タグ: icc

Where is your third space? How our third space has changed under COVID-19

by SSL H.C.

What is “Third Space”?  

Have you heard of the term “third space”? Well, we have to first get to know what the “first” and “second” spaces are. First and second spaces are two different and sometimes conflicting spatial groupings that people interact within; first space is commonly known as our home where we perform private daily routines whereas second space is the public space, like our workplace. Third spaces are the in-between, where the first and second spaces work together to generate a new third space. Third space is usually a place for us to escape from both, where we want to be, and a place that provides us a sense of self. A couple common examples of third spaces are coffeehouses, museums, and nightclubs, where people can run away from their duties for a while. 

Japan’s third space 

According to OECD data, in Japan the percentage of employees that work long hours is 17.9%, which is higher than the average of 11%. Furthermore, in Japan full-time workers devote themselves mostly to their work and spend less time on personal care or leisure activities. Japan is ranked as the country with the 5th worst work-life balance (out of 40), so its people need a third place from time to time to relax and escape from reality. Therefore, Japanese coffeehouses, unlike other countries’, serve a unique purpose for the people in the hustle and bustle of the city. People go to the café mainly to be left undisturbed rather than having business connections like in the West. In other words, Japanese cafés offer a novel space for the urban taste and a time away with no characters attached, for both city people and those coming from the suburban areas. 

After COVID-19 

With the increasing cases of COVID-19, the government requires people to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary, and most companies ask their employees to work from home. However, I realize that the coffeehouses are still busy or even busier than before. It makes me wonder if coffeehouses, serving as a third space for people to release stress, actually may become a social problem because its existence encourages people to go out instead of staying at home. I, personally, also like to go to coffeehouses a lot to try out different hand-brewed coffees and enjoy some time alone. It seems that I can no longer enjoy what I perceived as an escape under this circumstance. What could be our third space if we no longer can mobilize freely? How can we reduce our stress when our home becomes our workplace?

Where is your third space…?   












是非興味が湧いた方は、一度YouTubeなどで「フィールドホッケー」(または「Field Hockey」)と検索をかけてみてください! 














Food tour around Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Hi guys, today I will talk about my must-try-food in my favorite city’s most famous area which is also my hometown. A day is not enough for exploring and understanding all the delicious foods of this more than thousand-year old city but I hope that this blog will be useful for you if you just have a short time to enjoy Hanoi.

Hanoi’s Old Quarter has 36 ancient streets, after the 36 streets or guilds that used to make up the urban area of the city. The most famous trait of the Old Quarter is its areas dedicated to one specific trade or guild. Craftsmen from villages around the city used to gather in one area of their guild to sell their wares to merchants. The crafts or guilds of each area gave the names to the streets of the quarter, so that most streets acquired names starting with “hang” (“wares”), such as Hàng Bún street (” rice noodles street”) and Hàng Đào street (“peach street”).

Several of the streets are still specialized in the trade that gave them their names. Others still specialize in one specific trade, but a different one from their traditional specialty — such as Hàng Buồm street (“sails street”) which has become dominated by Vietnamese cakes and candy nowadays.

I would recommend you to book a hotel in this area since it’s very convenient to get around just by walking and most of all; almost all of Hanoi’s best cuisine is located in this area. Although the food culture of Vietnam is changing every day because of the customer’s habit, there are still many local restaurants as well as local vendors that are still super crowded. Thanks to their amazing delicious secret recipes that have been transferred across many generations, the younger generations can still experience the authentic taste of all the traditional foods. When we talk about Vietnamese food in general or Hanoi cuisine specifically, it is all about the balance of the dish. It’s like a classical song with all the instruments that make a perfect harmony. You can feel the sweetness from the bones of the broth, the saltiness of the fish sauce, the sourness of lime or a bit of spice from the fresh chili. All the flavors are dancing on your tongue and they make you miss it very soon after you finish it.

I think that everyone has been heard of Vietnamese Pho. When we talk about Vietnamese cuisine, we must talk about Pho. Just like ramen or soba, there are many restaurants that say they make the authentic Pho in Vietnam but after trying many restaurants, I would like to say Pho in Hanoi is the best and most authentic taste that you could search for. People eat Pho in the morning, at lunch or evening. You can have it anytime. There are a lot of ways to eat Pho but the best way is to enjoy it is with a little bit of fresh lime juice and some fresh chili. Talking about Pho, it’s all about the freshness and the balance of the flavor. When I went back to Hanoi for a few days after a long time, Pho is the first thing that I thought of (actually Pho was on my mind for a few days before I even went to the airport). One thing I can say is never have Pho in the airport, since it does not taste like the real one. There’re many good ones in Hanoi but these days, I believe that the restaurant shown below is the one that has the best taste of the real Pho. They have all the balance of the broth with the freshness of the noodles, beef and also the vegetables in one bowl. Especially they also have the good Quay, which is necessary for this dish. Put a bit fresh chili and a few drops of lime, then have a gulp of noodles, beef and taste some broth. This is the best way to start your day every day of the year. This restaurant usually runs out of all of their ingredients before lunch so I suggested that you should come from early morning to have the best kinds of beef that you want.

