Wayo Women’s University in Japan (Week 1): Friday

This morning we observed the food service class. One week they create a menu, organize, purchase, and calculate the nutrition content of the meal. The following week they cook, serve, present their crafted menus on each table, and clean the restaurant. This course is from 9am to 3pm every Friday, and they have every minute efficiently and effectively planned. Their lab is in a large industrial kitchen that is attached to a dining room. We all loved the facilities and appreciated how hands on the nutrition program at Wayo is. For the lunch, they made a delicious spaghetti bolognese, salad with a lemon vinaigrette, a broth based cabbage soup and rice dumplings “mocha” for dessert (a common dessert dish).

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After lunch we waited for Kaneko sensei, Momoko and Yukari to take us to the Doai nursing home near Ryogoku. We took the JR line and got off right in front of the sumo wrestling museum. The nursing home is affiliated with 3 hospitals which are all next door. This home was able to maintain some fairly traditional Japanese elements, for example, the sliding doors to usher in the outside lights and large baths that multiple patients can use at a time. We were very impressed with the clean facilities and the fact that they have one staff member for every 4 patients. After touring the nursing home we went to the hospital to meet with the President/CEO. We then headed to a traditional Japanese garden in the middle of the city. It was amazing, lush greens with the view of the skyline and the Skytree in the back. The garden included many beautiful structures, a pond with “koi” fish and turtles as well as a large red bridge. It was really beautiful and at that point we were pretty tired so it was a relaxing rest stop.

Next we continued onto the sumo wrestling museum. It was closing in 10 minutes but it was a small, one room museum so that is about all the time we needed. Outside the museum they had cut out pictures of sumo wrestlers for us to have fun with.

After the museum, we went to Asakusa where we got the water bus to Odaiba. The interior of the water bus was so cool, it felt like you were in a lounge or a bar. We even were able to go to the top deck to get a better view of the city. After we arrived in Odaiba we were shocked at how beautiful it was. We were all exhausted and had promised our host families that we would be home fairly early but at the same time we all knew that we wanted to stay much longer. Some of the highlights were the big malls, the Fuji building, the replica of the Statue of Liberty, the gold needle, the view of the rainbow bridge and of course the large statue of a transformer. Not to mention that night it was about to rain  and the clouds created such a gorgeous sunset which was sort of blue, grey and yellow.

As we were about to make our separate ways home we discussed about how amazing friday-02our first week in Japan had been and how lucky we all are to have this opportunity. Ikuko and the faculty/staff and students at Wayo have helped open our eyes to how nutrition practices and education differ all across the world! As well, we have acknowledged that there is still so much to learn, thankfully we have another two weeks to go!