Road To Fuji Blog (Day Five)

On day 5 I woke up, replied to some emails, released Episode 5 of Road to Fuji, had some iMessage conversations and napped a bit longer. We all got up around 630a re-organized our bags for checkout, ate breakfast at Starbucks and headed toward Kyoto to the Obubu Tea Farm which is in Wazuka, Japan. To be honest no one knew what to expect but this was an idea created by Rupert. We road from Osaka to Kyoto, took a local train, bus and walked before we reached our destination around 11am. From the time we entered to the time as left our host Manchu and his interns showed us nothing but hospitality. We tried 10 different teas that opened my eyes to teas outside of the usual strong bitter traditional Japanese tea. We ate tea cake and even had green tea noodles for lunch. We drove up 2 mountains to see and feel the tea fields. Although the tour was only to supposed to take 4 hours we spent an extra 2 hours learning more about tea, telling stories and buying tea. Monchu even gave us a ride back to Kyoto station which was about an hour and a half away. We talked to Manchu about Japan, his family, his business and life. We were sad leaving the farm, but even sadder to leave Manchu. Obubu has a website Facebook twitter and YouTube where you can watch the tea cultivating process!

We boarded a bullet train from Kyoto to Nagoya ate, checked in, debriefed about the day and slept.

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http://obubutea.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ObubuTea
http://www.youtube.com/user/ObubuTea

Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

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DomoVlog: Road To Fuji
Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4 | Ep. 5 | Ep. 6 |

Road To Fuji Blog (Day Four)

Woke up at 5AM again and checked the social media. I found out through his instagram post Rupert got up in the middle of the night and explored Osaka by himself in the middle of the night. He even went to dinner alone. Once he woke up him and I would explore a rainy Osaka and failed in our search for sandwich bags (water resistant) but we returned made our way to breakfast. Before we did however we stopped a grocery store in the station and night snacks. I didn’t buy any snacks because the prices seemed high and I didn’t want to carry the snacks from Monday to Thursday. We ate breakfast at a place inside the station. I had pancakes and ham.

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After breakfast we took the train to a temple

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and attempted to go to the zoo not knowing it would be closed.Although we were disappointed we decided we would go to the aquarium instead. We stopped for ramen near by.

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After eating we headed to the aquarium. Ironically this aquarium was the same one that I had been to on March 11, 2011 the day of the tsunami. I have a video of me there on that exact day.

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The ferris wheel was right outside of the aquarium.

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After the Ferris wheel we made our way back toward the hotel. We walked for what felt like miles until we found a currency exchange inside a store that looked like best buy, rei, Walmart and toys r us wrapped in one. After finally finding this place we had to find our way back to the hotel… We walked… And walked… And walked….. My legs felt as if they would give up on me. We finally made it to the hotel where I showered and lye down for a few minutes before it was time to go get sushi. We were recommended a place for sushi but after another long walk we gave up and ended up at a hole in the wall sushi place. The options were not so great and to expensive to fully enjoy. We would return to the hotel and crash.

Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

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DomoVlog: Road To Fuji
Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4 | Ep. 5 | Ep. 6 |

Road To Fuji Blog (Day Three)

WE WOKE UP STARVING!!! We ate breakfast, got dressed repacked our bags and headed towards the train station to use our bullet train passes for the first time.

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We would take the local train one stop and then take the bullet train to Osaka for about 2 hours. After getting to Osaka we dropped our bags off and headed to Osaka castle.

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Afterwords we made the mistake of returning to the hotel, determined NOT to fall asleep early. Everyone did, leaving me to go for dinner on my own. I had a beef bowl at Yoshino’s around the corner. Definitely not as good as I remembered. I came back to the hotel and went to sleep with the rest of the crew. #JetLagFail

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Dez and Madi on our way to Osaka Castle. It was very hot and humid in Osaka.

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Osaka Castle was pretty awesome, reminded me of Hamamatsu Castle. It’d be interesting to find out more about this history of these places!

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So this man was letting people hold his birds for FREE! I saw an owl I wanted to hold but the owl didn’t look to happy and I didn’t want to get attacked! 

Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

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DomoVlog: Road To Fuji
Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4 | Ep. 5 | Ep. 6 |

Road To Fuji Blog – Welcome To Japan (Day One)

The last time I was in Japan was March 2011. This was the same time as the infamous North Japan tsunami / earthquake. This time I am not by myself, I am with the brodies, Madi, Rupert, and Dez. While I am excited to share pictures, and videos I decided to write this so that I can do my best to tell this story in greater detail. Often times the book is better than the movie, right? Haha

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We landed in Tokyo after flying almost all day. We flew from SeaTac to LA around 630a Thursday morning PST and left LA for Narita at around 130p. The second flight was 10.5 hours. Delta International was actually really awesome. They had a very extensive free movie selection and even had free Showtime and $2 HBO. The food wasn’t the best but we were fed quite often. We landed around 445p Friday evening Japan time (Wow we pretty much flew for a day in a half lol including time zones). Madi, Dez and I had the same flight, but Rupert flew straight from Seattle and landed about 30 min after us.

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After landing it seemed like we were in the airport forever!! Customs was no problem, we exchanged some money, and exchanged our 7 day bullet train passes at and bought our ticket from the airport to Tokyo on the Narita express (¥ 3200). The exchange rate at the airport was better than the one at the hotel but not better than the one at the currency exchange place in Tokyo. After taking the 30 minute express train we arrived in Tokyo and found our way to our capsule hotels. I quickly regretted not packing the bag with wheels as walking around Japan with an overweight backpack is no fun.. The capsule hotels actually weren’t as bad as I expected. Very spacious, wifi, shower, tv (¥2200/night or about $22). We ate at a small restaurant with an English menu. I ordered gyoza and rice and shared fried rice and sweet bread. We headed back to the our capsules, showered and slept until the next morning.

