The Arapahoe Pinnacle

Study Abroad: ACC Students Visit Japan

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Sarah Sanchez, Reporter

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ACC students in kimonos-These are three of the students who went on the trip. They look beautiful in their kimonos.

What would it be like to go on a journey in Japan? From June 11 to 22, 2018, Arapahoe Community College students went on their journey in Japan. The trip “was a collaboration between the ceramics, drawing, painting and photography departments,” Trish Sangelo. According to one Arapahoe Community College student, it’s an adventure in delicious food, amazing sights, and learning experiences. Learning how to travel by train, figuring out how to communicate and to use new tools. Kimberly Guinea is one of the students who went on the ACC-organized Study Abroad trip. She went on the trip, she says, because “I love Japan, the culture, [the] way they do things, and the food. It was wonderful, to see things I’ve never seen before.”

When visiting the Kyoto Bamboo Forest, she had to learn to use a viewfinder to take pictures. A viewfinders purpose is to cover the camera and keep it from getting wet. As Guinea recalls, the forest was beautiful and everything was green, the bamboo a deep green color except when the sun shined on it; it became silver with the circled lining appearing black.

“Bamboo is like aspen trees in Colorado,” says Guinea. Visitors to the forest walk on a gravel path scattered with dried bamboo that looks like hay and wooden boards lining the sides. There is a park next to the forest, with a view of the mountains and a tranquil river. Guinea’s group visited several beautiful places located around Kyoto and Tokyo.

The people Guinea met in Japan were friendly and polite, but kept to themselves, she tells The Arapahoe Pinnacle. Even in crowds you only heard murmuring because of how quiet people were. On transit it was silent, except for when foreigners were talking to one another–a calm environment. Guinea speculates the reason for this may be as there are so many people, they endeavor to give each other space and people are more quiet.

In public places you’ll most likely hear people speaking Japanese and English, but you may also hear other visitors talking in their native languages, like Russian. The signs in Japan are written in Kanji, a character-based form of writing anyone wanting to move abroad to Japan must learn, as it is everywhere.

Trying new food is one of the best parts of traveling. Anyone comparing Japanese food to American food knows they are remarkably different.  Rice is a staple of their diet, but they only prepare enough at each meal for one small bowl per person. Soy sauce, dashi, and bonito flakes are added to almost every dish for flavoring, adding sustenance. Bonito flakes, for the uninitiated, are dried fish flakes that when crumbled in your hand turn into a powder.

For breakfast in Japan typical fare includes miso soup. Rice with pickled vegetables, rice seasoning and tiny dried shrimp or egg is a common dish to have. Some popular dishes include tamago yaki which is an omelette, but sweet. Japanese-style curry is made through a combination of spices in a stew with a creamy texture. Sushi is a specialty more familiar here in America; in Japan it is eaten on special occasions. Ootoro is a large piece of fatty tuna. Dango, fried dumpling balls dipped in soy sauce syrup, are a street vender food sold as a snack.

With all this and more to discover abroad, a journey to Japan seems an exciting and beautiful adventure. For those interested in going on a journey to see what they have never seen before. There is an Italy trip coming soon in June 2019, from June 10 – 25. There are only a few spots left. If you would like to go, contact [email protected]


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