Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Camp 08, Kusatsu

When I first heard that Yuen Feng might not able to make it to the 3 days 2 nights summer camp'08, Kusatsu (草津), the first thought came into my mind was GOSH! ME THE ONLY GIRL!

However, the camp turned out to be one of my best experience ever in my Japan life. Not only I can finally experience the typical Japanese students way of life, I could also see how students and professors communicate with each other, during play time and during serious time, which are very worth learning.

Ando Sensei

I was so fortunate enough to have Ando Sensei, Sakurai-san and Hirano-san to be my tour guide in the city of Kusatsu. They had been there a few times and main aim was for the onsen (温泉) and skiing during the winter.


This is Yubatake (湯畑) or hot water field. It's the main source of most of the hot spring in Kusatsu. The water is bubbling at a steaming hot 70 degree celcius with a strong sulfur odor. Then flow and distributed to various public baths.

温泉たまご Onsen eggs

Onsen eggs are one of the famous products produced in Kusatsu. It was first cook in the normal way for certain time and certain degree. ( I forgot the details), then soak in the hot spring water for 2 hours.

Kusatsu International Ski Area

During the winter, Kusatsu is famous for the ski. Imagine the whole place was covering with snow. There's a crater lake located 2100 meters above sea level there.

I had to do a presentation about myself. I was struggling with words in Japs when I wanted to say, 'The maximum length of the world's biggest flower in Msia is 1meter'. Then after that when I asked permission to present in English, I was struggling the vocab to finish my sentence 'Objectives of my final year project was...... ' Now my English is deteriorating, Japanese is impossible to speak, stuck in the middle.

Open air hot spring

One of the most unsual Japanese custom for me, is definitely the public bath. Until now, I havent totally get used to it. In the summer camp, I always wait till the bathroom is empty, then I rush to get my shower, get a quick dip in the hot bath inside the bathroom (Yeap, you have clean your body then could only enjoy the hot bath). But I finally cant escape the nudity when everyone decided to soak in hot spring the next day.

It's of course guys and gurls seperated. Although open air, but the gurls' area are properly secluded. They dont use big towels to wrap yourself before soaking in, just a tiny towel to cover. This time, you should decide, to cover front or back, up or down. Hahahah!!! Some people dont even care covering, walking nude like no big deal. In the locker area, I seriously cant have a peace of mind, but after getting over the mental obstacles, soaking in onsen, is definitely one of the most relaxing experience.

Food on stick

Walking on the streets of Kusatsu also, is the best thing to do. They will just stuff you with free food, and free tea. After you eat the first one, you can take the 2nd one, 3rd one... We walked pass the same shop 3 times, stuffing ourselves with Manju まんじゅ without buying until the very last day.


Except that, Summer camp made my life healthier. Not only the food are typical healthy Japanese food, for breakfast, it's raw egg, nato, miso soup, nori, fish, ham, rice, salad. Dinner was syabu syabu one night and BBQ one night, but also corrected my haywire sleeping hours. Breakfast was strictly at 7am, lunch was 12pm, dinner at 6pm, light off at 11pm, and no late night chatting and no internet!

Dinner - Syabu Syabu

Lab members

Also watched Olympic closing ceremony on a big TV (A REAL TV!!! GOSH!) with Ando Sensei sitting beside shouting Sugoi (great!), and join in their nomikai 飲み会 (drinking session that involved loads of alcohol!), picking up a little of badminton since I last played centuries ago . It was good time. :)


stevelee67 said...

only one girl ??!!

then ma abit lonely in the onsen...

talking while soaking in hot water is one of the best part !!

Anthony S. said...

can i go in the onsen and boil eggs?
oops.. i didn't mean "eggs". I meant eggs.

kim ean said...

tot u said dun wanna go

sweehung said...

kimmy!!about the language part i totally understand how u feel! i had the same prob too..every year english became worse but russian never improve..but i'm sure u wud b better than me!hav faith in u!! ;)

Kim Huey said...

steve: I dun wanna imagine being naked with someone i noe. :-s

anthony: yea, you have to becareful of the eggs huh!!

kim ean: yealo, in the end, still went wo.

sweety!!! I am having trouble talking to my mum now. that day i wanted to tell her something about abdullah, anwar, i cant tell properly! In the end, no choice, switch back to Canto. Canto also lak lak kak kak. Mandarin would be weird speaking to my mum. how how?!!

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