Flat Stanley Tracker

Follow Flat Stanley as he travels around the world.

Japan

Posted by Flat Stanley in Posts on 02 22nd, 2011

Konnichiha, friends! Japan is such a beautiful country. I started off first in Tokyo:

As you can see from the above picture, it was snowing while I was in Tokyo. This was the first time I encountered snow on my world trip!

Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and there are about 13 million people living there.

Two activities that the Japanese love to do is play video games at arcades and sing karaoke. Luckily, I was able to do both!

Japanese food is delicious. I tried sushi, which is raw fish. It sounds gross, I know, but it is yummy!

I also had noodles called Ramen. They were my favorite!

My friend Christy got to dress up in a kimono, a traditional dress worn by women.It is only to be worn on very special occasions, for example, weddings.

From Tokyo we traveled southwast to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. There we were able to see more of the traditional Japanese temples and gardens.

We went to an area in Kyoto called the Gion district:

In this area there are a lot of tea houses surrounding the tiny streets. The Japanese used to do most of their socializing here. They still sometimes meet at the tea houses, but most people go to restaurants, just like us!

From Kyoto we traveled to a small town called Nara. What is very special about Nara is there are hundreds of deer roaming the town and the parks nearby. You see, long ago, it is thought that a god came to Nara to protect the city. He arrived on a deer. Still today, the people think of the deer as their protectors.

The deer have even learned to bow to people who bow to them!

Also, remember that these are very special deer, and you shouldn’t touch or feed the deer in the States. You could get hurt!

In Nara, I volunteered at a school to assist in helping Japanese children to learn English! They knew a few words already, which is very impressive, since the Japanese don’t even use our same alphabet.

From here I head to Australia. Until next time!



Hong Kong

Posted by Flat Stanley in Posts on 02 12th, 2011

Neih hoh, Trackers! I am in Hong Kong, a city on the southern coast of China.

I actually picked a very good time to visit Hong Kong: during the Chinese New Year celebrations! The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China. It begins on the first day of the traditional Chinese calendar (It is different than the calendar we use in America) and lasts for 15 days.

Each year of the Chinese calendar is declared “the year of” a different type of animal. This year, for example, is the year of the rabbit:

The other 11 animals are: the rat, ox, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. You may be interested in what animal represents the year you were born:

If you were born between January 24, 2001 and February 11, 2002, it was the year of the snake.

If you were born between February 12, 2002 and January 1, 2003, it was the year of the horse.

(It can get confusing, so if you are still not sure what Chinese calendar year you were born in, ask Mrs. Williams. She can help!)

There were also orange trees everywhere! Orange trees are a sign of good luck to the Chinese. People buy them for the celebrations.

I got to see the annual Chinese New Year parade up close. It was so exciting!

What you see me pictured with are lion dancers. It is a traditional dance in China. Those may not look like lion costumes to you, but that is what they are!

These are dragon dancers. You have to be really coordinated and in sync along with everybody else on controlling the dragon. Doesn’t it look amazing?

I even got a red envelope! The Chinese give red envelopes as gifts during the holidays. It has money inside, and the envelope itself represents good luck!

There were giant balloons like the ones you would see in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:

The night after the parade there were fireworks, and I have to add, they were the best fireworks I have ever seen! Usually I just see one firework set off at a time. In Hong Kong, they set off an entire row of them! It was so crowded that I didn’t have the best view, but I still managed:

Besides the Chinese New Year festivities, I had a fantastic time exploring Hong Kong. I stayed in an area called Mong Kok. There were lots of restaurants and tons of shopping. It reminded me a lot of Times Square in New York with all the electronic billboards and lit up signs.

(That’s my friend Christy. She really liked Mong Kok!)

I saw the largest outdoors bronze sitting Buddha statue in the world. It is called the Tian Tan Buddha:

I visited a traditional Chinese garden called the Nan Lian Garden. Look how beautiful it is:

The food in China is delicious! I went to a really good restaurant called Tim Ho Wan. I had dim sum, which are small dishes of food that everyone at the table shares. I had pork buns, and all sorts of dumplings with meat and vegetable inside.

A visit to the Hong Kong Museum of History was a must. I saw an amazing exhibit on the folk culture:

Finally, I took a tram up to one of the mountain peaks. You should know that not only  is Hong Kong made up of several islands and a peninsula, but it is very mountainous. I had a great view of the city from the peak:

Now off to Japan. Until next time…