Wednesday, May 30, 2007

National Diet Building 国会議事度

I went to the Japanese National Diet building today! It is basically the legislature, formally called the "House of Councilors". My host parents were surprised to hear I was allowed inside!

You have to go through a metal detector and write your name, the guards were shocked that I wrote in kanji and katakana! It is pretty fun shocking people with the fact that I can do Japanese!

I took a free tour with 3 other Japanese tourists, which was pretty cool. Surprisingly I understood quite a bit of what the tour guide said:
  • The carpet costs 30000Y a square meter.
  • Under the carpet, the marble floor turns to concrete!
  • They hold (or used to hold) parties in the upper floors of the tower thing (pictured- thanks to Wikipedia).
  • There are a couple doors to the Emperor's room, the door with marble columns is for the Emperor only.
  • The "Central Staircase" is only used when the Emperor comes
  • Pairs of stenographers switch off every 5 minutes at the sound of a bell
  • Mail chutes installed in the 1930s (?) are still used now
  • In the area for reporters, there are pneumatic tubes (like the drive-through-bank-teller-windows) that were/are used to send notes and current information to the newspaper companies

I took some pictures on my cell phone (forgot my camera again!). After I buy a "micro-SD" card I can post them!

1 comment:

Matt said...

Hey Tammy! Your Japanese comprehension must really be getting good. Interesting factoids about the Diet.. . And the "Engrish" rules in the changing booths at the department store were hilarious!! Truly incomprehensible.