I am home and now experiencing the beginnings of jet lag. Hence why I am posting this at 2am eastern time. However, it’s not nearly as gruesome as I thought it would be. Being home is nice so far, but I really do miss Japan already.
Week 4 started off nicely as we wrapped up our trip in Kyoto by going to Fushimi-Ku. Some people were very devoted to climbing to the top, I, however, was winded and too exhausted to climb through all the gates (I also was not expecting this to be a literal hike). I enjoyed being at this temple because I did not expect it to be as interactive and engaging as it was with all of the gates, people and food vendors/shops. After visiting this temple, we headed back to Nagoya where I then started working on the final draft of my presentation and paper.
After the Kyoto trip, a little hiatus to work on the paper and presentation definitely helped take the edge off. I worked on my paper all of Tuesday, and then we headed to the farm-to-table restaurant where we enjoyed a Japanese-styled buffet and conversed with Dickinson professors and alum currently in Japan. Despite Dickinson being a tiny world, the cross-cultural and world connections here are endless.
Anyway, the final week sped by because most of the week was dedicated to working on the finals of this trip, and before I knew it, we were leaving the Kinshu Center (sad face). I am forever grateful for having the privilege of travel over 6.5k miles away from home to study a different culture’s history and visit a lot of important monuments throughout this month in Nagoya + neighboring towns and cities. I am definitely inspired to come back to Japan for an extended stay and continue to visit this culturally diverse country in my future. The program ended so soon ago that I still need time to digest everything that I have experienced in the last month, and reflect on ways where I may have been culturally insensitive or biased about how I was thinking about certain experiences whilst staying in Japan.
After taking this class, I am even more fascinated with Japan and want to learn more about the complexities of Japanese history, art and culture as it exists both in history and today. Also, I think that everyone’s presentations really allowed me to see what we all individually took away from this course, and how differently we all approached the projects to understand certain topics more in-depth.
Thanks to everyone who made this experience so great for me. Alex Bates, I really enjoyed coming on this trip and I hope that you do this with more groups, or at least something similar to this extended stay and course. Thank you very much.
Hope to see some of you at Dickinson when I get back from abroad!!