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Journals from Rikkyo University, Japan

2010-04-15 A Visit from the Fam

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Me, Mom, and Erryn in Harajuku

During the three month break, I was very lucky to have my family come and visit me in Japan. They were only here for 10 days, so every day was filled with a lot of train rides, walking, eating, and exploring for myself and especially for them. For the first three days, we went to Kyoto and Nara (which was a first-time experience for me as well as for Mom and Erryn). My friends always told me how beautiful Kyoto was, but I was slightly disappointed with the lack of cherry blossoms. I was hoping that there would be more, but it was still pretty cold when we were there. After we returned to the Tokyo area, we went to Kamakura, Asakusa, and Ueno, as well as Shibuya and Shinjuku. I was worried that they would get bored from seeing a bunch of temples and shrines, but I think that they enjoyed themselves a lot. We also went to eat dinner with my host family in Harajuku, which was a lot of fun, since both my mom and brother got to wear kimonos and walk around the crowded streets of Harajuku as well! One thing that I realized while they were here was how different Japanese and American cultures are. I have not even returned home yet, but just seeing my family made me realize how different these cultures are. They constantly told me how everything was so expensive, and how the portion sizes were so small, and they also remarked about how everyone uses umbrellas. While I know that these are just cultural differences, it was weird to think about how I had gotten so used to these things that I do not even think about them anymore. If it looks like it is going to rain, I immediately grab my umbrella, and I did not eat nearly as much as my family did while they were here. After seeing my family, I thought that it would make me more anxious to return home. But to be honest, I am not sure if I am excited to return home or if I would rather just stay in Japan. I still have about 3 more months here, so I am going to use my time wisely! Tiffany Ross

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