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  • Writer's pictureGus Ramirez

Ozan Koukle -Lafayette Afro Rock Band

Mono No Aware - the beauty of something due to its transcience, las, the bittersweet final days of our trip. The beginning to the end started at the summit of Mt. Fuji. We visited the Mt. Fuji Heritage Center, where the outside has a reflecting pool that looked like a mirror with its tranquil water. Most of my time at this site was spent gazing up at the mountain and appreciating its grandeur. Even with clouds covering the mountain, its presence could still be felt.

The trip to Mount Fuji was one of the longer trips due to one reason. My wallet was left on the train due to my lack of awareness. I told my professor "not to cause any alarm, but I left my wallet on the train", in hopes that he would not tell the whole class. This was not

the case, as after we talked to the station attendant, he did in fact tell the whole class. While talking to the attendant, my professor was talking in Japanese and they came to the solution of sending my wallet to the hotel by mail. He filled out a form and he wrote my name down in Japanese, I took a photo as a reminder that without Professor Keiji, this trip would not be possible. Due to the amazing work of my professor and the wonderful people of Japan, my wallet was back in my hands 2 days later.

This then started our journey to our final stop, Tokyo. Our time there started at Shinjuku Gyeon, a large park in the middle of the city that reminded me of the grand central park but much much better. Better not in the sense of the quality of the park, but the people there. You can sense the appreciation the Japanese people have for their green spaces, and I wish we could bring that back home.

We also took a trip to Meiji Jingu, a stroll through was all we had there but the trees that were there had enveloped us in their canopies. Trees that were decades if not centuries old made for a peaceful and calming experience. Our day ended with a visit to the Tokyo Sky Tree. It was at this point that you can really take the city in. One word came to mind to describe what I saw, dense. The city sprawl can be seen as far as you could see, and it only highlighted how a government that has a priority to move people, will invest in proper public transit and not focus on automobile infrastructure.

My last day was an uneventful one, where I spent a couple of hours dealing with a laundry mishap. To keep it short, my clothes weren't drying so I stayed behind to walk to the nearest laundromat and wait for my clothes to dry and pack. It ended up being very peaceful as walking the city by myself really let me reflect on my experience. The end of the trip was a bittersweet one. I was getting to go home and see my family, but I was leaving a wonderful place that made the time go by so quickly, that it felt almost like a dream. As my friend and I like to say, "it was a movie foo".

Food Report

During this time, I had 2 memorable things. The best ramen I had ever had in my life was in a hole in the wall, where I went twice. I also had Mc Donald's, a big mac combo, with a cheeseburger, apple pie. Safe to say, that meal did not last 10 minutes.

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