This week our group will be writing about Japanese cafes. Since we are each writing individual posts, we decided we would each write about a different cafe.
Dessert Cafes – Robin
I was lucky enough to go to a cafe with my host mother in Ikebukuro. This was a dessert cafe without any particular theme but nonetheless the experience was different than in Canada. When we got there a line of people were waiting to get in. This was where I noticed the first difference between Japan and Canada; the entire line of people were sitting on chairs. As new groups entered the cafe the line would simply move a chair every time. I have never seen this system in Canada before. Sure there are chairs at restaurants but usually they aren’t part of the queue. After we entered the cafe we sat down and both selected a strawberry parfait to eat. The parfait automatically came with tea or coffee depending on your preference.
This week, our group will be examining various parts of the everyday Japanese lifestyle.
Family Life (Written by Robin and Mia)
Most of our experience in this post will come from the homestay experience we had this past weekend. Mia and I stayed in very different homes, but we had one thing in common; an amazing weekend. We will use the experiences we had to write this blog post and fill in the holes in our knowledge by asking our roommates.
My homestay was with an older couple who lived alone. This family’s children have now grown up and moved out, and one even has children of their own. The husband is a company worker who handles project management, and the wife is a housewife. Perhaps their lives are quite similar to the life of an older Canadian couple, but the differences are in the small day to day rituals. For example, the wife’s hobbies are also different than an older Canadian’s hobbies. She studies English and likes to travel. I was personally quite impressed by her; in the past few years she has gone on two one-month homestay programs to both Canada and Britain. In comparison, I think Canadians very rarely learn a new language at an older age. On top of that, I think it is rare for a Canadian senior to travel so far alone. Truly the wife leads an adventurous life. I am taking into account that I was only there for a weekend, so I only saw a small taste of their lives. Nonetheless, through conversation I feel like I came to understand more. This couple specifically was different because they continue to work hard and explore new hobbies; the wife studying English, and the husband continuing to strive forward in his job. What I think we are missing in Canada is this strong work ethic which is seen in how this couple works and pursues their hobbies.
This week, our group will be covering unique foods that we have had in Japan since our arrival. This has been split into two sections; Japanese candy (Since Japan is well-known for having a greater variety of certain candies than other parts of the world) and other everyday types of food that we have encountered since arriving here. This will definitely be one of our favorite weeks, who doesn’t like to eat Japanese food? We were able to try a wide variety of delicious new things and also incorporate the new foods we have been eating in our everyday lives. One of our members was kind enough to go out and purchase a large variety of candies so we could all try them(thank you panda). So without further adieu here are our discoveries.
This week we have decided to focus on the topic of convenience stores and 100 yen stores (equivalent to one dollar). We were able to do quite a bit of research on this subject and now we would like to share it with you. Our research began with visiting a couple of these locations. We were able to visit 7-Eleven which is very close to our campus so it really is convenient. We also traveled a little further to Family Mart to expand our data pool. As for dollar stores we visited Seria (セリア) which is nearby, and we traveled to Harajuku to visit Daiso. These four stores have given us a taste of the differences between Calgary and Tokyo. We will now share what we are missing:
Hello to everyone who will be reading our blog this spring, I hope you will enjoy learning a little bit more about Japan. Our blog will be an exploration of different aspects of life we feel are a bit different in Japan. Of course we have not yet left for Japan so this post will describe what topics we are planning to cover and a few of our preconceived notions (about Japan). Since our topic is a broad comparison between Japan and Canada we may change or modify what we post about as we research and discover new things in Japan. Before diving into this a little introduction of our four group members: