Why Nobody Should Pack Their Entire Life in 45 Minutes

Millie Koong
September 1, 2016

Hello world! It feels like it’s been ten thousand years since I last wrote something, rather than just three days ago. Remember when I said I didn’t think it was real that I was going to Japan? It still doesn’t feel real and I still haven’t processed it yet; everything here is just so… (Not to be corny, but) Magical, to say the least.


The flight here wasn’t too terrible, and it turns out that two other IES Abroad students were on the same flight as me! We went through customs and exchanged money together (Definitely do this in Japan instead of America! I had to pay an exchange fee at LAX, but not at the Nagoya airport.), and were led to our hotel after that. Here’s a picture of one of the students (Kyla) underneath our hotel sign!

I’m afraid I knocked out immediately for the next 16 hours, so I didn’t do much my first day. On the second morning, we got on a bus to Inuyama, and were left to wander around the city. It’s beautiful! It’s a very historic city, and there’s one long street along which old buildings border, and walking through it felt like walking through the deserted city in the beginning of Spirited Away. Having had lunch there the past two days has been a similar experience as the food is just as good as Ghibli movie food looks. :-)


Aside from exploring the old town, we had Japanese class, an orientation/introduction session, and the best dinner of my life. I’m an exceptionally picky eater but was still offered a bunch of stuff I could eat, which was great!


On the next day we did so many things that I can hardly keep track: we saw a goma fire ritual at the Narita San temple, went to the Inuyama castle, saw karakuri puppets, walked through a tea garden, and saw cormorant fishing! The last was particularly cool - we got to eat dinner on a boat, and rode the same boat next to the cormorant fishing boat and were less than two feet away from the cormorants! The photo gallery below is a vague collection of pictures from all of these things.


I’m still incredibly jetlagged even after getting a solid 9 hours of sleep every night, and I still want to just knock out completely all the time. We’re moving into the dorms tomorrow though, so I’m excited to unpack completely! I put everything I need into my big luggage bag, but we sent that to the dorms at the airport, so I’ve been without necessities this whole time (No lotion, not enough socks, etc.). My small bag was filled mostly with my towels and toiletries, which were actually completely unnecessary since both of the hotels we’ve stayed in have provided all toiletries… For the future classes: keep your towels, toiletries, and unessential things in your big luggage bag! Remember to pack an adequate amount of socks so you don’t also have to wash your socks in the sink and dry it with the provided hair dryer… At least the hotel is nice. :-(




Anyways, see you all in Nanzan University next time!


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Millie Koong

<p>Hi, I&#39;m Millie! I&#39;m a Southern California native currently studying Critical Social Thought and Asian Pacific American Studies at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. I love film, art history, and the Food Network - join me as I eat my way across Japan (and hopefully learn some things along the way).</p>

2016 Fall
Home university:
Mount Holyoke College
Asian Studies
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