In Japan, we get to see the miraculous blend of the richness of its culture, warmth of its people, and the brilliance of its technology.
I have never thought that at this age I would get an opportunity to go to my dream land- ‘the land of the rising sun'. This privilege was extended to me through JENESYS- Japan East Asia Network for Exchange of Student and Youth.
The exchange programme, initiated by the former Prime Minister of Japan H.E. Shinzo, is aimed at improving mutual relationship between the nations involved.
Ours was a selected batch of over 92 students; divided into four groups according to the places we were going to visit, namely- Saitama, Gifu, Kochi and Fukuoka. I was in the Saitama Group.
I felt like an achiever when I landed at the Narita airport. The first thing that I noted was that the Japanese are very punctual.
After our daily rota, we would have time to explore the place with our friends, only to be back by 10:00pm.We visited the Shikuji Temple, The Kita Incineration Plant, The Imperial Palace and the awe-inspiring Tokyo tower.
One thing that surprised me about the Kita plant was that the energy produced from waste is used for the energy needs of the whole plant and also sold to the electricity boards for distribution in residential areas. And also, the smoke produced due to the incineration of waste is purified over 5 times to ensure that only oxygen and carbon-di-oxide are left when it is released into the atmosphere.
Saitama, our next destination, is an astounding place that did not compromise on anything; be it the overwhelming charisma of nature or the state of the art technology or their culture.
I could learn more about Japanese life-style during my unforgettable home stay with a conventional Japanese family who treated me like a part of their family. I learnt about the Japanese culture and tradition. I enjoyed the Japanese meal which included of the ever eminent tea ceremony. I learnt to sit like them, and to use chopsticks. I also tried the Ikebana – the Japanese art of flower arrangement.
We were also made to interact with the young students in the Urawa Daiichii high school who were skilled in the Japanese art.
At the end of our home stay, we explained a few things about Indian culture and tradition to the host families and the students. And after having to part with our (host) families with tears in our eyes, we went to a planetarium.
We visited the museum of History and Folklore, after coming back to Tokyo. We gave a spectacular performance at the Ministry Of Foreign affairs, Japan which was appreciated by many people.
I wanted to visit Japan because it was famous for its animations, but now I see that there is much more to it. I see the warmth of its people, the brilliance of its technology and the richness of its culture. But above all it is the hard work and will power that has led Japan towards excellence even after the catastrophic, Hiroshima-Nagasaki nuclear bomb explosions. With a heavy heart I bid farewell to Japan.
Aieshwarya is a Std X L student of S.B.O.A. School and Junior College