February, 2012: Breeze Issue #52

A Free Monthly E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese


Aki'a Hodges
Towers High School

My time in Osaka, Japan was a dream made reality. Since the fifth grade I had always dreamed of going to Japan, but I just didn’t know how I was going to get there. I was greatly influenced by this trip and being allowed to experience the Japanese culture first hand. I really don’t know what to write about during my stay in Japan except for my experiences and the beauty of it all.

From my point of view, our first official day here in Osaka, Japan was like a breath of fresh air. This whole experience was like a whole new world to me and I am very greatful for this opportunity. I participated in the orientation and practiced what to do for our home stay, and learned more about life in Japan. The lecture was very interesting and kept my attention which has helped me a lot within these few hours we have been here. I would have to say that everything had been fun and engaging; it has helped a lot with the stress and homesickness.  On the other hand a few of us explored the area around the Kansai institute in our free time. We walked to the family mart, explored the store and purchased a couple of items. I would have to say that one of the best things about being here is the amazing view and waking up to the ocean. Though one set back would be the constant humidity but they have fairly nice weather here.

Later that day we went to Rinku Town Station to do some exploring and shopping which was pretty cool. If you don’t know what Rinku Town is then I will explain it to you, Rinku town is more of like an outlet mall but better. On another note we got stared at a lot but I didn’t mind. I actually found it invigorating to be surrounded by so much culture; everyone was very nice and inviting.

One thing I have learned to do over the years is to take things as signs for something else. I am eternally great full for this opportunity and the opportunities that are being presented to me.

July 23, 2011 was the first day of my home stay. My host family the Kamemura’s are very nice. I loved the fact that they welcomed me as one of the family. We visited a zoo, the train station, walked around in downtown Osaka. I tried takuyaki, pork ramen, sashimi and many other foods. Being able to say that I lived in Japan for ten days and experienced Japanese culture first hand has opened my eyes to all the possibilities of relations between Japan and America.

The most interesting part of my home stay was when we all went to the movies and saw a Hayou Miyazaki production. I really enjoyed my home stay. I would just like to thank everyone who sponsored and made this program and my dream a reality. Thank you so much.