Pokemon Go è uscito anche in Giappone! E già questa è una notizia. Sebbene difatti sia proprio quì che tutto è stato creato e prodotto, quì che risiedono quelle menti malvage nascoste dietro questo nuovo fenomeno di massa; è quì che è uscito per ultimo. L’australia ha infatti ottenuto il primo posto, i miei cari vecchi amici Aussie. (Però quando io ero in Australia quello è stato l’ultimo posto dove è uscito il film dello Hobbit). È toccato poi all’America e quindi all’Europa lasciando il popolo nipponico a bocca asciutta, alimentato solo dalle varie notizie che giungevano dal resto del mondo. Notizie di orde di bambini che invadevano stazioni di polizia. Notizie di raduni di ragazzi usciti per la prima volta dalle loro tane scure piene di snack e videogame per andare a scoprire il mondo. Notizie assurde, alle quali onestamente stentavo un po’ a credere finchè non l’ho visto accadere con i miei occhi.
Ma partiamo dall’Inizio.

No, non questo inizio, prima. Tutti quì aspettavano Pokemon Go in trepidante attesa. Per le aule e i corridoi della Kai si udivano sussurri su date, aspettative e sul grande bivio dell’iniziare con squirtle o charmender (che poi io ho sempre iniziato con bulbasaur nei vecchi giochi, ma va beh). sussurri che sono diventati voci e poi grida al continuo rimandare dell’uscita del gioco. “Domani esce” si diceva. “Domani è il giorno” ma quel domani non arrivava mai. A quanto pare anche a causa di un certo produttore di panini alla presunta carne bovina che sponsorizza il gioco e voleva che ogni suo punto vendite divenisse una palestra. I server poi non erano mai pronti. Il gioco era scaricabile già legalmente dal alcuni giorni, potevi creare il tuo personaggio.

(che grandi differenze)
catturare il tuo pokemon starter e poi più nulla. Fino a che il giorno è giunto davvero. Abbiamo ricevuto la notizia in classe durante un intervallo e da lì ogni ora, nei dieci minuti di pausa a noi concessi correvamo in strada, nonostante la pioggia, in cerca di pokemon, entusiasmandoci per un rattata o uno zubat (cosa mai successa nei vecchi giochi.)
E così la follia è esplosa a Tokyo e in tutto il Giappone, come probabilmente prima nel resto del mondo. Per tutto il giorno ho visto ragazzi, adulti, uomini e donne andare in giro per le strade con i telefoni in mano a catturare pokemon, e anche ora che è sera la cosa non accenna a diminuire, complice il fatto che sia venerdì.

Gruppo di studenti verso un pokemon stop (l’albero)

Amorevole coppietta a caccia di pokemon

Solo i bambini si sono salvati, troppo piccoli per avere un account senza il consenso dei genitori, sono rimasti a giocare normalmente ne parchi. (I più giovani eppure i più saggi).
Che dire del gioco in se? Mah. Onestamente avrei preferito qualcosa di più sobrio, ci sono pokemon ovunque, li catturi, tieni quelli che ti servono e gli altri li trasferisci in cambio di caramelle per far evolvere e crescere solo i più forti, un po’ contro quel senso di amicizia coi pokemon che cercava di ispirare Ash nei cartoni animati coi quali sono cresciuto. I pokemon non li alleni, li catturi e li nutri di caramelle, i combattimenti non sono a turni ma un premere inconvulso sullo schermo. Non so, avrei preferito trovare pokemon d’acqua nei fiumi, di roccia nelle grotte e d’erba nelle foreste o nei parchi, qualcosa di più a tema di un pidgey sul libro di kanji.
Avrei preferito qualcosa che portasse più vicino a quello che era il sogno di diventare allenatore, di creare la tua squadra e crescerla, di incontrare altri come te e duellarci, invece del solito gioco di accumulo di risorse. Anche la gente in giro non si incontra molto, si raduna, cattura il catturabile e si divide, se provi a parlarci fugge via terrorizzata dall’idea di una relazione sociale col mondo esterno. Si, mi ha un po’ deluso. Forse tutto quel camminare rimetterà un po’ in salute gli otaku grassottelli (sempre che non scaricano app che già girano per far camminare il tuo personaggio senza muoverti di casa) ma al di là di quello mi ha un po’ deluso e prevedo che me ne stancherò presto, anche se per ora sono preso bene e non starei quì a scrivere se non fosse che il server ha crashato per la millesima volta. In ogni caso oggi era una bella giornata, non c’era sole, non ha piovuto nel pomeriggio e c’era un’arietta fresca, così io sono andato ad allenarmi, che so che quello forse me lo porterò dietro per sempre ( anche se i miei compagni di allenamento mi hanno paccato, presumo causa pokemon). I giochi ci fanno sognare ed è bello ogni tanto immergersi e dimenticarsi che la vita non è proprio come la vogliamo, però credo che sia più utile cercare di trasformare la nostra realtà e inseguire i nostri sogni quì, perchè per quanto ci si possa rifugiare in un mondo di fantasia prima o poi la realtà viene a prenderci comunque. Nel frattempo… Gotta Catch’em All!!!

