I spent four weeks in Japan and had the adventure of a lifetime. From meeting many new people to eating traditional Japanese dishes, Japan was everything I expected and more!
During my art class, a mangaka, Junya Inoue came to visit and talk about the industry and drawing techniques. Mr. Inoue is the author of a manga called Btooom! which has also been adapted into an anime. The class was divided into three parts. For the first part, he introduced himself and answered some questions we had about the industry. Second, he drew one of his characters for us and taught us about the different pens and paper used. Third, he had each of the students draw our own character and come up with some backstory.
He was very nice and got a selfie with me!
I also made it to the Ghibli Museum. It’s very tricky to get into the museum, so I hardly got in. One of the professors knew some people living in Tokyo who got us tickets (locals are allowed a certain number of tickets per month they can purchase). Studio Ghibli is the animation studio behind many famous animated movies such as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo.
One of the field trips with Saitama University was to Kawagoe, a small town often known as “Little Kyoto.” It had a very small town feel and there were many historical sights.
I also got to experience wearing a yukata, which is a summer kimono.
The most memorable historical landmark would have to be the Daibutsu (Big Buddha), found in Kamakura.
The environment in Japan is so different from the US. The streets are much cleaner, even in big cities like Tokyo. The trains are on time to the minute and it’s very easy to get around once you get the hang of it.
While my time in Japan has come to an end, these memories will always be with me. I am so thankful to Saitama University and all of the wonderful people I met for making my dream come true. I will certainly be going back one day. Until then, my Japanese language studies will continue!
I’ll see you soon, Japan.
Thanks for the unforgettable experience,