JAPAN FAN / Michaela Mayo

FEBRUARY 2020 (VOL.149)

Michaela Mayo

Currently lives in:North Tustin
Occupation: Second grade student
Loves Japan since Since my first trip to Japan when I was 5 years old
Have you been to Japan?Yes
Favorite Japanese Food:Sushi
Favorite Japanese Item:Yukata
Favorite Japanese Characters or People:Brunhilde from Ghibli movie “Ponyo” (she was then named “Ponyo” by Sōsuke.)
Favorite Japanese Word:Momo もも (means peach)
A Japanese Name you wish to have:Mirai Favorite Japanese Spot in LA: Orange Coast Gakuen Japanese school in Huntington Beach

What do you think is “cool” about Japan?

I think that all of the animal cafes are cool. So far I have been to two rabbit, one otter, one hedgehog, one owl, one parrot, one meerkat/capybara/weasel cafe, and two cat cafes in Tokyo.

Anything “Not cool” about Japan?

I love using the Tokyo Metro and Toei subways and I never mind being in crowds on the subway cars but I think it is not cool when there is no extra room at all and a dozen businessmen decide to push their way into the train during rush hour. It’s hard to understand why a people that are so polite at all other times think that it is alright to do this.

Any bizarre stories about Japan?

Once when I was feeding the deer in Nara they ate my map that we needed to use to get around the city that day. I still enjoy feeding the deer but now I am extra cautious. Something similar happened when I was visiting the snow monkeys in Jigokudani Monkey Park in the Yamanouchi valley. On the walking path up to the hot springs three snow monkeys surrounded a tourist and took his backpack which they held hostage for half an hour. He eventually got it back, minus all the food and a half dozen or so other items.

Any fun experience about Japan?

Once when I was out to dinner with my parents at a place that had musical stage performers the lead singer saw my rabbit earsd hat and called me to come up on stage. I got to introduce myself and sing a song with them on stage.

Any recommendation other readers should try?

If your are a kid like me, have your parents take you to Kidzania in Lalaport Toyosu. There are nearly a hundred different jobs that you can try. Many of the younger kids there are three or four and I think the oldest kid I ever met was fourteen. I go to Kidzania at least once every time that I go to Japan. I also recommend Okunoshima Island, also known as うさぎ島, Rabbit Island. It is a small island in the inland Sea of Japan a short ferry ride from the terminal near Tadanoumi Station in Takehare. My parents took me to a Poison Gas museum on the island that they thought was interesting but the real fun was seeing all of the wild bunnies, which number in the many hundreds, that are everywhere on the island.

What is your ideal imaginary food that combines a Japanese and American dish?

Layered salmon birthday cake.