Day 17: An earthquake and more food

I was woken up by an earthquake at 5:30 a.m. It had its epicenter in Fukushima, which is not too close to Tokyo, so it wasn’t too strong. It was long though. In any case, I trust Japanese buildings, so I went right back to sleep and slept peacefully till 9. My host mum later, whose from Fukushima, told me about the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. The areas around the nuclear reactor had to be evacuated and remains uninhabited till date. Children were found to develop diseases after the disaster. The crops produced in Fukushima have to go through an inspection before they’re taken to the markets. Some men refused to marry girls from Fukushima out of the fear that they would bear infected babies. People from Fukushima were considered infected and were often bullied in other areas of Japan. It was sad to hear how a natural disaster, that is not in the control of any human being, can impact some people’s lives in such an adverse way.

I went for my class to Waseda and tried some new kobini (convenience store) foods. There was kiwi yogurt, which was not just kiwi flavored but actually had bits of kiwi in it. I also tried an onigiri with brown rice and a soft boiled egg inside.

After class I tried finding a starbucks to finish my essay which was due the next day. I looked forward to a matcha latte and free internet. But on a day that I wanted starbucks, all the starbucks in the city seemed to have disappeared. I got off at two train stations to look for a starbucks chain and eventually gave up.

I came home to a delicious ramen dinner. Kaori-san had cooked Hiyashi-chuka, which is cold ramen with vegetables and meat.

Hiyashi-chuka (cold ramen with meat and vegetables-in this case tuna and eggplant) 

I ended the day with reading some manga comics for the first time. I read what a friend later told me are Yonkoma comics, comics with four panels on one page. The comics were entertaining, and I kept clicking on the next chapter to know what happened next. Another interesting thing my friend told me was that manga comics typically have fairly short chapters and they end on a note of suspense. Readers need to wait for the next version to come out. And those who can’t understand Japanese have to wait for the comics to be translated before they can access them.