Monday, June 21, 2010
Day 23: Renoir in Osaka?!
day 23: June 9th
This was definitely the day where my homesickness hit it's peak! I called my father, telling him how I felt, but he told me what I needed to hear. I had to be strong and make the most of my time here, even though it can be hard and it's a bit of a shock. I have never traveled outside of the country for such a long time (well, I did live in France when I was a baby, but I don't remember it!). My dad was right; I needed to take a deep breath and shake off the tears and look ahead!
Luckily, this day I was going to meet one of the new friends I had made! Yu-san, who took me to Arashiyama and Kinkakuji, invited me to go see the Renoir exhibit at the National Museum of Osaka! I met Yu-san's mother, Matsuoka-san (who is a Japanese woman in the extreme, very nice though), Noriko who is so sweet, and saw Kayo again, who is awesome! :D Matsuoka-san didn't go to the museum with us, we just saw her at the Umeda station going into Hankyuu department store, haha~ She was nice, but treated me like a three year-old, which I didn't really appreciate. They all could tell I was feeling a bit down, so they cheered me up!
We took a train to Nakanoshima, a city built on landfill, which is where the museum is. It was a grey day, and starting to get pretty humid.
The museum itself was fun! It was interesting to see an art exhibit, especially of Western art, in Japan! I have to say, the paintings were marvelous, but the gallery where they were hanging was so stark. We followed a labyrinthine path to see the paintings and various sculptures. Some of the paintings were so summery and filled with cheerful colors! Many of the works I had never seen before; my father would have loved it! ;) The gift shop was SWARMING with people! Japanese people love giving gifts and buying souvenirs, thus people were buying so much! I ended up spending a lot of money; I bought tons of postcards (since I collect them), a poster for my new Townhouse next year, a notebook, a matted picture for Mari, and something for my Dad! :D I hope he likes it!
After the museum, we went out and were supposed to meet Matsuoka-san for a bite to eat. None of us had really eaten lunch, so we expected to go to a real restaurant, but Matsuoka-san wanted to take us to a tea room! Before that, we each got a tofu donut from Hara Donuts! So good! A revelation! I got the lemon honey one!
The tea room was called the Musica Tea Salon, and it was high up in a building, as the fancy places in Japan usually are. Most of us ordered a cake set, which came with cake and tea. But, I got cake and some orange juice. The cake I chose was a delightful caramel mousse/steamed cake! It was so delicious! So sweet, and with a pleasantly fluffy texture~ I was so happy~~ Then, we sat there for hours talking, well, Matsuoka-san did a lot of the talking. I got a headache trying to follow her Japanese!
When it started to get dark, we left the quaint tea room. Matsuoka-san wanted to take me out to dinner, but I felt too tired and just wanted to go and rest. In the end, she bought me some okonomiyaki and matcha jellies to take home. Before she left, Kayo-san gave me her favorite bracelet, which had touched me so much! She said she wanted me to have something to remember her by! I really have made some wonderful friends here! I was also so happy to meet Noriko, as she and I have so much in common!
Thank you Yu-san, Kayo, Noriko, and Matsuoka-san for a great day!