By Chi Lao
Chi Lao is a student at Monta Vista High School studying Japanese. She visited Hokkaido, Japan in January 2016 as a participant of the Kakehashi Project, a Japanese Government educational exchange program
It was the beginning of second semester in my junior year, one of the busiest years, but I decided to take the opportunity to experience life in Japan for a week. I had been to Japan multiple times before with my family, but it was not the same. The Kakehashi Program allowed me to travel with my friends to another continent and I was very excited about it. I met many new friends through this trip and got to observe Japanese lifestyle more closely.
At Tokyo, the majority of the mornings were spent traveling with the whole group and learning more about the historical sites. We passed by many historical buildings while we were on the bus and our guide, Ms. Seguchi, would explain the significance. Unlike America, almost all the structures in Japan have a story behind it and most buildings were thousands of years old. During the night, small groups ventured into the brightly lit streets of Shibuya. Most stores were closing by the time we arrived to Shibuya but we went across the famous Shibuya Crosswalk. The road was so long it felt as if we had to run across in order to make it to the other side in time. One of our destinations was Asakusa. Everyone explored the temple and got a Omikuji, a fortune slip. My friends and I went to a Bird Cafe; it was not exactly a cafe because we could not eat but we were still able to have close interactions with the birds.