Category Archives: Najah Yasin

Goodbye Tokyo

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Well I’m actually staying during summer semester in Tokyo, but the Spring semester has ended and all the Temple students are going back home to America.

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The cherry blossomed during the end of our semester abroad. Poetically speaking, we have blossomed at the end.

Thanks to the Japanese couple for capturing this great photo. These were cherry blossoms at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

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Take in the beautiful sight of cherry blossoms.

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The best cultural experience I had was being a part of a society that fosters a group mentality system. This means always waiting in lines for anything, including the busiest trains in the world.

Seriously, Japan holds the busiest train stations in the whole world. Shinjuku and Shibuya stations are the top two. Shinjuku station sees about 1.26 billion commuters per year and Shibuya station sees about 1.09 billion (based on a 2013 study).

So lets have some fun in Tokyo while we still can on our last days together in Tokyo!

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Fighting ninjas will be missed in Tokyo! Just kidding. This was at the trick museum in Odaiba.

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Sneak attack from the ninja under the tatami mat! Me: “Go back!”

Thanks to the employee working that day for capturing the moments.

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A huge architecture goal! To see the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Ginza.

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It was Opalia’s last day and she wished to see the Nakagin Capsule Tower, so I surprised her with its address #SmallFriendshipGift 🙂

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That’s me wearing a Temple cap cheering for the architecture masterpiece.

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Tokyo Plaza Omotesando Harajuku by Hiroshi Nakamura.

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Tommy buying a soda from the vending machine. Having a vending beverage machine that sells hot coffee and cold beverages in almost all the streets is something everyone is going to miss.

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Opalia’s in Ginza, last day exploring Tokyo.

 

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Tokyo celebrates many cultures cuisines. Our new favorite obsession: Indian butter curry (which is basically sweet sauce.) It’s served with salad, rice, drink choice, and all you can eat naan! Pro Tip: Having lunch is better eaten out then dinner because the restaurants are very competitive during lunchtime and offer amazing deals.

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I’ll toast to that! Gresham drinking mango lassi, which is a fusion of an Indian and Japanese drink.

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Julie Kress who studied in Rome and Japan during her junior year is saying “But I don’t want to leave”

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What a better way to end a Tokyo study abroad experience then to have a last prayer. Thank you Tokyo for all the personal, profession, and academic growth you have provided us!

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TUJ Architecture Program

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We made it! The architecture students completed their studio. We didn’t know what to expect with the TUJ architecture program and Tokyo overall because there weren’t any upperclassmen to advise us. So here I am going to provide an account of TUJ architecture program.

Our class consisted of 8 junior architecture students from Temple main campus, 1 Temple main campus grad, and a 4th year student from Illinois Institute of Technology. Our studio professor was James Lambiasi (Jim), who helped all the students, that requested, receive an architecture internship. So if you’re an architecture student that wants to locate an architecture internship, reach out to him (even before you arrive to Tokyo)!

The program was well-rounded. The focus was urban planning and architecture. For the first month and 1/2, we analyzed the city of Tokyo. We were given areas, stations, structures, buildings, and much more to explore and analyze. This was a great aspect of the program because we got to explore the city, get familiarized with it, and become comfortable traveling. We also become more aware of Japanese architectural design and culture, and we learned so much more than we expected. We presented our observations and analysis through an architectural presentation of maps and diagrams.

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After analyzing the city, we focused on Roppongi for it’s rapid development and art charge implemented to the area.

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Our two jurors were Daishi Yoshimoto and Bala Bognor along with our professor James Lambiasi.

Jim was very selective on choosing the jurors. Our jurors were highly knowledgeable about the area, which created strong conversations.

Gresham Smith presenting his project

Gresham Smith presenting his project

Gresham Smith proudly holds his study models after presenting

Gresham Smith proudly holds his study models after presenting

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Opalia Meade presenting her project

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Opalia happily holds her study models after presenting

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Caleb Baldwin’s perfectly crisp final model!

