In and Out of Sakae - Nagoya Castle - Osu Kannon, and a little thank you note

Kristie Le
January 26, 2016


Since arriving in Nagoya about 3 weeks ago, I tried to explore interesting places every weekend and observe the daily lives of strangers turned friends. And the trips surely weren't disappointing. There are thousands of people walking on these roads, these crossings every second and each has their own story, their own schedule to follow, places to go to and people to visit. Out of the million aspects I have come across during my weekend adventures, it was interesting to notice the influence of the movement within the commercial market on urban planning and business infrastructure. Small food stall businesses congregate in the basement of department stores or inside the underground tunnel. Convenient stores are located on almost every other corner, as well as, inside the subway stations right by the exits. Parking lots took up the spaces in-between two buildings. Carefully planned, the infrastructure seemed convenient and efficient for both buyers and sellers. I'm falling more and more in love with Nagoya and Japan...

On another note, I was also able to capture some mundane moments of different people - a kid staring at a huge globe statue at Shirakawa park, high school teens playing soccer on the sand field of the park, some street beatboxers, some cosplay girls on a photoshoot, a magician/tour guide for Nagoya Castle, a talented street musician performing on a small outdoor stage, my cousin couchsurfing at a nice woman's place and wondering whether she should buy Pokemon or Ghibli souvenirs for her brother. Many precious moments that just made me smile and reminded me that I'm just a tiny atom in the web of interconnected bonds. They reminded me that I should always cherish the relationships fostered and connections made with people around me. So thank you Mom and Dad for giving me the chance to set foot on this country. Thanks to IES Abroad advisors, Masae-san and Satoshi-san, for taking care of us from our arrival to the airport and throughout the entire program. Thank you for giving me the greatest group of kind, smart and adventurous friends I could ever ask for. Thank you CJS and Nanzan University for welcoming us, gaijin, and creating opportunities for us to adapt faster into a different lifestyle. Thanks to my wonderful dormcaretaker couple Mr. and Mrs. Sugino-san, who guided me without hesitation through all of the complicated documentation proccesses and checking up on us from time to time. Many more thank yous to come, but I figure I should leave those for later...

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Kristie Le

<p>Hi there! I&#39;m Kristie. Currently a junior at Tufts University majoring in Quantitative Economics and exploring other areas of passion like marketing, community service and photography. In my free time, I like coming up with cooking recipes using seasonal ingredients in the market to create dishes that have a hint of my Vietnamese upbringing. Reading food blogs, taking pictures, watching Miyazaki movies basically sum up my life. Having lived in Russia, Vietnam, America, I love traveling and always feel the hunger for a new adventure, a new place and new culture. From friendships to random encounters with strangers, I&#39;m excited to experience it all during my semester abroad in Japan.</p>

2016 Spring
Home University:
Tufts University
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