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Author: Johnathan Telin


Anyway, Japan: Jonathan Telin, ’24

Sep 30, 2023

This is the reflections from my first co-op trip, in which I’ve finally managed to get to Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun. The derivation not only of my favorite anime and video games, but also a place with a spirituality that resonates with my own. This blog, beyond being something that I already want to do, also serves as a record and journal of my experiences.

I am currently at Yamasa in Okazaki, working on learning some amount of Japanese to become more fluent and able to speak in it… somewhat. I’m only there for three weeks, and honestly I don’t think it’s going to take me to the fluency level that I’d like. Thankfully, we live in a world with Google Translate! After that, there’s a WorkAway that I will be doing just south of Tokyo in Yokosuka involving assisting with a house renovation that is currently in the plans. After? I don’t exactly know.

While in Yokosuka, I’m hoping to spend at least a day (if not more!) in Akihabara, being the global cultural center for all things otaku. Later, I would like to spend a couple weeks in Nara to learn more about the early history of Japan, then head to Kyoto for a week to visit the famous Kyoto Imperial Palace among countless other famous sites and shrines; later I would like to spend a weekend in Shirakawa which is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the setting for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (which happens to be one of my favorite anime). If time and money permits, I have a bucket list of other places that I would love to check out – including, but not limited to, Shiretoko National Park, Ikeshima & Gunkanjima, Aokigahara, the Ise Grand Shrine… That said, the lack of a JR Rail pass puts a damper on those plans… for now, anyway. I’m hoping, once the next round of student loan money comes in, that I’ll be able to afford one (or at least a trip on a shinkansen!)

One of my goals that will definitely require more work on my part is to become fluent enough in Japanese to work as a translator. For whom and on what is still to be decided, but I adore all things anime, manga, video games, and so on from here so the possibilities are pretty wide open.