When traveling to another culture my number one recommendation is to go to a festival. You are able to experience the food, history and atmosphere of the culture in a fun and exciting way. Tonight my host family took me to the Omatsuri festival in Tokyo. The food was just like you would get at a county fair but Asianized: squid on a stick instead of steak, pancakes filled with pork instead of gyros and LIVE sea urchins in place of nachos.
What I loved most is how they incorporated their history by remembering the ones who died in WWII. Fifty foot walls hanging nearly 23,000 lanterns lit up the walkways. On every lantern was someones name who died in WWII and where they were from. In the center of the festival was a group dancing the traditional style line dance to a taiko drum. It was neat to see random people from the audience moving along with the motions, obviously knowing the dance very well. My host mom Kasumi said she was taught many of the dances as a child.
After the festival my family surprised me with a trip to Tokyo tower at night and it was ten times more beautiful. I thought I was standing under the Eiffel.
School tomorrow so I've gotta get some shut eye.