Japanese television is so different from Europe, everything is bright and colorful, and we actually enjoyed watching the ads, also the shows were incredibly stupid and cute. The first thing I did everyday when I got to my room was switch on the tv and see if I could catch a soap opera we were hooked on, akb48, but we soon realized it must only broadcast on Sundays, since that was the only day we could watch it. Some friends later bought the manga in Akihabara, and realized it involved cross-dressing boys, a sort of music academy and girls groping each other, our fondness for it only grew after this discovery.
From left to right: Joana, me and Catarina
Imperial gardens, where the junior high students we visited usually hold sport tournments, since the gardens are whitin walking distance from their school
Hama-rikyu gardens, where we had tea in a traditional Japanese tea-house, their tea is soooo good, I usually don't like tea, but their tea won me over almost as much as the food did. I used to like Chinese food better than Japanese before goingo to Japan, but I'm not so sure now, they are both so delicious.
When the quake hit we were all separated in three groups for last minute shopping, I was in Akihabara, some of us were in the Tokyo Tower, and the rest was in Ginza.
I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty frightning seeing all the buildings shaking as if they were made of straw, but the rational part of my brain kept telling me that they were supposed to do that.
After the initial shock everything calmed down a bit and we just wanted to assure our families that we were all alright, we still didn't know anything about the tsunami while they did, and were worried sick even though Sendai was far from Tokyo. After that our only fear was the imminence of a nuclear disaster, it was heart-wrenching seeing Japan go through this, it felt so surreal, like it couldn't possibly be happening there. I left on Wednesday with the first group, and I cried on the bus to the airport because it felt wrong leaving a country I loved in that situation, as silly as it may sound I wanted to stay and help out. The other group left on Thursday and we had a very sentimental reunion on the Airport in Lisbon. Through all this the Portuguese embassy in Tokyo did everything they could to get us accommodation and a flight back, they were great and I think I speak for everyone in the group when I say we'll never forget what they did for us.
I won't ever forget Japan and the Japanese either, it was the trip of a lifetime and I know I'll return, maybe even for good, who knows...
Meanwhile try to help and donate to the Japanese red cross, it doesn't matter the amount, every cent counts.