There are so many things I can say about it that it’s
almost indescribable. From the homestay in Nara to the church stay in
Tokyo, it was a highly entertaining and a surprisingly educational trip.
Upon arrival at Kansai International, I felt like kissing the ground beneath
my feet. I was finally there, the place I have wanted to visit since I
was four years old. The first night at Tenri was a nice introduction to
the city. That day I had my first curry dish--one of many to follow. Later,
we enjoyed band performances in the Oyasato Parade. While in Tenri, we
also took a tour of the Tenrikyo Headquarters. On our last night there,
we were treated to dinner by some of the new people we had met. There
was a lot of food. In Nara, during the homestay--the best part of the
trip for me--is where I met my host family, Megumi, Koji, Tsubasa, and
Nazuna. Together, we had a barbeque at the river, played English and Japanese
games at night, went to a pond, and I did my first purikura [photobooth].
I really didn’t want to leave because on those two nights, I felt
like a part of their family already.
First off, I would like to say how amazing the trip was and thank everyone
who made it possible! All aspects of it, including the food, culture and
people, were breathtaking. My most memorable moment in Japan was when
I wore a kimono while I was with the Umemoto family. The kimono was extremely
beautiful and pretty. With all the layers and tightening of the obis,
I felt hot and ready to diet, but I would be happy to don one again. My
host family was so kind and generous towards us, that I have to apologize
for my Japanese being so limited. Kari’s Japanese was helpful, and
Sensei and I probably would not have been able to make it around Kyoto
without him. Although Japanese food fills me up very quickly, I always
wanted to eat more. Also, I do not think I have ever had so much green
tea in my life, but I did enjoy it.
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