I have just one more week in Japan. I am anxiously anticipating this last week. I want to make many great memories while I still can. After all, who knows when I am going to get another chance to come to Japan? All that is left in the itinerary is a trip to Hiroshima and Tokyo. Today will mark my final day in Kyoto and the dorm I was staying in. I have met many nice people and I am eager to many more.
I managed to finish my assigned project for this study abroad. If you remember, it was on interviewing strangers in Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. My program director thought it was a great topic since it is less than a year away. I had to make questions regarding the Olympics and get peoples’ thoughts on them.
I learned Japanese so that I could politely ask people my questions. I was not proficient enough to understand their answers, but my program director helped me to understand their answers because she can speak Japanese. I talked to many Japanese and visiting tourists, so I received lots of answers that were surprisingly similar. I recorded all of their answers and descriptions in my notebook and created a PowerPoint describing both the history of the Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympic game.
I also included the questions I asked and the demographics of people I interviewed. After completing it, I was assigned to present it to a class at Ryukoku University. Knowing that my audience were Japanese natives with some knowledge in English, I added Japanese translations of my English sentences in the PowerPoint, and spoke my speech more slowly. Once finished, I answered all of their questions and asked if we could pose for a photo. Then I wished them all good luck in their journey.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
On my last day in Kyoto, I decided to see one more historical site before leaving and that was the Kyoto Imperial Palace. It was a giant mansion once occupied by Japanese royalty, but is now a relic that is free to be viewed by the public. Unfortunately, my map app was not able to provide directions to the palace, so I had to rely on directions.
As long as you know how to say what you are looking for in Japanese, all you have to do is add “wa doko desu ka.” Using this, I asked random people I encountered on the street. They helpfully pointed me to the subway station where I asked an employee which subway line goes to the Palace. Once I reached my destination, I asked other strangers where the Imperial Palace was and they pointed to this huge complex that was miles long.
It was a giant park that the Imperial Palce was inside of. I finally reached the Imperial Palace and took a tour through history. It is clear from the Imperial Palace and other historical sites that Japan takes great pride in keeping its piece of history intact. It is also a joy that so many other people, Japanese and non-Japanese alike, were there to experience it too.
Kyoto was an interesting city. There was something to do around every corner and many places to go sightseeing. I enjoyed speaking to the many people living and visiting there so I could gain a new perspective. Now that I am done with Kyoto, I will be visiting Hiroshima and Tokyo for the last week. I will get to see Itsukushima Shrine and the Peace Museum which I am very much looking forward to.