Week 1

I’ve only been in Japan for a week and I can’t believe the amount of activ­i­ties and trav­el­ing around Japan we’ve already done so far! I’ll be hon­est, I was extremely ner­vous about mul­ti­ple things such as: trav­el­ing to a dif­fer­ent coun­try with peo­ple I barely knew, being in a coun­try where I couldn’t speak or read the lan­guage and not know­ing any­thing about my sur­round­ings.  Now that a week has gone by, my wor­ries are com­pletely gone! The Japan­ese peo­ple I have met so far are the most hum­bling and respect­ful peo­ple I have ever met, which makes me feel very wel­comed. I also couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter group to go to Japan with and I truly believe we are turn­ing into one big happy fam­ily. Any­ways, my time here in Japan has been the best life-changing expe­ri­ence I have ever been through and I’d like to show you all what we have done so far…

This is the share house we are stay­ing at in Mat­suyama. It is quite inter­est­ing to live with other strangers and took some time adjust­ing to it.

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We rented bicy­cles to help us get around Mat­suyama and it is so fun! I haven’t rid­den a bike in so long and it brings back many great memories.

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The first activ­ity we did was rice har­vest­ing. We helped the farm­ers dry the rice grains in the sun to help make the rice sweeter.

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The next day we did a radi­a­tion lab at Ehime Uni­ver­sity where we tested the amount of radi­a­tion in dif­fer­ent objects such as stone slabs from places all over the world.

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The same day we went to Mat­suyama Cas­tle which had the most amaz­ing view of Mat­suyama ever!

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A few days later we vis­ited the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum which was very emo­tional and depress­ing for me. It was hard to see all the dam­age and destruc­tion the Japan­ese peo­ple went through. It felt really weird being an Amer­i­can and know­ing that the US caused this dev­as­ta­tion to them.

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After feel­ing like the worst peo­ple ever, we went to Miya­jima Island (Deer Island) to lift our spirits.

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We also went to the Itsukushima shrine and saw its beau­ti­ful torii gate.

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Last but not least, today we went to the Ikata Power Plant which was mind-blowing to see. I can’t believe there are 47 of these that exist in Japan! I am very happy that I decided to take this class because I knew noth­ing about nuclear power. Now I am very edu­cated and under­stand the pros and cons of the subject.

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So far I have fallen in love with Japan and I can’t believe my trip is already half way over! I will def­i­nitely be tak­ing advan­tage of the rest of my stay here in Mat­suyama. Up next will be my home­s­tay expe­ri­ence as well as fin­ish­ing up the rest of our classes and prepar­ing to leave this beau­ti­ful country.

Day 1: Heading to Japan!

miranda blog1For some­one who has never trav­eled out­side of the United States (besides Canada but I don’t really count that), I was really anx­ious and eager to travel to Japan. I could not wrap my head around the fact that the first flight was 9 hours, and then we had a 4 hour lay­over in Tokyo before we finally had our last 1.5 hour flight to Mat­suyama. Nonethe­less, the whole travel expe­ri­ence was a lot eas­ier than expected! It may be because I slept a lot on the plane, but the flight went faster than I was antic­i­pat­ing, which I was very happy about.

The food on the plane was amaz­ing! I will cre­ate a sep­a­rate post towards the end of my trip to show all the meals I had eaten. I also enjoyed tons of free music and movies on the plane which kept me very enter­tained for the entire flight. I didn’t even use my lap­top, iPad or iPhone through­out the whole flight. When I finally touched the humid and hot weather I was expect­ing in Japan, I could not wait for all the expe­ri­ences and learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties I was about to endure.

Miranda