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Jazzmynn Hong final sleek model!

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Caleb Baldwin presentation board!

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Jazzmynn Hong presenting

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Liangchi Zhang caught his mistake. It’s always good to laugh at the small things.

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Kya Kerner model and presentation.

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Lourdes Monje and juror Balaz Bognar discussing the presentation.

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and that’s a wrap! Final Presentation are DONE! (sign of relief)

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After Presentation, we gather in a circle and discuss our opinions and thoughts.

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After the anxiety of presentation, we get rewarded ice cream treats. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

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Lourdes Monje and Julie Kress are as happy as can be!

Trip To Nikko

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What better way to procrastinate during Finals than to travel to another city for a day? Well that’s how the architects do it! Our architecture professors, the wonderful Dr. Deanna MacDonald, James Lambiasi, and Naho Degawa took the architecture students on a one day trip to Nikko!

 

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Sanjinko (Three Sacred Storehouses)

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The Shinkyo Bridge (神橋, Shinkyō, “sacred bridge”)

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I swear I didn’t plan the matching scarf! Photo Credit: the wonderful Opalia Meade

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After spending 15 hours each week together in classes and field trips, I can’t believe I’m saying this but…I’ll miss them.

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Architecture students in front of Nikkō Tōshō-gū

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The beautiful Opalia Meade in front of the Shinkyo Bridge 神橋

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Tosho-gu shrine. The first ever colored shrine we have ever seen.

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Architecture students and professors at the Tosho-gu shrine. Photo Credit: The Great Dr. Deanna MacDonald

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Constructing the beauty of nature

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Flip it with the The Gojunoto Pagoda. Photo Credit: Opalia Meade

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The force of nature!

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It’s very beautiful to sit and relax during Finals Week!

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Nikko is known for their tofu and let me tell you..that was the best tofu I have ever had!

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Enjoying the end of the trip with a view of Lake Chūzenji

After a great view of watching the sunset, we went to catch out trains, but not until we got a glimpse of the Yayoi Festival.

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Yayoi Festival

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Yayoi Festival

The Yayoi Festival occurs April 13-17, where the main event is on the 17th. For the Yayoi Festival, floats “hana-yatai” visit towns with food and drinks to signal the arrival of Spring. It was a humbling experience to watch the small town come outside and share an evening of laughter and happiness.

 

TUJ Imperial Palace Tour

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TUJ is off to a special tour to the Imperial Palace organized by TUJ Student Activities.

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Lauren with the iconic Fuji-mi Yagura 富士見櫓 (Mt Fuji View Watchtower)

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Temple flag held in front of the Fujimi-yagura

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Of course I had to get one. Photo Credit: Lauren Hummel

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TUJ students follow the Temple flag during the special Imperial Palace Tour

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One of Japans brilliant strategies during the war was the steep wall protecting the watchtower, castles, and royal buildings.

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Simon Ishibashi bridge overlooking the city

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Old with the new

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TUJ students in front of the National Diet Building. Thanks to the passerby who offered to take a photo of our group.

The great thing about Japan is that these “slow-soft” experiences of visiting traditional Japan simultaneously happens with the rushed, overly dense city. 

Harajuku

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Svetlana making her way to Takeshita Street

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Takeshita Street in the morning

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Takeshita Street same day during the night. Looks like nothing changed but the sky.

 

Hope you enjoyed the juxtaposition of s l o w and fast experience that define Japan.

Special moments in Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka

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Epic, I wonder what happened to my hair. With the much anticipated Golden Pavilion Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺 Photo Credit: Meillyn

 

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Group shot at the Golden Pavilion. Photo Credit: Meillyn Molina

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Much loved Golden Pavilion Kinkaku-ji

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A deer in Nara Park where they’re allowed to roam freely

 

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Aw the deer doesn’t want Amber biscuits anymore

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A deer will bow to you if you place food above your head

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Candid moment in Nara Park

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TUJ students in front of Osaka Castle. Photo Credit: Gresham

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TUJ students in front of Osaka Castle

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Waiting for our Osaka River Cruise to start. Thanks to our tour guide for offering to take our photo!

