 1 National Leader. The program will hold a few days in Japan including the homestay program and Japan-ASEAN Youth Leaders’ Summit (YLS). After program in Japan, we started our on-board program on the trip name Nippon Maru.  The Government of Japan chartered the Nippon Maru and entrusted its operation to Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line Ltd. for the 42nd SSEAYP in 2015. The Nippon Maru is an ocean liner with an overall length of 166.6 meters and a gross tonnage of 22,472 tons. It is equipped with 202 cabins, a hall, a lounge, a theatre, a library, a Japanese tea room, a swimming pool, a clinic, laundry rooms, a dining room, and grand baths, etc.

“Nippon Maru, sailing the blue ocean…”

The time when I went to Myanmar, it was a few years after the country opened up so I felt that Myanmar people were still not get used to the tourists. The first impression was Myanmar people were very nice and friendly. Because the weather in Myanmar is very hot so both man and woman in Myanmar put the traditional sun cream and wear their traditional clothes everywhere.

Myanmar national costume consists of two sets, one for men and one for women.

I stayed 4 days in Yangon which is the biggest city in Myanmar. Before I came to Myanmar, my image of this country was just the small and not developed country, but when I put my first step in Myanmar, my eyes were wide open because of its beauty and the modernist of the city. My host family was a very happy family which has 4 people. Dad was a songwriter who graduated in America and his daughter was a very famous singer. Mom stayed home and cooked so many delicious foods every day and one young son who was a junior student. Their house construction is not too big and modern but they used the hover board inside house. Everyone has their own latest Samsung phones which made me feel so cool. Because the family was working in the music industry so they owned a lot nice guitars, piano and some other modern instruments. Just in a few days, they took me around the city and shown me all the famous spots of Yangon, I have bought a lot of souvenirs because everything was very cheap and beautiful. Especially for some of my jewellery which I bought from Myanmar, I wear them every day as my luck charms and they always stay the same condition like when I bought them.

Most of all, after a while staying far from my family, I was missing my family vibe a lot. However, I felt like I was in my house when I stayed with them. The yummy foods of Mom, the warm care of Dad and too funny siblings which made me cried a lot before I came back to the Nippon Maru ship after the host program. If I had chance, I will definitely come back to Myanmar and see them again.

When I heard that ICC would hold an ICC Myanmar Culture Night, I immediately cleared my schedule and asked my best friend to join the event with me. There were so many people took part in the event, even Waseda student and other people outside the school also came to the event which made me so surprised. At first, the students from Myanmar did some presentations about Myanmar and even the Counsellor of Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar also gave us an opening speech. Next, there is a professional traditional dancer from Myanmar shown everyone the beauty of their dance and she even taught some individual volunteer learners (including me). The most impression when I stayed close to her was her “beautifulness” and the good smell from the Myanmar cosmetics. The light spots were all focused on her as there was a miracle light made her dance “bling-bling” in front of all the guests.

Myanmar Beauty

As I have mentioned how nice and friendly the Myanmar people are, there foods were a big treat for everyone joined the event. There were many kinds of foods including the main foods and some other snacks. They also brought their famous instant milk tea and coffee for everyone to enjoy which made so impressed.


Oishii snacks and drinks from Myanmar

After the event, I saw everyone were so happy and enjoyable. I bet they had tons of fun and must be so full thanks to Myanmar delicious foods. My friend and I were also very happy and she thanked me a lot for inviting her to the event. She had learned a lot about Myanmar culture as well as made a lot of friends through the event. I hope that ICC will make more events like this in the future!

S.R (Student Staff Leader)

O-Ku-Ri-Mo-No Holiday!

