Ohayo, and happy December first! Can't believe it's the first day of the LAST month of the year and I'm finally halfway through my Japan posts. I should be though; my cousin and best friend left for Japan today as delegates of another JENESYS Mass Media batch. Shame that we didn't get to go together! Had I known I could have deferred my slot to the December batch, I would've so we could go together. But then again, I wouldn't have experienced this and met the people of Group A.
Our fifth day in Japan saw us at Josai International University, a private university. JIU has 3 different campuses, depending on your major. The one we visited was located in Awa, Kamogawa and schooled the Faculty of Tourism. Their school is so big and beautiful but there were only about 200 students in the WHOLE school.
Here I am with Anna, our group's tour guide.
And with Sayaka and Bogi, an exchange student from Hungary.
We toured the school a bit then attended a lecture on the importance of tourism. Honestly, I've never really given much thought about tourism before, but I learned that it does help a lot in bringing money in to the country. I guess that is why the Japanese government spends so much for the JENESYS program. It's ingenious! Instead of spending so much on campaigns, why not let the people actually experience Japan themselves? I mean, there is no more reliable way of advertising than word of mouth.
Shean from Group B gave the thank you message.
Here's Bea, Trix and I with pretty Akane.
We had lunch in the school cafeteria, which I know Mia was pretty excited about! Before going to the cafeteria, we passed by their satellite canteen/bookstore! So cute!
After lunch, our next stop was to visit the Otaki Castle, which is actually a museum. On the way there, we passed by this breathtaking view. :) It was refreshing to see the sea after staying in the mountains.
The castle, although 4-storeys high, was just quite small so we finished touring it in less than an hour. Most of us trooped outside and tried the ice cream vendo machine.
I was playing it safe so I got this but there were some other kinds of ice cream that were pretty cool! There were vanilla ice cream bites coated in chocolate. Think normal chocolate balls, but with ice cream inside! There was also one that came in a sort of juice tetrapak and you eat the ice cream by squeezing it out like toothpaste.
We also got to do a walking tour of old town Otaki. It's a small and quiet town. In fact, while we were at the store, a Japanese man talked to us and asked us where we were from. When we told him we were delegates from the Philippines, he was both shocked yet honored that we chose to visit their little town.
The sun was beautiful but relentless that day! Most of our photos had that really nice (natural) sun flare effect.
This is the temple. Our guide told us that when you approach the temple, you have to walk in the sides cause the middle is where the god walks.
At the store with the city's mascot (I told you, the Japanese have mascots for every place!)
Me with one of our guides, Endo-san, just because we were both wearing hats that day. Endo-san will always have a special place in my heart cause she reminds me so much of my own grandmother.
Up next.. my home stay experience! :)