To Japan And Back Again

submitted photo

Sam Barlow, Coverage Editor

When Savannah Register was told she would have the opportunity to visit Japan with her older brother last year, she was of course excited. Who wouldn’t be thrilled for the chance to travel and experience a different culture? As time went on and the July departure date got closer, Savannah was getting more and more nervous to go. “It would be my first time flying, so I was definitely scared. Flying over the ocean was the scariest part, but I’m glad I did. If I ever fly again, I’ll be more prepared,” Register said. After a safe trip across the pond, Register was more than ready to experience the city of Osaka, specifically Namba, a shopping and tourist district. “Namba is such a great place. The locals were so nice, and everything was so beautiful. Trying authentic Japanese food for the first time was so nice. It was different than I expected, but really good,” Register said. Even in other cultures, some familiar experiences with a different flair can make for a whole new world of opportunities. “I have been to the Universal Studios here in the U.S., but going to Universal Studios Japan was so different, yet similar. Everything was so much fun, and even in an American-styled theme park, Japanese culture had a spotlight,” Register said. Even after cultural cuisine and roller coasters, Japan had something far more exciting for Register; Nara Park. Nara Park, or Nara Kōen to Japanese speakers, is a world-famous deer park away from large cities. Nara’s natural beauty comes from hundreds of years of culture, with temples and houses dating as far back as the Edo period. Nara’s main attraction, of course, are the deer, something Register was very thrilled to see. “The deer in Nara Park are so beautiful and are used to living with humans. Many aren’t afraid to come right up to you. They even know how to bow their heads for food and might let you pet them. In such a serene and culturally important place, the deer just seemed so majestic,” Register said. As the trip came to a close, Register was sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful and unique place. “I am glad to be home, but I’m even more glad to have had such an awesome opportunity. Getting to see new things and be in the middle of a different culture was an experience I’ll never forget,” Register said.