Tue., Oct.24 - Wed., Oct.25@Sightseeing in L.A.

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Some of us had breakfast at a Japanese restaurant called 'Senba-zuru,' which means thousand cranes, that locates inside the hotel. Since most of the customers in the hotel were Japanese, music played inside, landscape from the restaurant, and so on were all Japanese-looking. The right picture is the one of down town buildings in the morning.

We went to a sightseeing tour by bus. We first visited the place that is thought to be the first place of L.A.. There we saw a cross on which 'EL PUEBLO DE NUESTRA SENORA LA REINA DE LOS ANGELES FELIPE DE NEVE SEPTEMBER FOURTH 1781' is written. As the sentence seems Spanish, I don't understand what it means. But I noticed a name 'Los Angeles' and the date Sep. 4, 1781. Behind the cross there are a lot of small shops of Mexican that sell bags, shoes, hats and so on. I went into one of them and asked a clerk 'What do you say hello in Spanish ?' She answered 'Ola !' Finally I bought a pretty Mexican dress for my daughter. She kindly discounted the price $20.5+tax down to $20 including tax.

Then we visited the Japanese Immigration Museum. Since taking photos inside was prohibited, there is no picture. I knew the beginning of Little Tokyo by the great effort of Japanese people who moved to L.A., and the treatment of them during the World War II.

Next we went to UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles. I took many pictures of outside the bus, because there were too many cars running up and down the broad highway that has 6 lanes, even a traffic jam sometimes occurs !

We arrived at one of the most famous universities, UCLA, that have produced many Nobel prize winners. I also visited there when I was studying in Minnesota. The students' shop was just like a department store. There I found some softwares were sold very cheap, like Final Cut Pro for $499, Adobe Web Collection including PageMaker 6.5 Plus for $279, GoLive 4.0/5.0{PhotoShop 5.5{Illustrator 8.0/9.0{LiveMotion, for $399, and Strata Studio Pro for $449.

Next we went to Beverly Hills where I also visited and was surprised to see Rolls Royce or Mercedes were running here and there about 20 years ago. We had a nice spaghetti for lunch in a Spanish restaurant.

Next we arrived at Santa Monica Beach. Althiugh the sand of the beach was not so white as the one in Florida, it reminded me of the sunshine and palm trees of the tropical area.

Then we went to Marina Del Ray that means 'king's marina.' Thousands of pleasure boats were there, as well as some pericans were enjoying their lives.

Many of us began to buy souvenirs at Duty Free shops. Some of them bought so many things. As this was my fifth visit to abroad, I bought some newspapers which I promised to get some, with my students.

After we got back to the hotel, I took a channel guide on the TV. The numbers of the channels were 19 then. At that time, news about the US cole attack and US president election were broadcasted so often in the States. They made me feel the US was one of the bigest countries that moves the world. The next news was about Japan. Some young men parked their cars with music playing incredibly loud in a parking area of a highway. And they were yelling loud against the guards who blamed them. As a Japanese, I felt very ashamed to see such selfish Japanese people living in a peaceful country, Japan.

We walked to a Japanese restaurant named 'Yagura-Ichiban' in Little Tokyo for dinner. Most of our members were missing Japanese food so bad. Many imported stuff from Japan are sold in Little Tokyo. To my surprise, a book named 'how to walk around the earth' was sold. I carried the book when I went around the States when I was studying abroad.

October 25 was a memorial day for America, because 'Play Station 2' began to sell. This day we visited Chinese Theater. This place is famous because many handprints and footprints of famous movie stars are left on the tiles of the floor in front of the building. I found the ones of Donald Duck, Arnold Schuwalznegger, Eddie Murphy and so on.

We also visited Griffith Observatory where I also visited when I was studying abroad. At that time, I rent a car to drive to Kitt-Peak Observatory in Tucson, Arizona to find out how the observatory was huge. Then I took a Gray Hound bus to go over the Rocky Mountains to visit L.A.. Kitt-Peak looked like a forefront in the Astronomy, whereas Griffith Observatory looked like an educational one. We could see the famous letters 'HOLLYWOOD' in the middle of the mountain, and the city of Los Angeles on the other side. Inside the observatory Hubble Space Telsescope, big model of globe, the periodic table of the element which a real metal and gas were used for, and so on were exihibited.

When we got back to down town, we had the last dinner party in the US. Everything in the restaurant except the price were Japanese, and they made me forget that we were in the States. We got so drunk and talked and laughed until late at night.

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