Every semester students of RIC International Business program have a chance to visit one of the countries as a part of their curriculum. This October students took a trip to Japan. Our student Rewa Dorji shared what impressed her the most.
Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by Japan and Japanese culture. The language, the food, the anime, the cosplay, the fashion! So when we were told we would be going to Japan for our international experience, I could not have been more thrilled.
We left for Tokyo from Bangkok on a six-hour flight, and continued our commute to our hotel in Ueno Okachimachi and checked into our hotel. Our professors took us to an incredible Japanese grill restaurant. The next day we had a free day so we tried to make the most of it. My friend and I went to visit Asakusa market and Sensoji Shrine. We were told our fortunes and had to tie our bad fortunes on a pole to get rid of our bad luck. We then made our way to the Tokyo Skytree where we could see all of Tokyo from a 455m tower. We ended our night in Unatoto- a restaurant that specializes in the most exquisite eel- and headed home.
Early on day three, we took a bullet train and switched multiple trains till we arrived in Odate. Beautiful, idyllic Odate with miles and miles of rice paddy fields and the occasional apple orchard. Before we split off into different groups, we saw the statue of “the worlds most loyal dog: Hachi”, which was originally from Odate. Each group was picked up by our “okasan and otosan”, our Japanese parents for the next few days. I’ve the next two days, we took part in the traditional rural Japanese life. We cultivated rice, spring onions, sweet potato and cabbage and used those fresh ingredients in our cooking. The onsen experience was very odd and uncomfortable but gave me insight into Japanese life.
On the fifth day, we made our way to Aomori Chuo Gakuin University in Aomori Prefecture. During our two day stay, we visited an elderly home, kindergarten, took part in a traditional tea ceremony and attended a calligraphy class. What I most enjoyed was the tea ceremony. I learned that not only do Japanese people execute everything they do perfectly, they also have a method to do it. There is a certain artistic value to it.
We journeyed back to Tokyo for the last two days. On those two days, i visited Shibuya and Harajuku to shop. I was astounded with how many people fit into such a small enclosure but still managed to be fairly silent (not including the loud music in the background). There was also not a single plastic or piece of rubbish in the entire area! It was amazing how every single person contributed to keeping he city clean.
Overall, I think this trip was not only highly educational but also life changing. Japan is not a country I want to just visit again but live as well. I love how respectful, kind and helpful the locals are and how every single meal was delicious and healthy. It is one of those rare few countries that has managed to conserve their tradition and culture but also develop completely.
Text by Rewa Dorji
Photo and picture credits: Pinterest.com, jigsaw.jp, flickr.com