Mt. Fuji and Dorm Barbeque

On Saturday we went to Lake Kawaguchiko, which is the second largest of the five lakes that surround Mt. Fuji. We went to some of the better viewing spots in the area in order to get some pictures of Mt. Fuji. Then yesterday the company that owns our dorm held a barbecue with all the other dorms that it owns, so there were more than just Rikkyo students there. After the barbecue we were free to run around and play games.

Unfortunately Saturday was a rather cloudy day, so the pictures of Mt. Fuji weren’t as good as they could be, but I still felt like we were able to get some nice ones. Plus, I really enjoyed the group of people that I went with and we just had fun adventuring.

We started off at Chureito-pagoda, which is an extremely famous place for taking photos of Mt. Fuji. We had to climb 400 steps to get there, but it was really cool being able to look out over the city and see Mt. Fuji in the background. All the houses looked like ants next to the gigantic mountain. I’d been through different mountainous areas in Japan, but seeing the size of Mt. Fuji was absolutely amazing.

After that we went to Music Forest, which is a European garden near the lake. The outside has a rose garden, and inside were many more flowers and some European style buildings. There was a high point in the garden where you could look out over the flowers and buildings and see Mt. Fuji towering over it all. It was refreshing to visit a European style garden instead of the traditional Japanese gardens I’ve been visiting.

They also had a sand art performance, where they had a projector with sand that somebody drew in while music played in the background. If you’ve never seen a sand art performance, I highly recommend watching the video below. I’d never seen it before, but apparently it’s pretty popular in Japan and other countries. It’s a continuous drawing on the same screen and it tells a story. For this performance, they did the story of Cinderella. It’s amazing to me how talented the artists are. When I draw something, I always need an eraser, but in this performance, all of the lines seemed so perfect. It’s such a unique art style, and I’m glad I got the experience to see it done live.

Lastly we decided to simply walk around the lake. It was nice to just take a stroll and hang out, although a lot of it consisted of making jokes and fooling around. It was a super enjoyable experience being able to be in such a beautiful place and just have fun with some of the people I love the most. Plus the pictures we got of the mountain and the lake were pretty cool too. We also tried to do a jumping picture, but it proved to be quite the challenge.

Then yesterday was the barbecue hosted by the company that owned our dorm. I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed with the barbecue itself. They had us draw slips of paper and that was the tent we got assigned to. It was designed to mix everybody up, that way we could meet new people and make friends. However, many people arrived at different times and they would have you draw slips when you arrived, so the people you arrived with were probably the people you would end up with. My table had only a few people from other universities. Other tables were almost entirely Asakadai students (all students from my dorm).

Don’t get me wrong, I had fun at the barbecue, but personally I would rather be entirely mixed up or entirely with Asakadai students. I would have enjoyed the opportunity to meet other students and make new friends, but that was hard to do when so many of the students were from my dorm. However, if I was going to be put with Asakadai students, I would like to be with all of the Asakadai students, not split up among different tables. I would love to have a barbecue with only Asakadai students because it would be a great way to just hang out with everyone, and it would have been much more relaxed than the barbecue I went to yesterday. I would have rather had one or the other, not somewhere in the middle.

After the barbecue, we took a group picture and then everybody was free to go home, but we also had to option to stay and play some field games. They had soccer balls, baseballs, frisbees, water balloons and other games. We were free to mingle and do what we wanted, so it was a much more relaxed atmosphere. Several of the people from our dorm decided to stay and we threw a frisbee and baseball around for a while. Then every now and then somebody would get a hold of a water gun and take somebody by surprised, which usually ended up in a chase as they fought over the water gun. It’s been a long time since I’ve run around like that, and I’ll admit that I feel quite sore today, but I really hope we get an opportunity to do something like that again.

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