I can’t believe I’m almost heading off to college when it seems like it was only yesterday I was a high school freshman. Just like looking out of the bullet train to Kyoto, my life has been a blur of scenery passing by, as I am rapidly approaching college. Still, though my summer preparing for school has been swift, I’ve decided to take time to soak in my memories of my trip to Japan.
I, Luke, was lucky enough to be selected to join a University choir on their trip to Japan. The immersive experience has opened my mind and given me a glimpse of the world outside my little mountain home. The food there is amazing, the culture is amazing, the temples and castles have intricate architecture. It is a trip everybody should experience at least once.
It is so different from home in so many ways. America is a melting pot of culture, food, and lifestyle, while Japan has the real deal of Japanese food, culture, and a lifestyle that most people probably wish their parents enforced on them; the desire to master everything you want to learn and eating only things that are healthy for you. Also this place forces you to learn the culture and bits and pieces of the language. Learning new and exciting things is one of my favorite things to do with my life.
Just touring places and reading the signs that are written in English (because I didn’t have enough time to learn the language since I didn’t know I was going until a month before) teaches you so much of the culture and religions of ancient and modern Japan. On the trip I visited many different places: schools, churches, temples, and hospitals spread out in the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Also I visited the usual tourist places, like the white person that I am. I visited Tokyo Disney Sea, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Scramble Street (from Tokyo Drift) and I rode the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto.
The friends I made on this trip are amazing people. The people who I sang with I had only known for a month, and this trip gave me time to talk to and learn from each and every one of them. I also met interesting people from Japan. We sang with some Japanese choirs and we got to talk to the choir members and the choir directors. If there’s one life tip I’ve learned throughout my 18 years, it’s this: Learn something from everyone you meet. Everyone has a life story, if you take the time to listen you will probably learn something.
The best part of traveling, aside from the tourist destinations, is the food. Oh my goodness the food in Japan is amazing. Vegan food is very easy to experience in Japan. From delicious dishes like udon noodles and tofu wrapped rice to decadent sweets like mochi, Japan has some of the best and most healthiest cuisine in the work. They also have delicious drinks like tea and pocari sweat. I can’t compare the delicious experience to the food in America.
I am so lucky that I got to expirence this so early in my life. I really want to take Kellianne with me the next time I go. It is a beautiful and decadent, the air is fresh, it’s green (sorry California that’s something you don’t have), and I love it! I can’t wait till my next international journey!