If there’s one thing I love more than eating, it’s travelling! 🛫 It’s so exciting getting to experience another culture and seeing how different or similar things are to your own home city.

Japan has always been my top destination to visit and early last year I was finally given the opportunity to travel there through the JENESYS 2015 exchange program. And it was an all expenses paid for trip! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start off my first trip to Japan 😍✨

The Program

JENESYS 2015 was the Japanese Government’s flagship youth exchange program which offered a study tour to Japan from 26 January to 3 February 2016 for 75 Australian university students. The theme for my program was “Japanese Culture and Japanese Language”.

The objectives of this program was to:

  • promote mutual trust and understanding among the peoples of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation.
  • And to promote a global understanding of Japan’s society, history, diverse culture, politics, and diplomatic relations.

I’m not too sure if it runs every year but it was on again last year and applications were open around Oct 2016. Check the website of the Japanese Consulate (or Embassy if you’re in Canberra) of your capital city regularly for more details! That’s where the program details and application form will be posted. I think it’s also a good idea to join University Japanese cultural societies on Facebook- that’s how I heard about this program.

Experiencing Japan

During the trip we were divided into 3 groups, sorted by the prefecture we would go to. I was in the Yamaguchi group and the other groups went to Hiroshima or Nagasaki. We spent 4.5 days in Tokyo and 3.5 days in Yamaguchi – we went from Tokyo to Yamaguchi and then back to Tokyo. We did so many things I’m just going to focus on what stood out for me!