Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lake Tazawa and Kakunodate

Here are pictures from a Lake Tazawa and a Kakunodate trip on Friday that I had with the other international students. The trip was free for international students but the full-time students had to pay. We had several stops on the way and my friends and I took plenty of pictures. 

At Lake Tazawa, some of the students swam in the lake and rented boats. Compared to the lakes in Hawaii, the water seemed pretty safe, and I wished I had brought my own swimming suit.

The famous lake Tazawa statue

At Kakunodate, the students walked around the town and explored some of the samurai houses. It was very hot at Kakunodate so I had to buy drinks and ice cream even though I had brought my own water. I lost my admission ticket for the samurai houses so I was unable to get any pictures.

On the bus ride home, I was talking to my friend from the Philippines. Apparently he was really happy at Akita International University (AIU) and did not want to return home despite being here for a semester only. I am also happy at this school, but I have not seen much outside of AIU so I am not sure if I want to live in Japan yet.

This statue is gift from the people of Taiwan to Japan

Although I have not been here long, I think staying here has changed my perspective about where I am from. Occasionally I view Hawaii as a rock in the middle of nowhere but I also see it as my homeland and someplace where I am proud to be born from. In addition, my views of the mainland United States is not as negative anymore because it seems like every state in the United States has problems with the non-local people.

I find it interesting how English people try to distance themselves from the British even though they may be apart of the same of the country. In addition, I find it interesting how people from Taiwan, Thailand, or Hong Kong try to distance themselves from mainland China. I guess everyone here wants to have their own sense of individuality instead of being internationalized and loose their original culture.

Below are pictures from the matriculation ceremony today. The matriculation ceremony is a ceremony AIU has for new students entering there first semester at AIU. I think AIU is the first school to use this ceremony in Japan, but I heard Tokyo University may try to create their own matriculation ceremony based off of the AIU model