From the Land of the Rising Sun

Blog by Dan Au, UW Both­ell Biol­ogy Major, Study Abroad–Japan

The 16 days I spent in Japan from Sep­tem­ber 6 — Sep­tem­ber 22, 2012, was one of the best expe­ri­ences of my life. I’ve always dreamed of the day that I would be able to visit “the land of the ris­ing sun”, and lucky me my dream came true and I was off to Japan for the first time.

When peo­ple think of Japan, Tokyo is the city that pops into most peo­ples mind for vis­it­ing. But if you really want to enjoy rich Japan­ese cul­ture, the place to go is Mat­suyama, which is where I stayed. The city of Mat­suyama is in the Ehime Pre­fec­ture located on the island of Shikoku in Japan. Mat­suyama is a large beau­ti­ful city that is rich in Japan­ese cul­ture, clean, and full of friendly people.

The study abroad pro­gram Nuclear Energy & Japan’s Search for Energy Secu­rity, focused us on learn­ing about Japan’s energy pol­icy and the Japan­ese stu­dents & cit­i­zens of the community’s views and opin­ions on nuclear power in Japan. Although the main focus was on nuclear, we learned so much more than that such as the Japan­ese lan­guage, cul­ture, and lifestyle.

While in Japan, we took many tours within our short stay. We vis­ited many famous loca­tions such as Dogo Onsen, Mat­suyama Cas­tle, Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum, Itsukushima Shrine, and the Ikata Nuclear Power Plant.

The only bad part of the trip was leav­ing. This trip I took was truly a valu­able expe­ri­ence for edu­ca­tion and cre­ated numer­ous unfor­get­table mem­o­ries that I will always cher­ish. The Japan­ese friends I made and the bonds I shared with my class­mates will last a life­time. All these won­der­ful expe­ri­ences hap­pened because I chose to study abroad. I rec­om­mend any­one who has the chance to study abroad to do it because it is truly worth it and will leave an affect on your life. Now I’m wait­ing the day that I can return.