By Tyler Bailey (Japan in DC)
The recent trip to Japan, that was given to us as an opportunity to learn about its culture, was a blessing and so much fun! It had always been a dream of mine to travel there and see all that it gives. On the trip we ate a lot of delicious food, went to a lot of cities and shrines, learned about its history and its many businesses, and even had a homestay where we were able to see how it is living there. One of my favorites that I will always remember since going on the trip is finally getting to try on a kimono! While with my host family, I got the chance to try a kimono on for the first time. It was tighter than what I imagined it to be and a lot harder to move in, but it was still fun and really beautiful. They even took us to a shrine for pictures and showed us how to properly pray there. Another favorite from the trip is taking the Shinkansen (the bullet train). The ride on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Gifu Prefecture was really smooth, and lasted for only two hours! We got to see a lot of mountains while on the train, even being in the station was really cool. Its systems and the design of the trains and the station are way different than ones in Washington D.C.
I learned a lot of things while in Japan: new Japanese phrases, how to properly use chopsticks, how the currency over there was, and even learned that the U.S. took part in creating the Japanese constitution! This trip to Japan has changed my perspective on a lot of things, and also gave me some light on what I may want to do in the near future, studying abroad-wise. I’m very grateful to have gone on this trip and I would go again in a heartbeat if given the chance.