Last Sunday, 18 students from Tokyo Future University had a BBQ to end their stay in the US, where they stayed here at Hofstra University to take classes and enjoy American culture!
During our own stay in Tokyo, the students of Hofstra in Japan visited a Karaoke Bar and enjoyed Korean BBQ with the same TFU students as part of our cultural exchange!
Here in New York, the TFU students cooked a lot of delicious food on the grill and making their own hamburgers, and we enjoyed playing catch and tossing a Frisbee in Eisenhower Park. The TFU students brought us parting gifts from Japan. Hopefully we will be reunited again soon! It was a great way to end our summer of Japan.
Naoshima- This island is filled with a lot of museums and art exists. In fact, the island its self is piratically art. There are the obvious pieces of art around the Island like giant pumpkins, but you can even find artwork randomly on the walls around the town (see the cat figure above). Abandoned houses have been taken and turned into contemporary works of art. It’s impossible to be bored on this island! There is so much to see and do it would take an entire week to see everything.
Kompira- A Shinto shrine in Kagawa with many, many, many steps. “Many” may even even an understatement as the shrine has a total of 1,368 steps. We may not have climbed all of them, but we did climb the 785 steps to the main temple. Yes, it was exhausting but I think worth it. The view from the shrine was beautiful, and of course your success after climbing so many steps makes for a great story! :)
Udon noodle making!!!
After Koyasan we left for Takamatsu. We got first hand experience into what it’s like to make udon noodles, and while doing so had lots of fun in the process! After lots of mixing, and stepping on it, and carefully cutting and boiling it, we were able to eat what we made. Everyone had such a great time!! See guys, cooking can be fun ;)
Zen Temple Stay in Koyasan!
The jouney to Koyasan was quite a long one which included multiple trains, a bus, and a cable car. However, the journey was totally worth it. The temple is located on the mountain, so we got a chance to experience a more quite side to Japan. Everyone slept in more traditional style rooms with tatami mats and futon. We were able to experience meditation practices and see the monks pray and preform rituals. We even enjoyed a Zen Buddhist dinner which uses no meat or animal by-products. I think everyone was surprised by how delicious it really was! Everyone really liked being able to experience first hand a more traditional side to Japanese Buddhist culture. All in all it was an amazing once in a lifetime experience.