Bachelor of Arts | Anthropology/Archaeology
Mar 13, 2016
My experience in Japan was unlike any other trip I have been on before! It is hard to believe how much JICE managed to arrange for us to do within one week. We stayed at a ryokan (my favourite hotel!), visited two museums and a university, experienced a Meiji shrine and Buddhist temple, learned about rice manufacturing at a rice factory, and raced each other on Winglets at Toyota! Our guides and helpers were incredibly patient and helpful and ensured that everything went smoothly for us jet-lagged travelers.
For me, one of the major highlights of the trip was our visit to Hokkaido, where we visited the Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies and Hokkaido Museum. As an Archaeology/Anthropology student at UBC, I am passionate about issues that affect Indigenous peoples. Having the opportunity to hear from an Ainu individual was such a memorable and informative part of my learning on this trip, and I look forward to incorporating what I learned into my work back here in Canada.
To future Kakehashi participants, I encourage you to join this project with an open mind and willingness to try new things and meet new people. I had never eaten octopus or squid before our trip, and while I don’t see them becoming a daily staple for me, I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. Traveling should challenge and inspire all of us to see the world differently – and especially to see ourselves differently.
Traveling with a diverse and unique group of university students encouraged all of us to challenge our perceptions and see new perspectives, as well as engage in meaningful discussions about issues affecting Japan and the rest of the world. My favorite group activity has to be our karaoke nights, where we learned who the true singing stars of our trip are! Thank you to everyone who helped make our trip amazing and to all of the Kakehashi members for making the most out of every moment on our whirlwind trip to Japan – my experience was so memorable because of all of you!