I’ve officially completed week 2 in Japan and I can’t believe how fast it’s been going. This week has been filled with new foods, beautiful sunrises/sunsets, great art, and breathtaking sights. I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve been able to have here in Nagoya.
However, this week focuses on my weekend, where I spent my time at Magome and the Nakasendo trail to Tsumago. This was my first time I was able to experience Japan outside of Nagoya city, and I was reminded how much I love the sights and smells of small towns and the forest. The first pleasant surprise was when I received a side dish of raw horse meat, which I’ve never eaten before. I was curious and excited to try new things and step out of my comfort zone. Upon putting it in my mouth, I was surprised by its tenderness and its familiar tuna taste. It was a great new experience and I’m glad I was able to try cuisine that’s very uncommon back home.
In addition, I was lucky to have the opportunity to watch the sunset and sunrise at an observatory that rose above the trees and surrounding land. I was able to see the mountain range and the stars in the sky, it was a beautiful sight. In the night, Julie, Anna, and I created haiku’s together and had a great time. Professor Bates even joined us and shared some of his favorite haikus! The sunrise and sunset were beautiful, and I hope I’m able to see a view like that soon again.
The hike through the Nakasendo was also a great time, filled with delicious tea, streams and waterfalls with crystal clear waters, and large flowers and foliage. I was happy to be hiking again, something I haven’t had the time to do in a while now. It was both relaxing and exhilarating, and it’s made me even happier that I’ve decided to study abroad in New Zealand, where I’ll be able to hike even more!
Back in Nagoya, I’ve also made great memories traveling around to the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine arts, the Kanayama shopping center, and the Tokugawa Museum. These museums were exceptional, and I was able to see art from different cultures and historic times that I have never seen. I’m thankful for all the great experiences I’ve had so far, and I’m excited to have more in the upcoming weeks as the program comes to an end in two weeks.