Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I can't say enough nice things about Japan, I'm extremely glad I was able to visit. The food is amazing and the people are friendly and warm. There is an abundance of cultural diversity in Japan that is much more apparent than in Korea. Korea's culture can seem monolithic in comparison; and Koreans can sometimes be more xenophobic. But in Korea's defense, it's a much smaller country than Japan; but for how big Seoul is I thought it might be more international than what it really is. While I do enjoy Korean food, I prefer Japanese food. One of the major reasons why is because Korean cuisine mostly revolves around the red pepper, while the Japanese cuisine has a wider range of taste, in my opinion, and usually has a sweet/bitter taste that I find pleasant to the palate. Korea is a nation which has been strongly influenced by both Japan and China, and now that I've been to Japan, I have a better understanding on how the country has influenced Korea.
Three or four days is not enough to experience Japanese culture. So I hope that I'll be able to come back again some day. The cultural diversity here makes an American feel a little more comfortable and relaxed. Also, I just felt less 'foreign' here, which was also comforting. The fashion here is much more radical than in Korea, which was fun to see. And I have to say I'm a fan of Japanese Arcades, it was a great throw back to see so many awesome video game arcades.
Almost all of my friends and family assumed that I would be going to Tokyo, but I went to Osaka instead. I chose Osaka for a few important reasons. I felt that it would be a bit quieter and easier to get around in than Tokyo, but still have plenty to do and see. I think my assumptions were correct, because I really have enjoyed Osaka and my hotel was across the street from the testing center. Also there are many other small cities near by which are easy to get to by train and visit. I visited Kyoto, only 30 minutes away by train, which has many temples, shrines, and other classic examples of Japanese architecture through out the city. I would love to visit Tokyo someday, but for this trip Osaka just made more sense, Tokyo might have distracted me from my test.
The GRE went well. Although, it was a bit of a challenge to fly into a country that I had never been to before and take a test like that with in 24 hours after arriving.
I now am looking forward to completing and turning in my application for grad school; the program is for a Masters in Film/Video production. A chemistry professor who had a PhD once told me, the more your educated, the more you discover how little you know. And that's true with me; now that I've graduated college I want to go back to learn more, because I realized that an undergrad just scratches the surface.