During junior year, I went on the Japan trip with my Japanese 3 class.
My teacher organized it and held meetings to explain how we’d get the tickets, where we were going, and the supplies we had to pack. In February, we arrived at the San Francisco Airport.
I was really excited to see all of my friends, but nervous to leave home. After awhile, my friends helped me to feel at ease as we took two long plane rides there. When we arrived in Japan we went to Nagoya to sleep at a hotel.
My favorite part was when we stayed at Mt. Koya. It was the second day in Japan and we were all tired. We went to the convenience store to get breakfast and then we boarded on the bullet train that took us to the station needed to board the local train. The local train was so much fun! At first I was nervous because in order to sit down, my teacher said I had to speak Japanese to these kids. So I went up to them and said, “Sumimasen, tottemoiidesuka?” or “Excuse me, may I take your picture?” . They said it was fine. The train ride to Mt. Koya was special to me though because it allowed me to have fun and not worry about anything.
Staying in Mt. Koya was just as much fun as the train. We spent the night in the temple where we slept on a Japanese mats. The fun time we spent in the temple allowed everyone to develop a bond and take care of each other. If I had stayed at the temple longer, I would have been happy. We had to leave the next day so we could go sightseeing. After we woke up at five in the morning to listen to chanting, we left the temple and saw the Okunoin Cemetery. It was really pretty because it was snowing and the place had a sacred aura.
As trips have their best parts, there are always bad parts. I was lucky to not have many. The one that stands out was when we went to Kyoto. It was really fun and one of my friends raced me up the hill to get to the temples. After seeing more temples we walked a couple of miles to the anime museum which was closed. Sensei found us a bus so we would stop complaining about our sore feet. We went to Teramachi where we split into groups to explore. After doing some karaoke, I felt so sore and tired that I sat down on the ground. I started feeling really dizzy and my friends noticed and asked if I was ok. Another friend came onto the ground to support me and it was then I realized I might actually faint. Sensei came back and asked what happened. My friend told him that I didn’t eat enough and helped me into the taxi. Although this was the worst thing that happened in Japan, I was grateful I have friends that made sure I was alright.
Going to Japan changed my life. I had the ability to speak Japanese to strangers, eat different food, see different places, meet new people, and enjoy these privileges with my friends. This trip had such an impact on my life that it is hard to put into words how significant it was. Having to be there and experiencing it with the right group of people made this trip something I tell everyone. Maybe someday I’ll go back so I can study abroad and became fluent in Japanese.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.