Global and International Studies Major
Religion and Culture in Japan
Summer I short-term, faculty-led course
We had just experienced a small adventure in Canada as our original flight got cancelled. As we all headed to the airport with excitement we ran into quite a few complications. Mechanical issues, delays, and eventually a confirmed cancellation led half of us in a taxi to Windsor, Canada, and the other half on separate flights to Toronto. We all ended our exhausting day in hotel rooms as we explored the beautiful city of Toronto. Frustration, anxiety, and excitement pushed us through this day, but at that one moment when I fell into a comfortable bed while having a roof over my head I came to a realization. Through this day I got to know some awesome people that I would soon have the chance to wander around Japan with. I finally understand what adventure was when nothing went as planned, and yet it all gradually became interesting. Don’t assume things will go right because just when you think you are in your comfort zone life will prove you wrong, and that is perfectly okay. This is simply just how you grow. Just as they say…life hands you lemons, and that is a piece of life that you cannot avoid, but what you do with them is your choice.
When we finally boarded our flight to Tokyo we were relieved, and yet content. We had another adventure to speak about when people asked about our study abroad experience. The flight wasn’t any better than being stranded in the Detroit airport for the entire day. It was uncomfortable, and 12 ½ hours to say the least. The food wasn’t all that great, and my legs turned into balloons. My best advice to
those who choose to take on these adventures is Ibuprofen, and circulation socks! Water will become your best friend as well, and so will the snack crackers they pass out. Bring snacks on deck, and you will not be sorry!
With all I have complained about I must mention that these are comments of the past. We first arrived in Tokyo and we were rushed onto the Tokyo Narita Airport Express to head towards the Zojoji Temple where we would be staying. It was getting dark and we were exhausted due to jet lag, but I didn’t realize this until now. The beauty, and foreign images outside the windows of the train had captured every ounce of my mind. All I could see were rice crops, small homes, and mountains. The colors were unlike others I’ve seen, and the lifestyle was noticeably different than mine. When we arrived to our street I was consumed by the large amount of people rushing to get to the subway. No one stopped to go around you, and if you were in the way you would be pushed out of the way. It was a shock at first, but I caught on. We walked up to our temple and it wasn’t until the next day that I officially realized I had actually made it to Tokyo!