my last post: cheeseburger here I come!!!

This will be my last post.  Yes, it is sad but I am really looking forward to eating a huge cheeseburger when I get back stateside!  Anyway, here are a few tips from my experience if you ever visit Japan:

  1. Railways are the only way to travel.
  2. Look RIGHT then left then right again…traffic comes from the opposite direction.
  3. Bring your umbrella.  Downpours are common during the rainy season and you don’t want to be caught in one….really not fun…really.  It is also extremely humid here so if you are used to dry Colorado weather, you best brace yourself!
  4. Use your coins!  Some of them are worth 500yen (approximately $5) and will become very heavy in your pocket if you do not use them…although I felt kind of rich when my pockets had weight ; )
  5. Be prepared to eat anything!  I have eaten so many different types of seafood (fish, octopus, snail-like creatures, eel, etc.) that I have lost track of them all.
  6. Domo is a handy word.  I have used it for anything from thank you to nice to meet you to excuse me to see you later.
  7. There is nothing like real Japanese sushi (I know I just talked about eating but this one really deserves its own line!).
  8. Most importantly…you have to try sake (pronounced “saw kay”) but be sure to pace yourself…experience has taught me that it can be very potent!

I would like to thank the NIRS staff, CSU toxicology faculty, and the CEM scholar program for this opportunity.  Special thanks to Matsuura sensei, Dr. Bill Hanneman, Dr. Marie Legare, Dr. Taka Kato, NIRS president Yonekura sensei, NIRS director Tsujii sensei, Okayasu sensei, and, last but certainly not least, Fujimori sensei and his team.  You are all awesome!!!

Lastly, I have two shameless advertisements.  The first is for the CSU Toxicology program (no, they did not put me up to it!).  I just want to tell current and future students that this offering is new and not well known but it is an excellent program.  For those of you that don’t know what toxicology is, it is the basic science of poisons (how cool is that!).  The program offers a solid core of toxicology classes but allows for flexibility to take many other courses in different disciplines.  It is available in a variety of flavors including one or two year and thesis or non-thesis tracks.  If you are interested in professional school (medical, dental, etc.), research, or career opportunities, it offers an excellent chance to feed your brain and your resume at the same time.  I personally owe a lot to the tox program and would not have had this opportunity to travel to Japan (nor many others) if it were not for the excellent teachers and staff.  I recommend everyone who is even mildly interested to check it out!

My final shot goes out to the CSU Karate-do club.  It is also new and few people know about it.  Sensei Max Matsuura instructs us twice weekly during the school year.  He is an amazing Sensei and one of the few instructors left in the world that teach traditional Karate-do.  There is not really much more that I need to say about it…it kind of sells itself.  We begin again in August but you can start at any time during the school year.

If you are interested in knowing more about my research, the CSU tox program, or CSU Karate-do club, please do not hesitate to drop me a line.  I hope you all had fun reading my blogs!  Enjoy the rest of your summers and I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Signing off from Japan,


    • Becca
    • July 30th, 2010

    WOW! Sounds like a great experience!
    I’m hoping to study abroad there so thanks for the tips!

    • petra
    • July 23rd, 2010

    ewww. sounds like a loooong trip. And yes, I most likely looked very much like a granny or a monster on a little kid’s bicycle. I didn’t realize I could change the height of the seat without using a tool so my legs were extremely bent. I had to get off and walk anytime there was a hill because I had no leverage. oh well. also, I went to the beach water park in Inage and I looked like a black sheep. I stood out even worse than usual! I’ll have to tell you about it when I get back. 🙂

    • Rach
    • July 20th, 2010

    Oh my goodness that sounds like such a wonderful time! I am hoping to travel to Japan next year, and I will definitely keep those things in mind. I cannot wait to try Japanese sushi (I love sushi here, so it sounds so delicious!) However I might have to be coerced to try ice cream from a tube…

      • cyurkon
      • July 21st, 2010


      I hope you make it to Japan! It was a really great experience and the people were all very nice. As to the tubed ice cream…I was skeptical at first as well…but don’t knock it til you try it! I was definitely surprised by how good it was.


    • petra
    • July 19th, 2010

    Chuck! I took the bike out today and it was fantastic! I beg to differ on trains being the ONLY way to get around….bikes are used gratuitously here as well.

    -Petra San. 😉

      • cyurkon
      • July 21st, 2010

      Haha! I would have loved to get a picture of you on that bike! Did you look like an old granny?! Enjoy the rest of your time in Japan…and good luck on your travel home. I made it to San Fran where we had a 3.5h delay with the plane. We waited to board and then waited on the plane for over an hour before they told us that it would be another 45min before they got the part to fix the plane. So they let us off of the plane and promised me that I would be fine as long as I was back by 2pm. Me and the guy I was sitting next to were both starving and I went to get my cheeseburger (it was delicious). When we got back at 5min til the plane was shut and preparing for take-off!! What a mess. Then we had another 30min delay before landing and I missed my shuttle by 10min. So, I had to wait an hour before the next one came! I am so glad that all of the travel is over! Hopefully you will have better luck.



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