Horns meet world. World meet Chelsie Ybarra. Chelsea was a Japanese major who graduated from UT back in 2011; but, before she graduated, Chelsie studied studied abroad in the IES Affiliate Program in Tokyo, Japan for the Summer of 2010. She was in Tokyo for six weeks total, but read ahead to discover what just the first five days of her adventure in the massive Japanese capital held in store.
Duration: Day 5
Within these past five days, I have stayed at Narita, moved to Tokyo, and have already been sightseeing around my local area. Our stay in Narita was amazing; we spent the night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese-style hotel) and ate traditional Japanese-style meals. I waited a whole semester for this study abroad experience and it’s an amazing feeling to finally be back in Japan. The Japanese culture is beautiful in its own unique way.
Being able to study the Japanese language and to observe the culture in Japan was worth all the time and preparation that it took to prepare for study abroad.
Narita was beautiful; our ryokan was located right across from the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. At 5am in the morning the monks of the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple performed a Goma (Sacred Fire Rite). We had the opportunity to watch and participate in the rite. It was a spiritual experience to watch the monks chant and pray for the people. After we left from Narita we stopped by the Tokyo Metropolitan Tower. We were able to observe all of Yoyogi and see the surrounding area we are going to live in.
Sunday was a free day; a group of us walked through Yoyogi Park to get to Harajuku. Harajuku is just as amazing as everyone says it is. The fashion is insane and the shopping is ridiculous. You can’t possibly go to all the shops in just one day.
On our way there we visited Meiji Shrine, where a group of local college students approached us asking if they could practice their English by guiding us through the shrine. We ended up becoming friends and us using more Japanese than English.
So within these five days; I have made new friends, used more Japanese than in America, went Harajuku shopping, and visited Meiji Shrine. Japan is amazing and I can’t wait to see the rest of it!!
If you enjoyed reading about Chelsie’s first impression of her summer study abroad location, you can read more and see many of Chelsie’s pictures here. Be sure to leave your comments below and check in next week to see where in the world our horns pop up next!