Back in May of 2005, I left for five weeks to Hiroshima, Japan as part of an overseas study program, a partnership between Arizona State University and Hiroshima Shudo University.
To say I had the time of my life would be a gross understatement.
Now, I'm sure you're all asking, so you watched anime the entire time didn't you?
Actually, no, no I didn't. In fact I only saw one complete episode of anime the entire time I was there - an episode of Pretty Cure that my host family's youngest daughter was watching one lazy morning. (And no, that show still isn't any better.) I maybe saw a minute of Slam Dunk being viewed at the university library, and various and sundry trailers at arcades and merchandise stores, and that was it.
I did not go to Japan to sit in front of a television all day. You can do that at home ... if you're just going to watch anime, why bother spending all that money and travel time? Personally? I can wait for that.
There were fifteen of us all told. Sometimes I went off by myself to explore.
We saw a Shinto wedding and a bugaku performance at Itsukushima shrine. Later, I hiked from beneath the shrine arch at low tide to the top of the mountain behind the shrine, where I saw poo flung at me by sacred wild monkeys. Just kidding about the poo flinging part.
(PS: Warning: Killer Deer)
I went on hiking trips to wilderness areas such as Taishaku Gorge and the hillsides of Garyu-san.
We visited the colossal shrine, Izumo Taisha, the lighthouse at Hino Misaki, and climbed the stairs to the top of Matsue Castle.
We played carnival games, danced, and pigged out on food at Toukasan Matsuri.
And so, so much more. Over 90% of my photos are still on a friend's computer waiting to be uploaded to my online photo album. From the moment we landed at Narita until we came back home, it was fun. (And yes, a lot of homework, but honestly, who wants to see photos of a lot of homework.)
So I'll leave you with this photograph at Kintai Bashi in Iwakuni.
By the way, what you've all been waiting for:
This Lousy T-Shirt
- Carlos Ross
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