 
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Pokemon Go has been released in Japan too; and that’s a news. In fact, even if it’s here that everything has been created and produced, here where live those hidden evil minds behind this new mass phenomenon; it is here that the game came out last. Australia got the first place, my dear old friends Aussie. (But when I was in Australia that was the last place where the movie The Hobbit came out). Then came America and later Europe, leaving the Japanese people high and dry, only fueled by the various news coming from the rest of the world. News of hordes of children invading police stations. News of hordes of nerds out of their lairs for the first time ready to go and discover the world. Absurd news I honestly couldn’t believe until I saw it happen with my own eyes.
But let’s start from the Beginning.

No, not this beginning, a little bit earlier. Everyone here was waiting anxiously Pokemon Go. In the classrooms and trough the hallways of the Kai Language school you could hear whispers of dates, expectations and the great crossroads of starting with squirtle or Charmander (Even if I had always started with bulbasaur in older games, but that’s fine). whispers that soon became voices, and then shouts to the continuous delay of the game. “Tomorrow comes,” they said. “Tomorrow is the day” but that tomorrow was never coming. Apparently also because of a certain brand of so called hamburgers which sponsors the game and wanted every sales point to become a gym. The servers then were never ready. The game was already legally downloaded from a few days, you could create your own character.

(Such a big difference)
catch your starter pokemon and then nothing else. Until the day really arrived. We received the news in class during a break and from there every hour , in the ten-minute break granted to us, we were running in the street, despite the rain, looking for pokemon, enthusiasts for a rattata or a zubat (something that never happened in the old games .)
And so the madness exploded in Tokyo and throughout Japan, as probably did before in the world. For all the day I saw Boys and Girls, men and women go around in the streets with the phones in hand to capture Pokemon, and even now that is evening, it continues unabated, aided by the fact that it is Friday.

Bunch of students at a pokemon stop (the tree)

Lovely couple hunting pokemon

Only the little kids kept on playng normal games in the parks, since they are to little to have an account without the permission of their parents. (the youngest and yet the wisest)
What about the game itself? Well, I honestly would have preferred something more sober, there are pokemon everywhere, you capture them, keep the ones you need and you transfer the others  in exchange for candy to evolve and grow the pokemon stronger. Kinda against that sense of friendship with pokemon inspired by Ash in the cartoons I grew up with and loved. You don’t train the pokemons, you just capture them and feed them candy, the fighting is not turn-based, but quickly pressing on the screen. I don’tknow, I guess I would have liked to find pokemon of water in rivers, rock pokemon in caves and grass ones in forests or parks, something more realistic than a pidgey on the kanji book.

I would have preferred something that would bring closer to what it was the dream of becoming a pokemon master, create your team and grow it, to meet others like you and have duels, instead of the usual game of resource accumulation. Even the people around don’t really get in touch with each other, they gather, they catch what’s catchable and then splits, if you try to talk to them they run away terrified of a social relationship with the outside world. He has a little disappointed me. Perhaps all that walking will force the chubby otakus to a little bit of fitness (unless they download the app that make your character walk arund without you leaving home), but beside that it has a little disappointed me and I think I will get soon tired of it, although so far I am still into it and I would not be here writing if the server didn’t crashed for the thousandth time. Anyway today was a beautiful day, there was no sun and it wasn’t hot, it has not rained in the afternoon and there was fresh air, so I went to train at the park, something that maybe I’ll bring with me for all my life. (although my training partners didn’t show up, I assume because of pokemon). The games make us dream and it’s good every now and then to dive in and forget that life is not quite like we want it to be, but I think it’s more useful to try to transform our reality and pursue our dreams here, because as far as we may flee in a fantasy world, sooner or later the reality will come to get us. But, meanwhile … Gotta Catch’em All !!!