Salvete! SSL(Student Staff Leader)のR.T.です。最近入学したばかりと思っていたらもう12月で、SSLにも後輩ができていました。直近の感想としては、「ラテン語の文法が難しすぎる」。格変化と動詞の活用が多すぎて覚えきれないです…


◆第5位 クルンテープ・マハーナコーン・アモーンラッタナコーシン・マヒンタラーユッタヤー・マハーディロック・ポップ・ノッパラット・ラーチャタニーブリーロム・ウドムラーチャニウェートマハーサターン・アモーンピマーン・アワターンサティット・サッカタッティヤウィサヌカムプラシット(タイ王国)


◆第4位 サマルカンド(ウズベキスタン共和国)


◆第3位 イスタンブール(トルコ共和国)


◆第2位 シンクヴェトリル国立公園(アイスランド共和国)

第2位はアイスランドにある世界遺産、シンクヴェトリル国立公園です!アイスランドは北大西洋にある島国で、歴史はヴァイキングによる植民活動から始まります。長らくノルウェーやデンマークの植民地でしたが、1944年に独立。また古ノルド語で書かれた民俗叙事詩『サガ』が地理的要因から良好な状態で保存されるなど、独特な文化を形成してきました。アイスランドといえばやはりその広大な自然が有名で、シンクヴェトリルはその代表例でしょう。シンクヴェトリル付近は大西洋中央海嶺の地上露出部分となっており、ユーラシアプレートが東に、北米プレートが西に広がっている光景を眺めることができます。各地にギャオ(アイスランド語: gjá)と呼ばれる大地の裂け目が見られ、独特な岩肌や氷河、雪解け水が溜まった湖など、壮大な自然に圧倒されることでしょう。それだけではなく、この地はアイスランドの歴史に深くかかわる場でもあります。930年、植民者たちによってこの地で「アルシング」と称される民主的な全島集会が開催されました。これは単に植民活動の完了を意味するだけではなく、欧州最古の民主的議会の開催として、アイスランドの歴史的方向性を決定するものでした。この人類史のロマンが私の胸に深く突き刺さり、私は死ぬときはこの場所がいいと思っています。みなさんも、この美しい国をぜひ五感で楽しんでください!

◆番外編 碓氷峠(群馬県・長野県)

第1位発表の前に、いま私が一番気になる国内のスポットをピックアップ!その場所とは、群馬県横川と長野県軽井沢を結ぶ難所、碓氷峠です!その特徴はなんといってもその急峻な地形で、長野県側の軽井沢は標高939mと峠 (960m) との標高差がほとんどないのに対し、群馬県側の麓・横川の標高387mと極端な片勾配となっています。そのため、一般的な山脈をトンネルで抜けることで峠越えの高低差を解消できる両勾配を持つ峠と異なり、通行には近代に至るまで多くの困難を抱えてきました。最大66.7‰、水平方向に1000m進んだ時に66.7mの高低差がある状態、といえばその急峻さが伝わると思います。この急勾配を解消するためにアプト式を導入した「横軽」の歴史はここに書ききれないほど興味深いものです。また、碓氷峠にまつわる駅弁で有名なのはいわゆる「峠の釜めし」で、碓氷峠通過に際し補助機関車の連結が必要なために長時間停車するという条件下から流行しました。北陸新幹線操業に伴い信越本線横川 – 軽井沢間は廃止されましたが、現在では北陸新幹線内や麓のドライブインなどでも販売されており、その気分を追体験することができます!

◆第1位 グリーンランド(デンマーク王国)

第1位はヨーロッパ最果ての大地、グリーンランドです!グリーンランドといえばメルカトル図法でやたらと大きく見える寒い島、というイメージでしかあまり知られていないかもしれません。しかし、この島は実に魅力あふれる土地なのです!この島はアイスランドと同じくヴァイキングによる植民活動からデンマーク=ノルウェーの支配を受けることとなりましたが、カラーリット(イヌイット)という先住民たちがいました。キリスト教の影響をふんだんに受けた北欧文化が政治的にも強い影響を及ぼしていた一方で、カラーリットたちは現在に至るまで独自の文化を保持し続けています。また2018年、氷河の大地とフィヨルドの海の間で4,000年前から狩猟生活を営むカラーリット文化が残るイルリサット・アイスフィヨルドはUNESCOの世界遺産に登録され、まさに今注目を集めています。グリーンランドといえば、かのタイタニック号を沈没させた氷河のように氷の大地が広がっていると、私は思っていました。もちろん北極圏には大陸氷河が広がっていますが、しかしその名の通り「緑」が生い茂る場所もあります。夏には平均気温が10度近くまで上がってトナカイやホッキョクウサギなどの哺乳類が顔を見せ、家畜たちは牧草地を駆けます。フィヨルドの間を船で廻って、しばし上陸しその広大な自然に身をまかせる… これが今の私の夢です!




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