"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Goodwill Ambassadors

Invitation in June 2014

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Goodwill Ambassadors

Period:June 24 - July 3
Local Visit Destination:Kyoto
Number of Participants:7

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation
Orientation

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

Photo of Senso-ji (Tokyo) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Senso-ji (Tokyo)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Nishijin Textile Center (Kyoto) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Nishijin Textile Center (Kyoto)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of School exchange at Ryukoku University (Kyoto)
School exchange at Ryukoku University (Kyoto)

Photo of Yuzen dyeing experience (Kyoto) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Yuzen dyeing experience (Kyoto)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Nijo Castle (Kyoto) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Nijo Castle (Kyoto)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Kinkaku-ji (Kyoto) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Kinkaku-ji (Kyoto)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Zazen experience at Shourin-ji (Kyoto) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Zazen experience at Shourin-ji (Kyoto)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Fushimi Inari Taisha (Kyoto) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Fushimi Inari Taisha (Kyoto)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Teramachi and Nishiki Market (Kyoto)
Teramachi and Nishiki Market (Kyoto)

Photo of Kyoto International Manga Museum (Learning about Japanese pop culture)
Kyoto International Manga Museum
(Learning about Japanese pop culture)

Photo of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (Nature experience)
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
(Nature experience)

Photo of Courtesy call on Mr. Fujisaki, the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States (Tokyo)
Courtesy call on Mr. Fujisaki, the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States (Tokyo)

Photo of Meiji Jingu (Tokyo) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Meiji Jingu (Tokyo)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Harajuku (Learning about Japanese pop culture)
Harajuku
(Learning about Japanese pop culture)

Photo of Advertising Museum Tokyo
Advertising Museum Tokyo

Photo of School exchange at Tamagawa University (Tokyo)
School exchange at Tamagawa University
(Tokyo)

Photo of School exchange at Tamagawa University (Tokyo)
School exchange at Tamagawa University
(Tokyo)

Photo of Lecture and demonstration of Nihon Buyo (Tokyo) (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Lecture and demonstration of Nihon Buyo (Tokyo)
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

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

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

Photo of Debriefing session (Tokyo)
Debriefing session (Tokyo)

Voices from Participants

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

  • I feel that Japanese people are Japan’s greatest strength. They are patient and enthusiastic in sharing information regarding their culture. From our guide, to the people who helped organize the program, to strangers we met on the street, everyone I met along the way was welcoming and understanding. Through Japanese people I was able to better learn and understand why and how the history and culture shaped the Japan we know today. It is through the efforts of individuals that Japanese values shine through.
  • I think the very skillfully achieved balance between modernity and the past is one of the things unique to Japan. It is very impressive to be able to see very high tech, modern inventions and then be able to see the Japan of the past as well. Food is also very great. While not necessarily as diverse in internationality, the difference between different area’s specialties is amazing.

2. How did you change your perspective of Japan through this project?

  • Well, I came to know that things are more organized than I thought. Overall I guess my perspective didn’t change that much because I have lived in Japan before.
    I was surprised by the scope of the KAKEHASHI project both in terms of member of participants and how much we got to do.
  • Before this program, I did not have much knowledge of Japan. Coming here for the first time I was a bit nervous, but found that Japan especially the cities we visited, Tokyo and Kyoto were very modern and relatable.

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

  • I definitely will learn more of the language. When I come back to Japan I want to engage in full conversation and not rely on my counterparts. I also plan to spread my knowledge of Japan in my organization at George Mason University. I also plan to join a TAIKO group in D.C.
  • I would like to learn more about the language (both modern and classical). I would also like to learn more about Japanese politics and culture.

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

  • I hope to continue working with organization in the US, which promote and understanding of Japan’s strengths, I also want to continue my studies of Japanese and Japanese culture in order to better improve my own understanding of Japan.
  • I will work with the JET Program. Hopefully, I can facilitate my communication with my students through expressing my knowledge of Japanese culture, and participating in intercultural events (Tanabata, Matsuri, etc).

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

  • I believe the KAKEHASHI project showed me a different aspect of Japan that I would not have explored on my own. From the food, shrines, museums and arts made me truly open my eyes to the beauty and culture that lies within Japan. Yes, shopping is a plus, yet the traditions practiced here make Japan’s strength and attractiveness truly stand out from other countries.
  • It was nice to meet other students with the same interests as me, since I was selected to participate through my internship. I felt that I was able to fully use the skills I have gained from it(e.g., Meishi exchange, speaking to authorities, practicing Japanese, explaining the National Cherry Blossom Festival to other students from the US and Japan). I really learned a lot from this trip, and I know that future generations of Goodwill Ambassadors can benefit from the KAKEHASHI project in the future.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Youth Exchange Bureau
TEL : +81-(0)3-5369-6022 FAX : +81-(0)3-5369-6042
infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
(When sending e-mail, please enter a half-width character "@" instead of a full-width character "@.")

Page Top