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Ohayou Gozaimasu Nihon!!!

On July 2, 2016, in Self-introduction, by Malkav
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Ciao a tutti. Mi chiamo Marco, ho 25 anni, fra poco 26 purtroppo. Eh si, non voglio crescere così, come Peter Pan, prendo il volo alla ricerca della mia isola che non c’è. Non è la prima volta che lascio la mia madre patria Italia in cerca di posti lontani. In realtà mi piacerebbe fare del viaggio la mia vita ma non sempre è facile.
Tokyo è il Giappone sono qualcosa che ho sempre saputo che avrei fatto da quando ho scoperto della sua esistenza. Non ho mai deciso cosa volevo essere da grande ne mai ho piani che vadano oltre quello della giornata, ma sempre ho avuto per certo che un giorno avrei vissuto per un periodo in Giappone e avrei parlato il Giapponese. Siccome i sogni rimangono tali se non si fa nulla per realizzarli ho deciso che era giunto il momento. Quindi ho fatto fagotto, pronto ad esplorare questa terra del sol levante con ognuno de miei sensi. Gli occhi per godersi le luci di una delle metropoli più fantastiche del mondo, le orecchie per ascoltare questa magnifica lingua, sopratutto se usata nel canto in un po’ di J-rock, l’olfatto per riempirsi dei profumi del the, il gusto per assaporare infinite ciotole di ramen e il tatto per toccare con mano ciò che fino ad ora avevo solo visto da lontano, dietro un qualche schermo. Quì inizia la mia nuova avventura fra le intemperie del capire una cultura così diversa e una lingua ancora abbastanza incomprensibile e la gioia di scoprire; giorno dopo giorno.

Hi everyone. I’m Marco, I’m 25 years old, unfortunately almost 26. That’s right, I don’t really want to grow up so, as Peter Pan before me, I flew in the quest to find my Neverland. It’s not the first time that I leave my homecountry to reach far away lands. Actually I would like to live travelling but that’s not so easy.
Tokyo and Japan are something I have always known I would have done it eventually, since I discover of its existance. I never knew what to become once a grow up and neither I have plans that goes further than the day itself but I have always been sure that one day I would have lived in Japan for a period and that I would have spoken Japanese. So, since dreams remaine dreams untill you do somethig to make them come true,  I have decided the time had come. So I picked up my marbles and I was ready to discover this land of the rising sun with each of my senses. My eyes to se the lights of one of the most incredible cities in the world, my ears to hear the sound of this beautyfull tongue, expecially when sung in a J-rock song. My nose to smell the scents of thea, the taste of eating infinite bowls of Ramen and my touch to feel what till now I could only see from far away, behind a monitor. Here my adventure begin, among the difficult of understanding such a different culture and a language that i don’t talk yet, and the joy of discovering; day after day.

 

 

 

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J’en parle de temps en temps ici, donc je suppose que certains le connaissent déjà un peu. Quand on est au Japon depuis un certain temps, il arrivent parfois qu’on aille envie de pratiquer sa langue maternel, comme le français avec des personnes autres que des touristes, ne serait-ce que pour le plaisir d’échanger sur nos difficultés d’adaptations (que n’ont généralement pas le touriste lambda). Peut-être aussi vous avez envie de communiquer avec des japonais, autrement qu’à l’école mais votre côté un peu timide ou votre bas niveau de japonais limite fortement votre conversation. Et bien voilà, c’est pour cela qu’avec mon mari on a ce petit groupe de rencontre amicale (meetup) entre francophones et japonais.
Peut-être l’aviez-vous déjà remarqué, les japonais adorent le français, qu’ils ne maîtrisent pas toujours d’ailleurs et qui donne lieu au “franponais”. Mais ce qui s’inscrivent à nos rencontres sont généralement des apprenant en français, d’anciens expatriés et qui cherchent à pratiquer le français pour ne pas l’oublier, certains autres ne viennent que pour la culture française car ils sont des passionnés soit de gastronomie, soit de cinéma français, soit de la France simplement… Tous ces japonais aiment et souhaitent partager avec des francophones leur culture et découvrir de nouvelles choses.