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Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

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DomoVlog: Road To Fuji
Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4 | Ep. 5 | Ep. 6 |

Life in a Minute: Miss Info

I’ve been a fan of @MissInfo and her work for awhile. She’s definitely done a lot for the culture and always kept the integrity first. We know her for her writing in magazines, television, radio etc. Thanks for sharing more of the story. 

Life in a Minute: Miss Info

Stay humble, Stay Foolish and Stay Disciplined… (Written By AmbassadorNique)

Life is good. Last Thursday I was able to be a sit in photographer for a friend of mine during a Culture Night at an elementary school where he teaches. It is a yearly community event that has been going on for over 10 years. It’s a fashion show with food and outfits, and music. I had a great time and it was nice to see so many different cultures celebrating all under one roof. My pictures were not as popular as I would have thought, but most people didn’t know they were free, and I guess getting your picture taken by a stranger isn’t something everyone runs to get done. Nevertheless I took 50+ pictures. It reminded me of the international fashion show I was able to help start at Central as an undergraduate.

Last weekend I spent the whole weekend with D and we had great adventures. I was able to sit in a 3 hour video editing class to learn more about Final Cut Pro X while she studied for her Anatomy class. I found I knew more than I thought I did but was able to pick up some new tips. Afterword’s, I cooked for her and I bought her a one hour deep tissue massage. Apparently deep tissue is more painful than it is relaxation. LOL Who knew?! Nevertheless her body felt relaxed afterwards.

The next day D and I would hike Tiger Mountain with my co-worker and a 75 year old doctor who teaches in our department. We’d bugged him for weeks about taking us with him on the climb that he does 3 times a week. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. One of the bones behind my knee had been hurting for the past week, but I knew hiking would make D happy so I just pushed through. This was probably a mistake. The mountain was A LOT steeper than any of us would expect. I really didn’t think I would make it, but two hours later it felt so good to be at the top and we all felt accomplished!

It felt like going down took longer than climbing up. We traveled through rain, sunshine, dirt, mud and even snow! All in all it was a great bonding experience. I learned that the only way to train to climb a mountain was the climb mountains. So… That’s what I will do!

All in all I am doing great! I cook all the time now. I have started making connections and reaching out to old contacts to start my Graduate application process. This Thursday I my top braces will be removed. I am SO excited about this! Saturday morning I will go to the dentist to get an x-ray of a dead tooth to see what my options are, and immediately after that around 11:30 I will take a practice GRE exam.

 Apparently If I register for the full time Master program I am applying to the GRE is not required. There is an info session next Wednesday evening where I hope to learn more and be closer to making a decision.

Work is work.. I am learning how to be in control of my own happiness and not let the attitudes of others ruin my day. I am also doing my best to use my spare time wisely.

My relationship is good. Dating someone who is ambitious and goal oriented is not always easy, because the sacrifice is quality time. However, if you love a person you should love them enough to want to do whatever you can to help them reach their goals while reaching for your own. I am still learning and definitely still maturing. It’s a process.

Oh yeah… I BOUGHT MY TICKET TO JAPAN! How could I forget?! Now its just about being ready to climb Fuji. No joke, half way up tiger mountain I was thinking there’s no way I can make it to the top of Fuji. My ticket was really expensive, but nevertheless its an investment. I am determined to make it to the top and it will be the experience of a lifetime!  

Overall life is good. I hope to climb a new local mountain in the near future. I plan to continue to stay disciplined about my finances and focused on continuing my education. Speaking of education D’s younger sister got her acceptance letter from Seattle University. Still waiting for like 9 more schools, most importantly Stanford! Nevertheless her journey inspires me. While many say there is no hope for the youth or the future, I say we’ll just have to wait in say.

Stay humble, stay foolish and stay disciplined.

-Ambassador

DVD “Japanese American History Unknown” to be distributed to schools for free in US and Japan

fascinasians:

Filmmaker Junichi Suzuki’s trilogy “Toyo’s Camera, Japanese American History during WWII,” “442, Live with Honor, Die with Dignity,” and “MIS, Human Secret Weapon” becomes one DVD “Japanese American History Unknown” (40 minutes) for distributing 2,000 educational facilities in the U.S. and Japan.

Approx. 1,000 schools in the U.S. and 500 schools in Japan have already been chosen. The remaining 500 DVD will be sent upon request.

Producer of the DVD, UTB Hollywood is accepting requests for the DVD from schools through early February. Distribution will be complete by end of February. Shipping is free of charge.

For request, contact Shigeto Terasaka in the U.S. attera@utbhollywood.com

and Junichi Suzuki in Japan at suzuki@suzukijunichi.com

All films used for making this documentary won at the Maui Film Festival and Fumiko Yamaji Culture Award in Japan.

The production and free distribution of “Japanese American History Unknown” was made possible with the generosity of Dr. Paul Tersaki in Los Angeles.

“Japanese American History Unknown” 

Director: Junichi Suzuki

Original Music: Kitaro,

Format: 40 minutes, Color (black and white in some scenes), 16:9, HD, Stereo

www.toyoscamera.com

www.442film.com

www.mis-film.com

The trailer for this was very short but I am very excited to see this movie!  I requested it from the University Library!

DVD “Japanese American History Unknown” to be distributed to schools for free in US and Japan