"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: Walt Whitman High School and Boonsboro High School (Maryland)

Invitation in July 2013

Short-term stay in Japan: Group 4 (High School Students)
Walt Whitman High School and Boonsboro High School, Maryland

Period: July 15 - 25, 2013
Local Visit Destination: Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Number of Participants: 25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of orientation
Orientation

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

Photo taken at Toshiba Science Museum (Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)
Visit to Toshiba Science Museum
(Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)

Photo taken at Yokohama City Fire Bureau, Yokohama City Municipal Disaster Prevention Center (Learning about disaster prevention and reduction)
Visit to Yokohama City Fire Bureau, Yokohama City Municipal Disaster Prevention Center
(Learning about disaster prevention and reduction)

Photo of first Japanese dinner in Japan (Learning about Japanese food culture)
First Japanese dinner in Japan
(Learning about Japanese food culture)

Photo of school exchange at Kanagawa prefectural Kanagawa Sohgoh High School (Welcome ceremony)
School exchange at Kanagawa prefectural Kanagawa Sohgoh High School
(Welcome ceremony)

Photo of school exchange at Kanagawa Prefectural Kanagawa Sohgoh High School (Lunch time)
School exchange at Kanagawa Prefectural Kanagawa Sohgoh High School
(Lunch time)

Photo of school exchange at Kanagawa prefectural Kanagawa Sohgoh High School (Presentation)
School exchange at Kanagawa prefectural Kanagawa Sohgoh High School
(Presentation)

Photo of homestay experience 1
Homestay experience

Photo of homestay experience 2
Homestay experience

Group photo taken at Sotoshu Daihonzan Sojiji Temple (Zen meditation experience)
Visit to Sotoshu Daihonzan Sojiji Temple
(Zen meditation experience)

Group photo taken in the front of the Great Buddha of Kamakura (Learning about Japanese traditional culture and history of the local area)
Visit to the Great Buddha of Kamakura
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture and history of the local area)

Photo taken in Kamakura City (Traveling by the Enoshima Electric Railway and Enoden)
Visit to Kamakura City
(Traveling by the Enoshima Electric Railway and Enoden)

Photo taken at Yuigahama beach (Learning about Japanese local nature and culture)
Visit to Yuigahama beach
(Learning about Japanese local nature and culture)

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

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

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

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

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

Group photo taken at the National Diet Building (Understanding Japanese society )
Visit to the National Diet Building
(Understanding Japanese society )

Photo taken at an exhibition titled "the Power of Manga: Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori" at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Learning about ‘Cool Japan’)
Visit to an exhibition titled "The Power of Manga: Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori" at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
(Learning about ‘Cool Japan’)

Photo taken at "palette town" in Odaiba
Visit to “palette town” in Odaiba

Photo of Interactive session with Mr. Patrick Harlan, a member of the comedy duo called Pakkun Makkun
Interactive session with Mr. Patrick Harlan, a member of the comedy duo called Pakkun Makkun

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 believe Japan’s strengths are the people and food. All the people in Japan (or at least most of them) are very kind and all work together as one unit. The attractiveness of Japan is the landscape/scenery and old customs.
  • I believe that it is the people and community that make it a unique place. Some of the setting may seem similar to America sometimes, but everywhere you look the people are always polite, kind, and considerate of each other. This creates a certain harmony and peace that I felt was definitely one of Japan’s strengths.

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

  • Before, I thought they were very strict and serious. But from the homestay and school visit, my thoughts changed. I now understand that there are reasons behind those traits and that those aren’t the only trait Japan has.
  • My perspective of Japan was mostly what I had known from anime or Japanese movies. In some ways, my perspective hasn’t really changed at all, but more was added to the background information that I really knew. The homestay helped change my perspective by adding even more positive aspects of family life and culture.

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

  • I’m really interested in the differences between American society/culture and Japanese society/culture. For instance, Japan is very group oriented, while America is very independent. Since the beginning of the trip I’ve learned a bit more, but I’d still like to learn more.
  • I am definitely determined to work harder to learn the language, so I can come back and interact more effectively with the people. I want to keep up with Japanese fashion, because I think the young people of Japan have a unique and tasteful style.

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 intend to share with my friends and family the details on this trip. I had an amazing time, and I would likely encourage anyone who isn’t sure that they want to visit the country to do so. Also, I’ll urge people to take Japanese at my school.
  • Make sure that people know that the stereotypes of Japan and Japanese people are not the only things that make up Japanese culture. Japanese society is as diverse as American society, but not many Americans realize this.

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

  • It was so amazing. I lived here before when I was little in Okinawa. But never got to experience the “City life” and I’m very glad I got to participate in this well organized project. But since I am older now I can remember the experience forever and use the things I learned about such as ZAZEN in OTERA, the food presentation, the city life & countryside style, also the cultural experience of the homestay & school visit. I hope to use all my experience in the future to expanding horizon.
  • In my experience I was always treated with kindness and respect. My favorite part of the trip was the homestay because it provided more freedom than the planned out activities. It was so interesting and eye opening to a whole different culture. Japan was the first foreign country that I’ve ever been to, so it was amazing that I got to see what other cultures have to offer for free! I’m going to remember this trip for the rest of my life, and hopefully have the chance to return someday.

[Contact Us]

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