Sunday, December 28, 2008

A bike ride in the country

I was a bit bored today with Ena out of town so I decided to get on my bike and take a ride out to explore the surrounding area. Basically I just randomly went off in one direction to see what was there. After a while I saw a sign directing me to the Nagahama dam / reservoir so I thought I'd check that out. Its in the mountains so it involved a lot of uphill riding. So much so that at one point I had to abandon my bike and continue on foot. It was a pretty nice day though. On the way up I got a good view of the city in the distance, with Fukuoka tower and the Fukuoka Yahoo dome clearly visible:

This is what the reservoir looks like, its actually quite large (about 3km around). Fukuoka's water comes from here, so whatever you do don't pee in it:

A self portrait:

Another shot of the reservoir, you can sort of see the dam in the distance as well as some larger mountains looming in hte background:

This is a pedestrian bridge over the reservoir. I like this picture because the white sign on the right says that fishing is banned. But the group of people on the bridge (visible at the far left) all have fishing poles and are openly catching fish (they've even set up little chairs).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Party

Ena and I hosted the social event of the Kyudai Kaikan yesterday with our Christmas party (on Christmas eve). We were able to successfully cram 16 people into an apartment that measures approximately 3 metres by 6 metres. This is most of us (this picture may also be useful for historians trying to visualize what the Black Hole of Calcutta looked like):

Ena made some really good sukiyaki (a Japanese dish with radishes, beef and noodles) and all of our guests brought food and drinks as well so it was sort of pot-luck style. There was some really good food so we all got stuffed! This is Ena with my classmates Tai Ching and WangJin in the kitchen (Ena, I should point out, is the only one actually cooking!):

These are some more pictures of everyone crammed into our apartment and having a good time:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Malaysian/ Chinese dinner

Yesterday our friend Tai Ching invited us over to the single people's building for dinner. She made some Malaysian dishes and Tingting (from China) and Concetta (from the US) also made some dishes. It was a pretty good time. This is Ena with Tai Ching, Tingting and Yujing who are all in my program:

Everyone around the table enjoying the meal:

Ena and I with Concetta enjoying the meal:

I cleaned the table after we finished up:

After dinner Tingting made us some Chinese tea which was the bitterest stuff I have ever tasted. She also gave us this nice book of Chinese paper cut-outs which was really nice:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Party at Sean and Ena's Pad!

Ena and I had a fun day today. First we went to lunch at a little restaurant near Kashii station. This is Ena there showing off the bracelet accessories she got from my Mom and Dad for Christmas:

After that we went grocery shopping at the local supermarket/ megamall across the street from us. We ran into our friends Brian and Tai Ching there and joined them for dessert.

After a while our friends Ava and Oleg joined us and it became a party:

Loads of fun was had by all.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Kyudai and the Bonenkai party

These are some pictures from the LLM/YLP study room at Kyudai where we each have a desk and do most of our studying (and talking and other stuff):

Yesterday there was a Bonenkai party for all the Ryugakusei at Kyudai. A Bonenkai is basically an end of year party (though the literal translation would be more like "Forget the year party"). These are some of my classmates at the party:

After the official Bonenkai a few of us went bowling:

And then to karaoke:

Unfortunately Ena had to work so she couldn't join us, but otherwise it was a lot of fun.

Kyushu University, Securities Class and other random stuff

I don't think I've put any pictures of Kyudai's campus up yet. This is what the main Social Sciences building (which includes the law faculty) looks like:

They'll actually be moving the entire campus to a totally new location in about 5 years (construction is already pretty advanced at the new Itoh campus) so this building will be history pretty soon.

This is a picture of the intensive Securities regulation class I've been taking that finished today:

We went out to lunch to celebrate the end of the class:

This is a picture of me and Brian at Mos Burger, which I include for no particular reason:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas decorations!

We've got our christmas tree up. Actually we put it up a couple of weeks ago but I just got around to putting the pictures up! As you can see, its not overwhelmingly large. It was the 200 yen 60cm tree at the Hyaku en shop. I think it'll do for our purposes, size doesn't matter.

We also got a couple of candle holders and some X-mas stockings that are tacked to the wall just above the tree!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fukuoka Tower

Ena and I went to Fukuoka Tower today, which is the tallest building in Kyushu. There were some pretty decent views from the observation deck, which gave me the chance to use the panorama function on my camera. We went just before sundown and stayed for half an hour or so to watch the sunset. These are some of the better shots I got:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sean's day out

Yesterday some of my fellow students and I went to karaoke and tore the roof of the sucka'. This is some of us singing and dancing to Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean":

After karaoke Ena, who had been teaching, joined us and we all went to dinner at a yakitori restaurant:

The evening wrapped up with us going to McDonalds for dessert:

After our trip to visit my friend Mike in Seattle, I basically only get milkshakes at McDonalds. This one wasn't as good as the West Seattle McDonald's milkshakes, but it was acceptable:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tokyo! 7th Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition

On the weekend I went with 11 of my classmates to Tokyo to participate in the 7th Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition. We had a great time, but it was a pretty busy time.

Above is a picture of us at Shinjuku station. We realized once we got off the plane that none of us really knew how to get to our Ryokan from the airport, except that someone remembered being told it was near Shinjuku, which turned out to be incorrect. So we spent a good while navigating the subways before finally arriving.

This is us on the first night having dinner (at about 11PM) at a Chinese restaurant near our Ryokan. It was pretty good, I had some beef set filled with mushrooms (that I did not eat as is my custom). Everyone had a good time.

These are the members of my team on saturday morning just before we went in for a gruelling 4 hours of arbitration(from left: Celeste, Brian, me, Jin, Ava and Zhong). We faced off against the Australian National University Team, who won the competition last year. The arbitration involved each side arguing an international contractual dispute between two fictional film companies using the UNIDROIT principles. It was a hard-fought battle, but I think both teams did quite well.

The next day we had the Negotiation round in which we faced the Osaka University team. In this one each team represented a different company (Red and Blue) and we had to negotiate a contract to produce a film together. Negotiations lasted for about 2 and a half hours. This is a picture taken afterwards with both teams. I was the vice president of Blue Corporation, which was a pretty cool gig. I'm shaking hands with Oyun, the vice president of Red Corporation, while holding up the contract we were able to conclude. The Osaka team was pretty cool, they gave us some sweets as omiyage, which was nice.

After the end of the last round, the members of both Kyushu teams collapsed in exhaustion while Brian sang the blues. (From left: William, Tingting, Celeste, Onerva, Brian, Jin, Ava, Destaw, Zhong, me, Mikako. Don-don took the picture).

All in all this was an awesome experience and I got to make some great friends so it was all good (even though Tokyo University won the bloody thing!)