"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: Bloomington High School North (Indiana)

Invitation in July 2013

Short-term stay in Japan: Group 3 (High School Students)
Bloomington High School North, Indiana

Period: July 08 - 18, 2013
Local Visit Destination: Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture
Number of Participants: 25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation 1
Orientation

Photo of Orientation 2
Orientation
(Lecture on Japanese lifestyle)

Photo taken at Tokyo National Museum
Studying Japanese history and culture
(Tokyo National Museum)

Photo taken at Senso-ji Temple/Nakamise in Asakusa
Visit to Senso-ji/Nakamise in Asakusa
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School 1
School exchange at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School
(Japanese tea ceremony experience)

Photo taken at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School 2
School exchange at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School
(Koto, Japanese harp experience)

Photo taken at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School 3
School exchange at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School

Photo taken at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School 4
School exchange at Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School
(Japanese traditional games experience)

Photo taken at Iwaki city hall
Courtesy call at Iwaki city hall

Photo taken at Nissan’s Iwaki Factory
Visit to Nissan‘s Iwaki Factory
(Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)

Photo taken at Tomatoland Iwaki co., Ltd
Visit to Tomatoland Iwaki co., Ltd
(Introduction of Japanese local agricultural technology)

Photo of Homestay experience 1
Homestay experience
(The first meeting)

Photo of Homestay experience 2
Homestay experience

Photo of Homestay experience 3
Homestay experience

Photo of Homestay experience 4
Homestay experience

Photo of Exchange with junior high school student leaders of Iwaki City 1
Exchange with junior high school student leaders of Iwaki City

Photo of Exchange with junior high school student leaders of Iwaki City 2
Exchange with junior high school student leaders of Iwaki City

Photo of Exchange with junior high school student leaders of Iwaki City 3
Exchange with junior high school student leaders of Iwaki City

Photo taken at  Meiji Jingu Shrine
Visit to Meiji Shrine
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at Tokyo Toy Museum
Visit to Tokyo Toy Museum
(Japanese cultural experience)

Photo of Monjayaki experience
Monjayaki experience
(Learning about Japanese food culture)

Photo taken in Akihabara
Visit to Akihabara
(Learning about ‘Cool Japan’)

Photo taken in front of National Diet Building
Visit to the National Diet Building
(Understanding Japanese society )

Photo taken at Mega Web, Toyota City Showcase
Visit to Mega Web, Toyota City Showcase
(Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)

Photo taken at The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Visit to Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
(Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)

Photo of Debriefing Session
Debriefing Session

Voices from Participants

1.Having participated in the KAKEHASHI Project, what do you think are Japan’s strengths and attractiveness?

  • I think Japan’s biggest strength and attraction is the contrast between its natural beauty and its high-tech cities. It was amazing to walk through Meiji Shrine and know that Tokyo’s skyscrapers were mere kilometers away. It also seems that its people are incredibly strong and resilient, and have done their absolute best to move on after the earthquake. Japanese people and culture are just so generous, strong and welcoming. Everyone showed us so much hospitality.
  • Japan has a very strong sense of innovation with lots of very “futuristic” machinery and equipment. At the same time, however, Japan has a much larger sense of heritage and culture, and tradition than other countries I’ve been to. Both of these make Japan very attractive and make the country stand out among others. To me, the culture and tradition that I experienced in the food, people, and just the day-to-day lives of everyone in Japan was very attractive.

2.How do you change your perspective of Japan through the project?

  • I now see Japan as a serious, hard working area and less like a place where anime and manga comes from. I knew the people in Japan were polite and respectful but I didn’t realize how much until I came here. No one ever jay-walks or litters unlike in America. I just realized how nice everyone here really is.

3.After returning to the U.S., what aspect(s) of Japan do you want to learn more?

  • I would like to learn more about Japanese food. Because although everything was delicious, I didn’t know what it was called.
  • I would like to learn more about the nuances of etiquette in Japanese culture, and of course the language.

4.It is hoped that you will promote further mutual understanding between our two countries, serving as bridges in the Japan-U.S. relationship. What will you do to deepen understanding of Japan’s strengths and attractiveness?

  • I was thinking of trying to come up with a project to work on (like helping people recover from the earthquake and tsunami) with the Asian Cultural Center in my town. If that does not start well, I am planning on becoming an elementary school teacher and either brings some of the Japanese customs into my classroom or coming over with the Jet Program to teach.
  • I will definitely try my best to communicate what I feel are Japan’s best strengths and what is so great about the country. I will make sure to tell all of my friends and family about my own experiences as well as the great culture of Japan. I feel that many Americans don’t know about a lot of the rest of the world, and make false assumptions based on rumors and inaccurate information. I will try my best to educate people on the true face of Japan.

5.Please freely describe your experience in the KAKEHASHI Project.

  • What really made my time so enjoyable was the time I spent with my host family. It meant so much to me that the family would willingly open up their home to a complete stranger. Having visited Japan before, it was nice to get to see more of the culture and the importance of traditions in Japan.
  • My experience with the KAKEHASHI Project was absolutely amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my trip. I have wanted to become an English teacher here in Japan. I took this opportunity to learn more about everyday life in Japan. This project made me want to go further with my dream. My favorite parts were the shrines. I think the KAKEHASHI Project should continue to send students to Japan so they can learn more about such an interesting place.
  • I want to thank the Japanese Government for their generosity and their support of this project because without it, none of this would have been possible. It has been a wonderful experience and I now have memories that I will never forget. The home stay was a wonderful experience and I feel very fortunate to have been accepted into their home. Over the 10 days, I learned more about the Japanese people, and their culture than I would have ever expected. Also this trip has increased my wish of wanting to teach English in Japan for elementary students, so now I have a goal to reach after I finish college, and for that-- I thank you. I can only hope that I will have more chances to go over to Japan while I am in college in order to get more knowledge with Japan's culture, language and its people. Thank you again to the hard working people in the Japanese Government for making this trip possible. Ki o tsukete, Mata aimashou.

[Contact Us]

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FAX: +81-(0)3-5369-6042
E-mail: infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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