Now that I have been living in Japan for an entire month, I feel that I have had the proper amount of time to adjust to everyday life and take in everything. I still have about two weeks of my program left which makes me sad because I feel like it has gone by way too quickly. After being in Kyoto for a month I have been able to explore the surrounding areas and cities. My favorite experience in Kyoto so far was seeing the Kinkakuji Temple. It is known as the “golden” temple here because it is made from a bright shimmering gold/yellow material. It is such a beautiful sight that it is hard to believe it is real. I have also visited the cities of Uji, Nara, and Osaka which has been so much fun. The Osaka aquarium was a super neat experience and the deer and temples at Nara were also amazing. In Uji, I was able to participate in a matcha tea ceremony where we learned how to grind matcha and prepare the tea properly. I still can’t get over how polite everyone in this country is and I enjoy meeting the locals. The most significant event that has taken place in Kyoto recently was the Gion Matsuri festival. It is one of the largest and oldest festivals in Japan and it was a wonderful experience to see. Other than all the magnificent temples, cities, and events I have experienced here, I have also had fun eating delicious food. My friends and I traveled about an hour to Kobe to eat at an all-you-can-eat hot pot restaurant. The Kobe and Wagyu beef was amazing, and the experience was worth the price. I still have a few weeks left in Japan and I am excited to keep traveling and trying new things. I remember that before I left for my study abroad experience, I was warned a lot that there is a “honeymoon” phase and that after a couple weeks, I might get irritated with the foreign country I am living in. However, I guess I am very lucky because I feel quite at home here and have not felt irritated, angry, or out of place in this country. If anything, I will be way more upset to go back home to America.  

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