The Haas Japan Trek 2012 is coming to a close. First of all, special props to the trip organizers for their hard work, meticulous planning, and amazing coordination. The entire trip was a blast from beginning to end. You can read more here.
As for the highlights and memories? Here's my list:
- Walking the streets of Osaka, braving the crowds, and visiting amazing video game arcades with endless claw machines
- Seeing the red gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine and hearing our hosts comically bad-mouth Memoirs of a Geisha
- Learning drinking games from Maiko (Geishas-in-training)
- Seeing a million cute deer co-exist with humans in Nara
- Participating in a real live Japanese tea ceremony
- Riding a bullet train to Hakone and eating an egg boiled in sulfurous, volcanic water
- Sitting in an onsen (hot spring) with classmates and not feeling too awkward
- Wearing a pink yukata, like a boss
- Eating rice balls from 7-Eleven (I don't care what people say, they are delicious)
- Seeing all of Tokyo from the observation deck at Roppongi Hills
- Having a drinking party underneath some cherry blossom trees while Japanese citizens point and take pictures of us
- Surviving Akihabara (enough said)
- Staying up all night to see the fish auction at Tsukiji Fish Market and then eating the most expensive (but delicious) sushi in the history of mankind
- Assorted oddities!