Without haste, but without rest

As today was the second day of arrival in Japan, the jet lag remained in the body. Although jet lag remained in my body, a firm intention of spending my time to my advantage pushed me to have a will to sleep as quick as possible. Nevertheless, I wasn’t able to sleep till 3:00 am, and I woke up at 6:00 am. I arrived at Nogata station before 12:00 pm. Nogata is located in Nakano-Ku, in the metropolis Tokyo, and it was far from my house, because my house is located in Kanagawa Prefecture. It was uncomfortable riding on the metro in Tokyo for me because the time was the commuter rush hour. However, this view changed after perceiving that it will be a great opportunity to teach one of the Japanese typical livelihood cultures to the students who will homestay at my house, Carlos and Miles, from Washington D.C.

I had a rendezvous with other students at Nogata station and I was able to arrive on time. After meeting with everyone, we headed to share house which was a 10 minute walk from the station. I’ve never walked around the residential area in Nakano. Therefore, I was interested in what kind of the place which isn’t generally known in Tokyo by looking at it objectively. There weren’t the major differences between my neighborhood and Nogata. If anything, I found that the area of Nogata was the place where it is more densely built-up than my neighborhood. The share house was called the smart house in Japan and it was the place it aggregated the latest technology for the house.

We first started with the Japan Program Orientation by discussing the cultural difference between Japan and Washington D.C. It was very interesting to learn about the different cultural observation from the same generation with a different background. A student from Washington D.C had given a list of new findings in Japan and it increased my curiosity toward their views. There were many things in their discoveries which I was so familiar with, so it was refreshing to learn how they felt. There is a word, “caution is the eldest son of wisdom” (Victor Marie Hugo) and it was the word which suited me. It means, there isn’t anything more frightening than something you are used to. Through my own experience, I was able to realize the importance to take precautions to the thing all around me.

After having fulfilled discussion, we went to the Edo Tokyo Museum near Ryogoku station. Around this area, there is Ryogoku Kokugikan, which Japanese sumo wrestler takes the match at it. We weren’t able to get inside but it was a great experience to get near to the Holy Land of sumo. Passing the building of sumo, we saw an unusual structure which it was Edo Tokyo museum. We used escalator which it was rarely seen from my life experience. 150 years passed since the end of the Edo period and it seemed fresh for me to look inside the museum. There were many things which I couldn’t learn at the school textbook and it was the valuable experience for me to see the history of Edo.

Riding on the Toei Asakusa line, we arrived at Asakusa which it is one of the famous sightseeing spots in Japan. We walked under Kaminari gate and went to Asakusa Shinto shrine. We enjoyed browsing around the shop and eating Japanese confectionery.

For dinner, we ate Okonomiyaki which it is a Japanese savory pancake and astonishment of students from Washington D.C made me enjoy watching it. I believe that they would be able to find many new discoveries through the rest of the journey in Japan and I would like to carefully support them with the heart of Omotenasi.

Shunsuke Watando
Keio Shonan Fujisawa SHS

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