Learning in Japan
By Jonathan Dye
After arriving in Japan just less than one week ago, I can safely say that this experience has been the greatest learning opportunity of my life. Among culture shock, changes in cuisine, a language barrier, and a city that I have had more than a difficult time learning to navigate, I have found that practices and personalities of the Japanese people are that of a kind, polite, and generous people. The folks I have encountered as part of my internship have been most helpful in my journey, and have been more than open to my enlightenment of their culture. Though my experience is less than halfway over, I feel that I have already acquired a debt of gratitude to the fine people who have made this journey possible.
Though I have only been integrated in this society for five full days, I have already had the opportunity to experience numerous aspects of life foreign to my western heritage. A sightseeing tour in Kyoto comprised an entire day of my travels, in which I was exposed to Buddhist and Shinto temple and shrines, treated to a wonderful Japanese luncheon, and was given the chance to take hundreds of photos. I have also spent a large portion of my time at the Kansai University of International Studies, learning of the differing factors between the crime prevention tactics of the United States and Japan. Yesterday I was also lucky enough to travel to Kobe to visit the Police Headquarters of the Hyogo Prefecture. It was there that I was able to see first-hand the efficient nature in which the Japanese are able to be proactive, effective and preventative in their pursuit of every aspect of Japanese life from traffic to crime. While in Kobe, I was also lucky enough to experience the world renowned beef that comes from the region, and I must say, that the reputation of Kobe beef is perfectly accurate.
I look forward to the remainder of my journey, as well as the experiences that I will have in the remainder of my time here. I will be sure to write much more as my trip progresses, but for now I must take the time allotted to me to rest up for my next adventure. Again, I wish to thank everyone who helped to make this journey possible, and I hope that this short update will suffice for now in showing my gratitude.