En visite à Kamakura

Franponais organise régulièrement des rencontres, pratiquement tous les weekend. Nous avons des rencontres gustatives dans des restaurants divers français, italiens, japonais, izakaya. Nous avons aussi des rencontres découvertes où l’on vous emmènera découvrir Kamakura, Yokohama ou encore Kawagoe, par exemple, lors de petites balades de 2h à 3h selon l’endroit. Ou encore des rencontres toutes simple version pique-nique ou petite promenade “sportive” près d’une rivière ou à travers un quartier de Tokyo. Généralement ceux sont des rencontres bons marchés. Vous ne payez en effet vos transports, vos consommations et une petite participation de 300 yens pour nous aider à maintenir le site et les événement (les prix sont toujours indiqués à l’avance). L’inscription au site est gratuite et ne vous engage absolument pas à participer, vous vous inscrivez seulement aux événements qui vous intéresseront. La seule conditions est que vous nous avertissiez au moins si vous annuler en dernière minute et même pas besoin de vous justifié.

Allez, je vous laisse avec une petite vidéo d’une de nos visites à Yokohama:

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Voilà si cela vous intéresse, n’hésitez pas à venir nous rentre une petite visite sur notre page meetup Franponais ou sur notre groupe Facebook Franponais (Tokyo) – meetup.

La rencontre improbable à Nakano Broadway! ^^

Sortie Hanabi au bord de la Tamagawa

 

 

 

 

 

A bientôt!

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Do you remember the time when the best hobby ever was collecting cards? I loved the Digimon ones, but had plenty of different things. Sadly enough, growing up for me meant stopping collecting children’s stuff, as I tried to become more serious…

… Yeah, funny joke, did you fall for it?

Anyway, those who love traditional Japan and collecting things will be happy to know that there’s a word to combine them both: Goshuincho.

Picture from internet, the only one which is not mine.

Goshuincho is a book sold in the major temples and shrines to collect the red stamps (shuin); prices go from 800 to 1500 yen and there are different colors and kinds. I bought mine at Yushima Tenmagu Shrine, near my place, with the first stamp included.

For japanese people is a way to show their faith and have a charm with them, but it can also be a gorgeous souvenir.

So, how do you get one?

First, remember that a temple is a sacred building, so don’t forget to purify your hands and mouth with the water at the entrance; the Goshuincho are exposed with the lucky charm and written oracle, so you can’t miss it.

Once bought, you’ll be asked to wait while the monk or the priestess is preparing the page; usually they’re going to write down the name of the temple and the japanese date, before adding the red stamp.

As every monk has its own style, every Goshuin is different and unique.

Once you get the first stamp, you just to carry your book with you in any temple or shrine and give it to the monk at the charm stand. They’ll ask you to decide on which page do you want it and a donation, which is usually 300 yen (or 500 yen).

My collection so far! 

You can decided to use both side of the Goshuincho; I was too scared of ruining mine, so I just wrote the name of the corresponding temple and the date (the stamps are very beautiful, but kinda hard to read sometimes).

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What’s left to say? I’m still kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner, losing the chance to get one from Kyoto, but I’m satisfied with my collection so far and it has become my little priceless tresure.

What are you waiting for? Choose your book and start a new adventure!

Ps: my first post using the school’s Ipad… I feel so smart!

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DISCOVERING JAPAN – Arashiyama and Uji

On August 30, 2015, in English, Life in Japan, Travel, by Christine
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Okay, I have to apologize to everybody because I totally forgot to publish this one before Kobe’s, so actually Osaka has to wait.
But I’ll be quick and painless, I promise!

 

ARASHIYAMA

A good and famous excursion fron Kyoto, you’ll have to go near the Ryoanji to take the Randen, the only electric railroad of the city.

After changing once, you’ll get to Arashiyama, famous location during spring and automn, It’s a nice city, but due to lacking of time I went straight to Tenryuji, one of the five greatest zen temples of Kyoto and a World Heritage Site (of course).

    

Next to the temple stands the well-known Bamboo Forest, the top attraction of Arashiyama; no picture can match up to the beauty of this place! And you can also find small shrines!

   

 

 

 

Let’s take a break with a delicious mitarashi dango before going to Uji!

 

UJI

If you love japanese literature, you surely heard about Uji, being the city where the last part of  Genji Monogatari take place. I still haven’t read it, so I can’t say more than this (shame on me!).

Actually, the reason I wanted to visit Uji is the Byodo-in, the temple pictured on the 10 yen coin, but I promise I’ll also read Genji Monogatari soon!

The main building is called Phoenix Pavillon because of its shape and you can visit the inside and watch the gold wooden statue of Buddha Amida. I didn’t went in because it was too crowded, but you can enjoy the temple from outside and the Museum with the temple’s treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful, isn’it?

And that’s it! Next one is Osaka, I promise!

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