Inuyama, and My First Week in Japan

Anh Nguyen
January 13, 2014

Hello again!

It was about a week from today when I landed in Nagoya’s Chubu International Airport, and so much has happened since that time. IES took us to the a field trip in Inuyama right after our arrival. We stayed at a beautiful ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and went through orientation as well as took Japanese classes to prepare for Nanzan’s placement test. I did not even have time to be homesick: the ryokan we stayed at was so comfortable and the balance of planned activities and free time was just right. I feel like IES has taken care of my physical tiredness after the long flight to Japan, and has provided a lot of interesting activities to distract from and alleviate any mental discomfort that comes with change and being in a foreign environment. 

We were able to visit Inuyama Castle, watch an Iaido demonstration, meditate at a Zen temple, and attend a tea ceremony in just one afternoon. I was the most impressed with the Iaido demonstration, since I did not know much about it before. Iaido is the art of drawing the sword from the scabbard and cutting in a swift movement. The better you are, the quicker you can draw and the fewer preparing movements you have to make. A real sword was used and we were allowed to hold and examine it afterwards. One of the volunteer guides told us that since the blade would be damaged after cutting and since the sword needed very expensive maintenance, these kinds of demonstrations would get rarer as time goes on. I felt really lucky after hearing that!

After 4 days in Inuyama, we packed up and left for Nanzan University where we would meet our host families / dorm guides. We also had to attend an additional orientation for students at Nanzan University’s Center for Japanese Studies – more about my first few days at Nanzan and Nagoya in my next post!


Anh Nguyen

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Anh hailed from Hanoi, Vietnam and is currently a sophomore at Haverford College, Pennsylvania. She plans to major in Computer Science, but decided to take a non-CompSci semester abroad before coming back to it in her junior year (after all, when else will she get the chance?). In her free time she enjoys reading, exploring new places and new types of food, people-watching, as well as reading food blogs, planning to make every single dish that catches her eye, and then completely forgetting about them. She is as excited to blog about her journey as she is about her Spring semester in Nagoya!</span></div>

2014 Spring
Home University:
Haverford College
Computer Science
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