Good Evening from Tokyo!
On day two we began cultural introductions to Japan. That morning, the group of international students loaded a bus to head to the Technos Language School, which was about an hour away from the hotel. The language school presented a PowerPoint presentation in order to explain their programs, students, and typical class day. Directly after the presentation, we all moved to a nearby classroom to learn how to make sushi; it was extremely interesting and very delicious! Our second day ended with a trip back to the Technos College, where each group presented PowerPoint presentations about their schools and themselves. Mariah and I had so much fun representing the United States, McKendree University, and ourselves. At the end of our presentation, we demonstrated a line dance, in order to bring some “Midwest culture” to all of the international students. We had a few Japanese and New Zealand students who even joined in to learn the dance and then we performed it to the rest of the students and faculty. Overall, everyone had a very enjoyable time and seemed very intrigued by McKendree and the Midwest.
The next few days marked the beginning of amazing experiences full of countryside beauty and true Japanese culture. On Wednesday morning, June 11th, the group left the hotel by bus to venture out to Green Village Spa, where we stayed until Friday morning. The beauty of the mountains, waterfalls, rice paddy fields, and the landscape as a whole was completely breathtaking and one that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. I do recall Dr.Diuguid and myself mentioning how very fortunate we were to experience the beauty that was all around us. We also made a few stops on our way to the village. First, we stopped halfway up Mt. Fuji, Japan’s largest mountain. It was slightly foggy, but the view was still remarkable. Soon after, we went to a traditional Soba Noodle House and were divided into several groups. Here we learned how to properly roll out and cut Soba Noodle dough and each group got to eat their
Following all of the incredibly interesting stops, we arrived at Green Village Spa. The spa was very traditional and many students’ rooms only had mats to sleep on. We also had to take gender separated community showers during our stay at the spa. The only full day was spent playing sports and other games that were arranged by the Japanese students. It was a great day of relaxation, fun, and memories! Later that evening for supper, the Japanese students cooked everyone food outside at a Japanese style BBQ. The food was amazing and the company was even better. There is no question that Green Village Spa is a memory that none of us will soon forget and one that created lasting bonds of friendships between the students as well as the faculty.