Japan truly is a beautiful place. A place that I have never experienced before, with a very rich culture. What is surprising to me is how similar the people in Japan can be to the people back home. I live in a small town and everyone pretty much knows everyone else. The sense of community is truly mesmerizing. The people in Japan are so kind and it is a very respectful culture with a lot of bowing. When I walk into a convenient store the workers start bowing their heads. And they bow once more when I exit the store.
Before this program started a group of students and myself decided to come to Japan a little earlier and explore cities like Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo. One of the moments I will always cherish is when we decided on the spot to hike up a mountain called Fushimi Inari-taisha, that none of us were really prepared for. We were low on water. In fact, a member of the group, Alexis, hiked up the mountain in a dress. As we were hiking up, the Sun was slowly coming down. We could see the orange tint of the Kyoto skyline. We were expecting a beautiful view, but instead we saw a shrine. To me, this was perfect because even though we were all hiking up to the top expecting to see a stunning view, we all encouraged each other to keep going up. This moment is when we all truly bonded the most.
Two days ago we all went went to Gobansho Park. We could see an entire island. We could see the island curve on its edges. The views at Gobansho park were breathtaking. I took some time to just sit by myself and take everything in. Also at the park we found a playground meant for children but that did not stop us from having our fun. It was cool to just act like a kid again and run around like a goofball. I was rolling around in the grass. That might not have been the best idea because later I found leeches on my pants. All in all, my time in Japan has been exciting and being able to have the privilege of traveling abroad has been a blessing.
P.S I am a master at using chopsticks.