These four weeks have flown by and I do not know where the time went, especially this last week. I was very worried about the paper and presentation timeline at the beginning of this past week, since the group had just come back from Kyoto very tired. It was a huge help to have a free day on Monday, which I used to write out a solid outline for the paper. A more exciting thing that happened this past week was going to Nagoya Castle. I could not believe the palace had just been finished eight days prior to visiting! The place was amazing, and the wood smell was intoxicating. I could not get over how clean and white the palace was, and the ceilings in the back rooms were breathtaking. The artists did a phenomenal job recreating all the wall and ceiling art. The bird carvings were outstanding, and the colors were so vibrant. Though the palace is not a historical building anymore due to the bombings, the reconstruction provides a unique glimpse as to what these buildings would have looked like new. I very much enjoyed the new clean aesthetic and charm of the palace, and would definitely go back to see the castle once it’s done.
The Meijimura museum on Friday was also quite the treat! I had no idea how vast the grounds were and how long it would take me to get through the amount of buildings I saw. The Franklyn Lloyd Wright hotel is incredibly detailed and plays with one’s imaginations of the glamorous early 1900s. I would have loved to have stayed there and had tea in the tea room, had I had the time. The photo studio house was definitely my favorite though, with its cute small rooms and amazing photo set on the second floor. Ken, Zayn, and I got the funniest photo in that staged area! In addition, the red exterior of the house was so charming, and cute.
Despite the great photo from the Meijimura Museum, the funniest part of this week was the karaoke night a few people and I had on Friday. I didn’t know what to expect, but the room we had and the songs we sung were hilarious. The room was very small, and we had some struggles at the beginning with the TV. However, the group’s biggest relief was there was English songs. We were very worried about that, and it would have been a very different night had half the group had to try singing in Japanese. Only Ken and Julie might have been able to survive that kind of karaoke. We had two hours, and man did that fly by.
It is hard to believe my experience in Japan this summer has come to an end. I was so pleasantly surprised by the friends I made, and the new material I learned. I would go back to Japan in a heartbeat, for I know there is so much more I could see and learn. I am so glad I went on this program, and can’t wait to see people from this trip back on campus this fall!