During Spring Break of my junior year, I went on a college tour trip with my AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) class to Tokyo, Japan. We were a group of ten students, along with our teacher, who visited TempleUniversity and partook in Art and Mass Communications classes. While temporarily dwelling in Tokyo at a naval base, my class and I also had time to venture throughout Tokyo’s wondrous streets of departments stores and restaurants.
Our first day in Tokyo, my class and I headed to the base from the airport, but not without first traveling through the trains. I had never traveled in trains until I arrived in Tokyo. Since we were in Japan, we all knew everything was going to be in Japanese, so lucky for us, our group had two Amerasian students who could speak fluent Japanese. I knew the trains would be very crowded, but they were nothing compared to our second day in Tokyo. Riding the trains was our transportation for the duration of the trip, so we had to arrive early at the train stations before people crowded them. As we headed up stairs to the wait for the trains, all I remember seeing is a myriad of people already waiting for the trains on both sides of the tracks. I finally believed the commercials, which show crowded Tokyo trains with people pushing themselves to fit in the trains. When our train finally came, we stuck together and were pushed in by other anxious riders. All our personal bubbles were popped once we entered the train. Our bodies were so close together I had to hold on to some of my friends for support as the train moved. I noticed how quiet people on trains in Tokyo are. My group and I were the only people who spoke on the trains. Most of the Japanese people on the trains listened to their iPods, slept, looked at their cell phones, or even played their Nintendo DS. It was amazing how people can wake up from their sleep when they arrive at their stop. It’s like they knew when to wake up and when to get off.
After our college tour, we had the next day to spend time at Tokyo Disneyland. You won’t believe how many babies there are in Tokyo! There were between 30-50 strollers outside of one ride. I was amazed at how much Japanese people can produce babies! Tokyo Disney was really fun because I was with people who I can have fun with. The next couple of days were spent shopping around and exploring Tokyo. The weather was cold and rainy for most of the time we were in Tokyo. One night as we headed back to the lodging, the weather became very rainy and very cold. In order to get back to the lodging where we stayed at, we had to ride taxis back because of how far the lodging was from the base gate. After walking about two miles, we finally found taxis to transport us; however, we were all very cold and wet.
Going on this college tour trip has made me get to know my fellow classmates better. I now know a fellow classmate can eat almost anything and everything, another is very caring and a gentleman, and another can lead a group of people very well. Being a dependent of a military family residing overseas doesn’t give me stateside opportunities, but it does give me friends who I can share memories of living overseas with.
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