By Hannah Paige
Hannah is a student at Elk Grove High School studying Japanese. She visited Osaka, Japan in June 2016 as a participant of the California-Japan Scholar Exchange Program, the only state-sponsored student exchange program between California and Japan
My name is Hannah Paige and I currently attend Elk Grove High School. Over the summer, I traveled to Osaka, Japan through the California-Japan Scholar Exchange Program. I was given a wonderful opportunity to experience Japan’s unique culture, language, and daily life. I stayed with a thoughtful family for sixteen days who made me feel welcome in an unusual place. On my journey, I discovered fascinating things, saw historical places, and met everlasting friends. I will remember my Japanese adventure for the rest of my life.
The California-Japan Scholars Exchange Program organized a special field trip for all of those participating in the program. We traveled to Nara, an ancient city famous for its towering temples and roaming deer. It was there that I was educated on Japan’s particular religions and specific rituals, such as the o-mikuji, random fortunes found in temples. My host family also bought me tickets to Universal Studios Japan. Comparing it to Universal Studios Los Angeles captivated my mind. To my genuine surprise, most rides and attractions were similar. Notwithstanding, my favorite place I experienced was Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan. I received a rental kimono, a traditional Japanese garment, and toured around the city. I would love to return and present Japan’s wondrous locations to my family.