Soaking up the Japanese Culture -AOMORI STYLE


posted by Asinate Qioniwasa
translated by MIZUKA

My name is Asinate Qioniwasa and I am from Fiji. When I received the email that I was being selected as a recipient of a Japanese Scholarship, I was over the moon and excited about traveling to a new place. But then fear struck the moment I set foot on the plane. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was making the right decision. Mind you I have studied abroad but mainly to neighboring country like Australia but Japan was very far from home.


I had a picture of Japan in my mind but nothing could prepare me when I got off the plane, from the huge buildings, shopping mall and busy streets. Boarded  the SHIN-KANSSEN train from Tokyo to Shin Aomori and a local train from there to Hirosaki city. I noticed something different about this area up north of Japan. It had a calm demeanor to it. Once I was settled in, my friends and I began to explore the place. Aomori prefecture has a lot to offer to anyone thinking of traveling to Japan. There is so much more to this main island northern most prefecture than just delicious apples. It’s a place that’s truly Japanese, filled with delicious local cuisine, breathtaking natural sites and people who are excited to chat with foreigners.



It didn’t take long to feel part of a vibrant international community, and we found no end of interesting things to do during our spare time. Every moment outside of study presented the opportunity to visit a new gallery, bar, restaurant, market, park or historical site and also a visit to the owl café which was definitely a new experience for me to be up close to an owl.. I also participated in student trips to the Japanese Tea festival, Children festival, apple picking festival, all of which were accessible by bus, train, bicycle or on foot within a few hours.


Probably the most important skill that I am learning  while I am  in Aomori is  networking. It’s easy enough to network in your own city, but when you’re trying to make connections in a place that’s completely foreign to you it’s a different thing. Forging lasting friendships will not only help you find new professional opportunities, but will also broaden your understanding of life and society. Since I will be here for two years, I plan on making the most of everything. No matter where you are or what you’re doing or what sorts of things you have to go through, keep your head and your optimism up. It makes all the difference to look at things positively, or to at least see an end as well as a new beginning. Enjoy your life and your environment, be kind to your friends and colleagues.









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