"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: Bellaire High School (Texas)

Invitation in July 2014

High School Students Group 5
Bellaire High School (Texas)

Period:July 8 - 17
Local Visit Destination:Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture
Number of Participants:25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation
Orientation

Photo of Senso-ji (Learning about Japanese traditional culture)
Senso-ji
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo of Tokyo National Museum (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Tokyo National Museum
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Courtesy call at Toyama Prefectural Government Office
Courtesy call at Toyama Prefectural Government Office

Photo of Trout Sushi making (Learning about Japanese traditional culture)
Trout Sushi making
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo of School exchange at Toyama Prefectural Fushiki High School 1
School exchange at Toyama Prefectural Fushiki High School

Photo of School exchange at Toyama Prefectural Fushiki High School 2
School exchange at Toyama Prefectural Fushiki High School

Photo of Homestay
Homestay

Photo of Gokayama (Learning about Japanese traditional culture)
Gokayama
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo of School exchange at Koiwa High School
School exchange at Koiwa High School

Photo of Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace

Photo of National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Learning about Japanese cutting-edge technology)
National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
(Learning about Japanese cutting-edge technology)

Photo of Harajuku (Learning about Cool Japan)
Harajuku
(Learning about Cool 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 strength was scenery. It was literally breath-taking for me. I had never seen such gorgeous scenery.
  • Japan has a lot of main tourist attractions that serve as a magnet to visitors. There are many sights that people can see and enjoy. For example, in Toyama we visited Gokayama, temples, Shinto shrines, and we even saw the Great Buddha. These were beautiful sights that I will never forget.

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

  • Before I actually visited Japan, I always thought Japan did not have much nature to see but I saw a lot of nature in Toyama. I also thought that Japan would be "dangerous" like the U.S., but once again I was wrong because I saw elementary school kids walking alone on the streets everyday and I also saw many women walking around alone at night.
  • I gained a deeper understanding of many things about which I had only a vague idea before visiting, such as Japan's traditional culture, food, and pop culture. I also learned that the differences between people of Japan and the U.S. were not as great as I had believed. And I gained the desire for continuous creation and nurture of friendships between myself and people in Japan.

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 the language in order to increase my ability to communicate with people while in Japan. I think the language and ability to use it properly will help me learn more about Japan.
  • I did not pay attention to Japan's pop culture before. After being here I want to learn more about the music and movies here. To me, music has no boundaries, so I want to open up to the pop culture of Japan more.

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 want to tell people more about Japan's beautiful nature to make sure that they do not think Japan is not only about anime and manga.
  • I will introduce Japan to my friend and family, and tell them about what I have learned so far. I will also encourage folks to do research about Japan and its culture.

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

  • It was inspiring experience that was very different from trips I have been taken within the U.S. I experienced a lot of different foods and dressing standards (and education methodology) as well.
  • Staying with the host family was truly my favorite part of this experience. Even though we only spent three days with our families each and every day one of us was able to connect with them and enjoy the beautiful prefecture Toyama. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience I will truly be in debt to the KAKEHASHI Project for making this wonderful experience possible.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Youth Exchange Bureau
TEL : +81-(0)3-5369-6022 FAX : +81-(0)3-5369-6042
infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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