Travel to Kyoto and Beyond

Mt. Fuji

One weekend my host family took me to a ryokan near Mt. Fuji. Now ryokans are fun because they are a little taste of how things used to be in Japan. In my family's house, both of my host brothers slept on big beds with head boards and all. However, in a ryokan, the weary traveler has only a futon to put between him and the floor. The only appliance in some of the rooms is a tea kettle. The bathrooms (for bathing, that is) is found on the main floor (or on each floor sometimes, I guess) are shared by all of the guests of the same sex. After pouring a tub of water over my head, I got to sit in the huge hot tub. Not too bad. Of course, it was too cloudy to see Mt. Fuji that weekend, but I enjoyed a retreat away from the crowds in Tokyo.

A Trip to Kyoto

My last weekend in Japan was spent on a trip with all of the other YFU students who had received scholarships from Mitsubishi. We all chose one host sibling to accompany us on a free trip to Nagoya and Kyoto. This was a great experience. Not only did I enjoy traveling with this group of Japanese and American students, but the sites we saw were amazing. Kyoto was the capitol of Japan at one time so there is lots of history and a plethora of temples to see. We didn't have a chance to see the Great Buddha statue at Nara, but I did manage to see the smaller Kamakura Buddha one day.


So, you think I just traveled and played around in Japan for six weeks? Well, that is mostly true. I did learn a lot about Japan during that time, but for the most part, my stay seemed like a short vacation. That is not to say that I didn't have any problems. I did. However, six weeks was only enough time to wet my appetite for more fun. I wanted to learn Japanese language, keep in touch with my friends, and hopefully return to Japan some time soon. Japan definitely gave me a taste of adventure, and I haven't slowed down since.

Comments? Questions? Please mail me any time.

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