Japan 2016: In Summary

This spring, I had the opportunity to accompany my family on a magical trip to Japan.

I joined up with my parents, sisters, cousins, aunts and Hannah to tour the cities of Tokyo, Kii-Katsuura, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.

We visited beautiful, ancient sites like Mt. Fuji, Nachi Falls, Kinkaku-ji and Itsukushima Shrine.

We enjoyed the fruits of Japan's modernity, including modern art, video games, bullet trains, thrilling nightlife and karaoke.

We had unique cultural experiences like sitting naked in a hot spring, sleeping on tatami mats, wandering through a forest of giant vinegar vats, drinking life-prolonging water, and eating Kobe beef (kind of).

Far and away my favorite part was meeting my large family in Japan- brothers and sisters of my grandparents and all their descendants. I will never forget walking up the stairs to a Buddhist temple my family had attended for generations, touching the old wooden house where my grandfather spent his childhood, or offering incense at the grave of my great-grandmother.

I hope that one day I can return to this place, so full of difference and familiarity and humanity and history, but nothing will replace the wonderful memories I made here in the spring of 2016.

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