Returning Home

Ben Krieger
December 26, 2014

At this point, I have come home from Tokyo, and I am at last writing a blog post in my room, with my speakers blaring, and my dog at my feet. It’s been quite a journey, and I’m glad to have been able to participate. So, what made Tokyo so special for me?

Well, my first thought is that I now have a girlfriend in Tokyo, and though we are separated by 7,000 miles, I know we built a strong enough relationship to make it last. Plus, no matter what happens later on, I know she will keep me coming back to Tokyo to relive my experience with IES Abroad. But she wasn’t the only one to make the trip so special.

A few friends I made in the IES program have given me memories that will last a lifetime. I will never be able to go to Yokohama, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, or countless other places without thinking of them, and they will continue to make my future experiences in Japan better even if they aren’t with me to experience it again. Even now as I write, I can picture myself back there with them, having flashbacks of my old experiences of going to the Robot Restaurant or entering high-fashion stores that could have doubled as night clubs.

But even when I wasn’t with my friends from the program, I was with my crazy host family. My young host siblings and energetic host mother made my homestay seem more like a cartoon and less like real life at times. We had experiences together that seemed like they could have only been written by a ’90s sitcom writer.

All those experiences combined with the incredible people I met will be with me until the day that I die. The random trips to indoor theme parks in Odaiba, the times when we’d hop on the wrong train and accidentally end up somewhere amazing, the moments when we had no idea where we were but we were happy because we knew we were in Tokyo, everything I did with my program-mates and host family will not be lost on me. (I also have thousands of pictures…so even if I do forget, it won’t be for long!)

Tokyo was a blast, and I’d absolutely recommend it for anyone wanting to go experience Japan. Are there other places you can go too? Sure! Over the summer, I went to Beppu, Japan and it was incredibly fun. The onsen and the scenery were mind blowing. However, if you’re looking for the tall buildings, bright lights, and tons of people that you see on TV, Tokyo is the only place to go!

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Ben Krieger

Hi all! My name is Ben Krieger, and I am a rising Junior at Miami University in Oxford, OH. I grew up in the Cleveland area as an aspiring professional football player, but clearly that is a path that I've abandoned because I'll be in Japan during my first season away from the game in fourteen years! I'm very excited to be in Tokyo for the fall, and I've been preparing to be able to at least survive in Tokyo by studying Japanese for the first time ever in Beppu, Japan this summer. I may not be great yet, but hopefully you'll watch me grow as I blog my way through the fall program!

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