Saturday, January 24, 2009

A little about me...

January 24,2009
Hi! I'm Kayla. In this blog, I will tell you all about my upcoming trip to, the one and only, Japan! I'll look forward to writing to you and tell you all about the trip. I am going on the flight with my friends, and I will share a room in the hotel with my friends Nicole and Christina. You will hear lots about them! I will try to write every day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

We're in our temporary home!

January 25, 2009
We just got into the hotel. The Kayabacho Pearl Hotel Tokyo is located at the heart of the city and so it is one of the best places that you can stay!

I am on the same floor as all my friends, but I'm in the same room as Nicole and Christina. The rest of my friends are in the rooms beside us. The lobby is spectacular! All the staff there treat us like royalty.

This is where I sleep. Christina and Nicole are in a different area of the room.

Here is where we eat dinner. They make it look so fancy!

I'll tell you about what I learn tomorrow!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The first tour!

January 26, 2009
Hello! I went on a tour, and I learned about some of Japan's Geography. Japan is made up of four main islands. There names are Hokkaido, Honshu (the largest), Shikoku, and Kyushu. Here is a map that I found of Japan.
I also found out about Japan's forests. Shirakami Sanchi means "mountains of white god." It is located in the northernmost part of the Honshu Island, the biggest island in Japan. It covers 320,000 acres of hills and mountains. That is alot of land! The northern part of the Honshu Island used to be covered with vast forests of Beech Trees. The island is mountain-shaped, located 37 miles to the south from the southernmost cape of Kyushu Island with a population of 14,000. The entire popultion of Japan is approxomatly 127,288,416.

The Mountains are spectacular! Here are the most popular ones. Mount Fuji, annually visited by hundreds of thousands, 3776 m in height, Mount Kita-dake, which is 3193 m tall, Mount Hodaka-dake, which measures 3190 m, Mount Warusawa, which has a height of 3141 m, and Mount Akaishi-dake which has a height of 3120 m. I got to see Mount Fuji today, it is the most beautiful mountain I have ever seen in my life! There was a little bit of fog at the top, which made it look like it was touching the sky. It looks very beautiful, even from the bottom!

The oceans I learned about are Japan Sea - A marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean bounded on the east by the Japanese islands, and the west and southwest by Korea, Okhotsk Sea - A marginal sea on the northern rim of the Pacific Ocean centered near 55 N and 150 E, and the Pacific Ocean (which I already know about)- covers more than 166 million square kilometers (more than 64 million square miles) - about one-third of the earth's surface. I learned so much today, I could barely keep up with writing my notes! Anyway, I'll tell you more later.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

First group lesson!

January 27, 2009
Hi again. Today, I went to a coarse with some other people from my school! Nicole came with me today, and we were in the same group. I know some of the other people, but not many. Here is the building we went to.

I learned about the Ring of Fire. The ring of fire is an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of the Pacific Ocean. It is in a 40,000 km horseshoe shape, and is associated with series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, volcanic belts, and plate movements. The tour also told me all about Japan's location in the world. It is in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is in the region of Asia. Tokyo (Japan's Capital City) is 36° North, and 138° East. It's neighbouring countries are North Korea, South Korea, China, and is a little close to Russia and Taiwan. Japan seems like a big part of the world's history! I will talk you more tomorrow about the amazing trip.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I learned more about Japan's Geology like earthquakes, volcano's, and tsunamis. The earthquakes mostly happened around 75 years ago (September 1, 1923). One of the worst earthquakes hit Kanto and destroyed Tokyo, Yokohama and it's surrounding areas. That would be scary! Around 140,000 people fell victim to the earthquakes and the fires caused by it. I would be terrified if an earthquake started while I was visiting!
The majority of Japan's mountains are formed from volcanoes. Japan's highest mountain is Mount Fuji. It has the total of 3,776 metres! Here is a picture of me in-front of it! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. It's way bigger than it is in the pictures on google! It can be found bordering the Yamanashi and Shizuika Prefectures. It is easy to forget that the huge mountain is actually a volcano! It's like a volcano that's covered in snow!
The Tsunami's are huge! I had the biggest surprise when we walked out from the hotel this morning! There was a big wave on the beach nearby. It hadn't gone far though, only about about twenty metres. We went right to the hotel manager, and asked what was going on. He said that that was a small Tsunami, and that in the morning of Saturday, September 1, 1923 it was very warm with some gusts of wind that came behind a bit of rain. Soon it was close to the afternoon and in the area around Sagami Bay the ground began to shake! A section of the fault under the bay was measured to have been displaced nearly 240m, and although no surface faults appeared, new ridges 180 to 300 ft tall appeared on the sea floor area in line with a pre-existing volcanic chain. The ground was uplifted and hundreds of landslides were set off. This Kanto Earthquake generated a tsunami approximately 30-40ft high which crashed onto shore about 5 minutes later. Many people were killed, houses were destroyed, and nearly 45% of the population was left unemployed. It took all of us a while to piece together the puzzle of a story (and especially because he didn't know much English, we used the Japanese English dictionary, which we needed almost all day). It was an exciting day, but I got a picture from the hotel earthquake/tsunami watchers!


Monday, January 19, 2009


January 29, 2009
Today we discovered that Japan has a rainy season. We learned that in the coarse that we took, and the hard way, we got wet! Japan has lots of storms! Japan has a wide range of latitude and climates. This country stretches from the south where it is tropic like in Okinawa to the north in Hokkaido where it has cold winters similar to Canada.

It just poured down from the second we woke up, to the second we fell asleep, and we decided that instead of all of us waiting for a taxi and getting soaked, we would take turns! But they nominated me to go first... what good friends I have!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Culture and Customs

January 30, 2009
Today was the traditional Toh-shiya (Archery Contest) at Sanjusangen-do Temple, it is traditional for January, there are many other traditions for different months.

It is also called "New Year archery" the archers compete against each other in the 120-meter long Sanjusangen-do Temple, which is the world's longest wooden structure! It was so exciting, especially because all the hotel guests had to try! I didn't want to, why? Because we had to shoot them from sixty metres away! We all didn't even make it half-way, so they let us go from the half point... boy, that was embarrassing! At least we didn't know anybody! All of the Japanese people in the hotel said that we had to wear cultural outfits, but they were pretty cool! Mine was green with some blue in it.
Another cultural item in Japan is Sushi. It's really good, it just has a funny name! We had tonnes of sushi, and it's a little expensive, but worth it eating it right from where it's made! Look at how this chef made these sushi rolls. There just like little animals! My favourite is the Panda Bear.