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.