 

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Grabbed ice cream to cool down

 

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Famous Dōtonbori in Osaka

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Emma at Dōtonbori

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Riding the bullet train “shinkansen” back to Temple’s Campus

Kyoto II

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Group shot in front of the Byōdō-in. Thanks to the by-stander that offered to take our photo.

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Sally

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TUJ students enjoying the view of Byōdō-in

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Candid moment of a true tree hugger

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Gresham in front of the Torii Gates

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Luck charms

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Me in front of the Torii Gates in Kyoto. Photo Credit: Gresham Smith

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Zoe discovered an abandoned sacred area full of gates, now that’s a real advanture

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It’s a relaxing day in Kyoto

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Amber enjoying the small moments

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Found a geisha. Photo Credit: Jazzymn Hong

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Zoe trying the literally fresh orange juice, perfect choice after a long day of extra walking

Kyoto I

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..and TUJ students are off to Kyoto, Japan’s most treasured city.

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TUJ school trip to Kyoto

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Let the adventures began. Photo Credit: Amber Wang

 

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..but first, let me wash my hands.

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TUJ student varies expressions during the “silly face”

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Sally performing a tradition at the shrine where she fans the smoke on herself for good health

 

 

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I love the sight of a small shrine with a Japanese gardens above a bridge under a pond.

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Jeremy and Hale reading the prayers

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Sally with the pre-bloom of the cherry blossoms

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Hale relaxing after the long walk to the shrine

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Reflective ball shows the image of the nearby Temple

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Shrines and Temples are traditional not meant to be a tourist attraction, but a religious place

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TUJ students overlooking the city of Kyoto

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white cherry blossoms

I found Nemo in Tokyo

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Tokyo is filled with so many adventures. I visited Epson Aqua Park Shinagawa, sumo tournament organized by TUJ Student Activities, and exploring the city with my girls. Here are my adventures:

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I found Nemo. (Photo Credit: Ayame Kikuchi)

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Beautiful and stunning jellyfish (no pun intended)

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The delicate jellyfish tentacles that sting at contact.

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Playing with the jellyfish made me feel like I would be a great sea character in the movie, “Finding Nemo.” (Photo Credit: Ayama Kikuchi)

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In the “wonder tube.” I have no idea on the name of this sea animal.

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Take him down!

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Ari McEwing, Sam Argyle, and Nikko Gary at the Sumo Tournament

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Svetlana Lisok and Peter Chheu at the Sumo Tournament

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Jazzmynn Hong capturing the beauty in the city of Tokyo

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Lourdes Monje on JR train

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Is that matcha ice cream?

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It is matcha! Jazzmynn Hong

Kamakura II

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My favorite part of Kamakura was this lovely pond near the Temple. Gardens or the landscape are usually in juxtaposition with traditional Japanese architecture

 

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TUJ students and professor sitting on the bench viewing the lovely pond. Some trying to mediate while others in deep thought.

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Kya Kerner feeling the texture of the moss wall

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Capturing the moment

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It’s unusual for cherry blossoms to bloom early in February. They must have blossomed early because we are in Japan 🙂

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The great craft of making a perfect roof curve. Craft level in Japanese architecture is almost always very high. The beautiful brown color shows that it’s a new roof.

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Anatol Steck by the early blossom trees.

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Bad hair day?

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Professor Dr. Deanna MacDonald demonstrating the ritual of purification before entering Temples or Shrines

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Jazzmynn Hong’s favorite aspect of Japanese culture, the Zen Garden. There was a gold claw toy that she was “picking up.”

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Visited a traditional a restaurant serving traditional Buddhist food. Photo Credit: Jazzmynn Hong