Full options of Pho

How to enjoy: Taste the broth, fix with lime juice or vinegar, chili sauce or fresh chili.

Price: ~250 yen or more, depending on which part of the beef you choose.

Recommend place: Phở Tuyết, 12 Hàng Than, Ba Đình, Hà Nội


The second dish that I want to introduce is called “Bun cha”. Normally I prefer to eat this one at home, which is made by my mom. However, making this one is very hard and tiring so sometimes I still have this one outside. After trying “Bun cha” in some restaurants, I realized that it’s the best to have it at the local vendors. The best aspect of Vietnamese food is you always can enjoy the food while provide to your body enough nutrition. “Bun cha” includes rice noodles, grilled pork, vegetables and delicious sauce. The sauce and the pork taste decide a lot of the flavor. I don’t recommend having this dish in a restaurant because they don’t make the grilled pork as fresh as the local vendors. The pork must be eaten immediately after being grilled by the chef. It can’t be too raw neither too cooked. The sauce is very important since it can decide the whole flavor of the dish.

Put some fresh chili for more flavor~

How to enjoy: Taste sauce: fix it with some vinegar or chili (more garlic if you prefer garlic). Put some noodles and vegetables into your bowl then dip them into the sauce. Take one gulp with everything (pork, noodles and vegetables)

Price: ~250 yen

Recommend place: 74 Hàng Quạt, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội.

The last one that I want to introduce today is Banh-mi. Banh mi is a typical Vietnamese sandwich is a fusion of meats and vegetables from native Vietnamese cuisine such as chả lụa (pork sausage), coriander leaf (cilantro), cucumber, pickled carrots, and pickled daikon combined with condiments from French cuisine such as pâté, along with chili and mayonnaise. However, a wide variety of popular fillings are used, from xíu mại to ice cream. In Vietnam, sandwiches are typically eaten for breakfast or as a snack. The Oxford Dictionary has already put Banh-mi as an English word: “a Vietnamese sandwich on a crisp baguette spread with mayonnaise, typically containing pork or chicken and pâté, with pickled vegetables, cucumber, and cilantro.” Banh mi is everywhere in Vietnam with a lot of options. However, if you want to try the most common one in Vietnam, just ask them for a full-option version of Banh mi (Thập cẩm). They will put everything they can onto the tiny bread so you can try all at once. I recommend that you ask the chef to give you some chili sauce to make the Banh mi more perfect.

You need to open your mouth wide~

How to enjoy: Open your mouth as wide as you can and… eat them all.

Price: ~200yen

Place: Bánh mì, 2-4 Hàng Chuối or 51 Trần Xuân Soạn.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope that you can enjoy them all someday! If you need any more information, please come and join the Vietnamese event later which will be held by the Waseda ICC ^^~~~

S.R. (Student Staff Leader)









「リヨンの人形劇 ギニョール」







最後に、留学先のトゥールーズの紹介をしたいと思います。トゥールーズはオクシタニー地方にあります。ハンドクリームの「L’Occitane en Provence」というブランドを聞いたことがありますか?駅ビルやショッピングモールでよく見かけることがあると思います。訳すとプロヴァンスのオクシタンという意味になりますが、それぞれ南フランスに位置し、東がプロヴァンス、西がオクシタニーに分割できます。ニースやマルセイユに代表され、フランスの天国のような人気観光スポットとして有名なプロヴァンス地方に対し、あまり観光のイメージがないのがオクシタニー地方です。ヨーロッパ人のバカンスには欠かせないビーチがないこと、そしてパリから離れているのに加え、パリとトゥールーズの間は山が多く、TGVの直通運転がないことが観光地としての発展のマイナス要因となっています。しかし、トゥールーズはフランス第4の都市ということで人口が多く、農業が盛んで、ワインやチーズの産地があり、活気あるマルシェや蚤の市が開催され、世界的に評価されているキャピトル交響楽団やバレエ団を有し、フランスらしいものを一通り経験することができます。また、エアバスの本社があり、コンコルドなど航空史上重要な機体の展示をする博物館もあります。


フランスは一般に石造りの建物が多い中、トゥールーズ周辺は建物に適した固い石がとれなかったため、煉瓦づくりの建物がメインです。昔は煉瓦がオレンジ色だったそうですが、長い年月を経てピンク色になったということで、現在はピンク色の煉瓦の”La ville rose”(バラ色の街)と呼ばれるようになりました。フランスの中でも特にスペインに近く、冬も東京よりは暖かい街中には、テラス席の付いたレストラン・カフェがたくさんあります。バラ色の街並みに囲まれながら、現地の食材を使った郷土料理をテラス席で味わえたら、最高の思い出が作れると思います。


「トゥールーズの郷土料理 カスレ」



À bientôt!


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)

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