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Love of the Game

Hey Bloggers!

Today, I listened to podcasts 34 and 35 from JapanesePod101.com Survival Phrases. I followed it up with lessons 33 and 34 from SurvivalPhrases.com Japanese. In today’s blog, I’m going to touch on two different things, as the lessons were a bit scattered and touched on different things themselves.

The first thing to address is taking photographs. A couple weekends ago, I went to Ueno, an area of Tokyo full of museums, shrines, parks, and even a zoo. It’s more of a traditional area, but it’s lovely and a lot of fun. Walking along the sidewalk, there were huge hydrangeas in full bloom. It was gorgeous!


This is a photograph of the Hydrangeas I was talking about. How perfect are they?! [Photo by Emily Carsch]

I was there with one of the guys in the group that came to Japan with me. We wanted to take a picture of the two of us in front of the flowers, so we struggled to hold out our arms as far as we could and get a self-shot photo of the two of us. As you could guess, it really wasn’t working.

Soon, I heard “Shashin o totte mo ii desu ka?”, may I take your picture? A woman walking along with her boyfriend saw us struggling and offered to catch a photo of us. She took the photo and then offered to take another, just in case the first wasn’t good enough. It was really sweet of her and I thanked her graciously. A moment later, she held her camera out and asked, “Shashin o totte kuemasu ka?“, will you take our picture? Of course, I was happy to.

It really is fantastic how the Japanese people are willing to help you. Everyone is incredibly friendly. Being from the United States where the same friendliness can’t be found in big cities like Los Angeles, where I live, sometimes it’s even overwhelming how much people are willing to help out here. It’s fantastic though.

Switching to another topic; in a survival phrase lesson of epic proportions, I learned about basketball in JapanesePod101.com‘s lesson 35. Now I’m not a huge sports junkie, but the guys I’m on this trip with are. A couple of weekends ago when we stumbled upon some courts, they went wild.

Yoyogi Park is located in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. We had heard good things, so decided to check it out. Walking along the edge of the park, we came across an area with a soccer field and track, baseball diamond, basketball courts and more. Looking around, we realized it was an area used for the 1964 Olympic Games that took place here in Tokyo.

There were tons of people around using the facilities. It was the pick-up games of basketball that the guys got really excited about however. When they went back the next weekend, this time in their sports gear, they found out that the court was built by Nike for the Olympic games and fit the international court size regulations, as opposed to the size we Americans are used to set by the NBA.

The guys might as well have been playing in some kind of Olympic games of their own. They came back sweaty and out of breath, but were excited to tell me that they played pick-up teams from France, Doitsu (Germany), Nippon (Japan), Korea, and Serbia. I’m proud of them that they apparently held their own, playing well and giving some of the teams a run for their money.

It just shows how international Tokyo is, and that some things, like basketball, are universally loved. Even though no one could communicate with each other verbally, they were able to play the game. There is something for everyone in this great city, and as seen in this case, there is certainly a good representation of that “everyone” here.