“There’s a Fire!!”

Today the entire class took a field trip to Ikebukuro to visit the Life Learning Center. It was supposed to be a two hour lecture on fire and earthquake safety, and I was prepared to be pretty bored... However, it was actually quite fun! The building has rooms built to re-enact fires and earthquakes- rooms that smoke up, rooms that shake, and rooms with fake fires to practice your extinguishing skills. We all had to make our way through a maze in the dark while the room smoked up, and afterward we got to experience what the shaking of a 7.0 earthquake feels like. It was pretty awesome.

Afterwards, we went back into the conference room to watch a forty minute propaganda video about “after the Big One”, in which an 8.2 hits Tokyo and the whole city is leveled. As corny and as cliche as the film was, it was still better than any other disaster preparedness video I’ve seen in my lifetime. The title was “Stay Alive!” but I am as of yet unable to find a copy of it online to share here. Such a shame!

The Life Learning Center has its own mascot here, so I bought a small keychain as memorabilia.... Suta-kun, I think, is his name.

That’s about all that happened today though. I just went home afterwards and tried to work on getting some of my money in the U.S. wired over to Japan. A word of advice: no matter what your bank tells you, their systems will not work here. Take as much cash with you as you can!