Among all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport. A year ago, the word Japan meant state-of-the-art technology, age old customs, Judo, rich traditions and anime to me. But now, as I recall my study abroad journey, the word Japan means a kaleidoscope of memories to me. As I wonder how to fit an extraordinary 7 month long experience into one short blog, all my senses are awakened and I am carried away to the land of the rising sun once again. I can see the bright red autumn leaves once again and imagine myself holding the pleasantly hot cup of Matcha tea in my hands in the bitter cold. To sum my whole experience in one word, I would say simply say that it was life-changing.
Being placed in Hokkaido, the coldest region of Japan, meant welcoming snow in October and using my survival instincts in the biting cold. But it also provided me a chance to enjoy skiing, an incredibly daunting sport, but once you get it right, you fall in love with it and want to try it again and again. Hangouts with friends were definitely the best part of my experience. I will never forget witnessing a baseball match with my classmates, the energy that filled the stadium that day can’t be described in words. Japan truly is magical land. It is a country with latest technology yet have deep roots of tradition. During my stay, I was also invited to a cultural festival where I was able to experience tea ceremony and wore the Japanese cultural dress called Kimono. I am forever grateful to my host family and Liaison Person for always being there for me and helping me out in every situation. Thank you the whole Asia Kakehashi Project team, AFS and Learn Smart Pakistan for providing me the opportunity of a lifetime.