Kaila News: Trip of a lifetime to Japan
9 May, 2018, 10:55 am
Hi everyone! Konnichiwa (This means “hello” in Japanese).
My name is Hemita and I was given the chance of a lifetime to be one of the representatives of Fiji in a cultural exchange to Japan through the JENESYS2017 project.
The JENESYS2017 project is a cultural exchange initiative funded by the Government of Japan, giving university students from the Pacific a chance to travel to Japan, make friends and share experiences, and learn about their culture and way of life.
There were several groups which visited different areas, I was part of group 2.
We spent our time divided between Tokyo and Kesennuma City in Miyagi Prefecture.
Miyagi Prefecture is in the north of Tokyo, and it took us around two hours or so to reach there via shinkansen (bullet train).
After riding the shinkansen, we took a bus to Kesennuma City.
The scenery was very different from what we saw in Tokyo. It was a lot more peaceful and quiet in the sense that it was not as busy as the central areas.
Even so, the beauty of even these local areas is enough to leave an impression on anyone who gets the chance to walk around and experience being in Japan.
The city where we stayed is a port town and is near the sea while also being surrounded by many mountains.
We got to experience both sides as we got to visit the fish market near the sea as well as the Yasse community within the mountains, among other things.
Our theme is marine resources and marine security and being able to visit a city near the sea was a very relevant experience to our theme.
We got to visit famous tourist spots such as the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa — an ancient budhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo.
It is said to be Tokyo’s oldest temple, but the atmosphere is so lively.
The shopping in Japan was also amazing, with the 100 yen stores being the highlight (100 yen = approximately $F2).
We also got to meet many interesting people and savour many delicious meals. We also got to spend a night with a Japanese family and experience their daily lifestyle.
We drank tea and snacked on rice crackers and chatted about our countries and other various things.
It was a very peaceful and heartwarming experience and it made me realise that there really are nice people anywhere in the world.
Honestly, I have made so many precious friends and learnt so much on this trip; the JENESYS program is one I would absolutely recommend for young university students who want to experience something new and exciting, make new friends and explore Japan.