My name is Pablo Cisneros and welcome to part three of my series of blogs from studying abroad in Tokyo. I want to highlight my favorite experiences from Japan and inspire students to study abroad.
During the last weeks of the program, a couple of friends and I traveled south of Tokyo to Yokohama. It was my first time there and I noticed it had a more relaxing feel than Tokyo. Our first stop was Yokohama Chinatown. We browsed around the area seeing many of the Chinese-themed shops and restaurants. Then, we went to explore the other parts of the city. We ended up in the beautiful Yamashita Park. Before coming to Yokohama, people told me that the city is the perfect date spot. Now, I could see why. The scenery is beautiful and is accompanied by a relaxing ambiance. That night, we went to Cosmo World, a theme park in Yokohama. We rode on a couple of rollercoasters and boarded the Ferris wheel, which had an incredible view from atop. We ended the day by eating ramen at Yoshimuraya and taking a train back to Tokyo.
A few friends and I decided to go to the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Although I don’t know much about Japanese history, I thought the museum was interesting and informative. The building was memorable because the design was so unique. The exhibits inside the museum, along with fascinating artifacts and models, gave us a look at life during the Edo period. My favorite part of the museum was seeing the evolution of Tokyo throughout the years. I recommend this museum to people interested in history and learning.
Visiting the Ghibli Museum has been on my bucket list for a long time. Obtaining tickets to this museum was very difficult and stressful. Luckily, a few friends and I were able to get them. The museum building looked like it came straight from a Studio Ghibli film. The amount of detail that went into the design of the museum was remarkable. It was full of references to Studio Ghibli Films, such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, and more. It gave an in-depth look at the studio’s filmmaking and animation process. It showed things like storyboards, initial sketches, references, and more. At the end of our visit, we watched an animated short that was exclusively made for the museum. I recommend this museum for anyone interested in Studio Ghibli, animation, and art.
A few days before our departure date, IES Abroad held a going away party. The students gathered at the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center and enjoyed the festivities. The staff and teachers gave inspiring speeches reminiscing about the past weeks and motivating us to reach our goals. Students responded with a few words showing gratitude and appreciation to the staff and teachers. The last day was emotional. We said goodbye to the people we lived and spent time with for six weeks. We packed our things, cleaned out our rooms, and boarded a bus headed to Narita Airport. I was fortunate to make new friends and create unforgettable memories with them.
I genuinely enjoyed my time during the IES Abroad Summer Tokyo program. The staff were helpful, the field trip and homestay were great experiences, and the students were amazing. There are many things I didn’t cover from my time abroad, but what I really want to do is give students, who are thinking of studying abroad, an idea of what they could expect. When studying abroad, everyone has a different and unique experience. I think that is a beautiful thing. I’m thankful that I learned new things, spent time with amazing people, and had one-of-a-kind experiences.
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<p>I am a Marketing student who transferred from the College of Lake County to the University of Illinois at Chicago. I have a passion for art, music, and learning Japanese. My hobbies include video editing, playing guitar, playing video games, watching pro-wrestling, reading manga, and going to concerts. My favorite bands are Dance Gavin Dance and Rage Against the Machine. My favorite pro-wrestlers are Kenny Omega and Pentagon Jr. Finally, my favorite manga is One Piece.</p>