The Bekka program bus trip!

The Makuhari-hongo International Dorm BBQ

The Makuhari-hongo international dorm BBQ

I’m sure many of you have heard the saying “April showers bring May flowers,” but in Japan, the rainy season is a bit longer. The name for the rainy, damp season is tsuyu. Fancy.

Unfortunately, we had a bit of tsuyu rain on the 26th, which happened to be the day of our bus trip for the bekka program. At KUIS, these trips happen once per semester, and the students get to choose from a few different options. This time around, level 5 students were in charge of narrowing the options, presenting them to all the levels, and then taking charge the day of.

This year’s choice? Ōwakudani (a volcano) and Hakone (a history museum)! The schedule for the day was jam-packed full of fun activities, but we had to make some adjustments due to the rain. The ropeway cars that take you over the volcano stop running when it’s rainy, so we had to go up the volcano by bus. Many students dazzled their peers with karaoke on the way up, so everyone was in high spirits. When we reached the top, we were a bit disappointed to find out that the fog was blocking the view of Mt. Fuji. On the bright side, the shops had lots of fun souvenirs, ice cream, and eggs boiled in a hot spring! It’s rumored that eating one of these hot spring eggs will extend your life by seven years. Maybe that’s why Japan has so many people above the age of 100!

After descending the mountain in the buses and enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet at a nearby hotel, we all made our way to the Hakone museum! The rain stopped right around this time, so we could enjoy the historical buildings and beautiful scenery! One of the most popular things to do is to climb some very steep, stone steps up to the old guard watch tower to see the view of the lake below. Although extremely tiring, it was definitely worth the view. The mist and fog gave the lake a quiet, serene look. Our time was cut a little short due to going off schedule from the rain, but we still had a lot of fun! Until next time, everyone!

*Alyssa Pragovich is a Japanese major at the University of Iowa spending her semester at The Kanda University of International Studies Exchange in Chiba, Japan.

Student blog entries posted to this International Accents page may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UI Study Abroad and International Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

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