The Study Abroad Newsletter

こんにちは from Tokyo, Japan

Jenna Pontes-Borjev
Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan

Over the course of the year in Japan, I have had many memorable moments. It is rather difcult to choose because each moment was special for me. Japan is a beautiful country with an amazing culture. It was beautiful to see the cherry blossoms bloom in the spring and the snow falling from the sky in winter. I’ve narrowed down two of my favorite moments while spending my time in Japan.

Jenna Pontes-Borjev stands with two friends in front of a stone gate in Japan

For me, one of my most memorable moments in Japan was going to Osaka with two of my closest and newest friends I made over the year. We traveled all the way from Tokyo to Osaka so that we could go to Universal Studios Japan! Our biggest goal: Harry Potter Land. We had so much fun talking, enjoying our time, winning games, going on rides and geeking out in Harry Potter Land. We bought our wands, our scarves for our Hogwarts’ house and experience the ‘magic’ with our wands. We could go up to a specific attraction with our wand, cast a spell and watch either the chimney spit out fre or the music box stopping immediately. We were like children in a candy store.

closeup of cherry blossoms

Another one of my most memorable moments was enjoying the cherry blossoms blooming in the spring. The cherry blossoms are beautiful and being able to enjoy them as I walk to school is like being in a Japanese movie or anime. My friends and I joked about being in an anime when the blossoms started to bloom. We could go to the hanami or Japanese fower viewing with my friends. For hanami, we went to Koganei Park where the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and we set up a picnic under the trees. It was fun talking and spending time with them while enjoying the cherry blossoms. We were also able to talk too few of the locals in Japan. They were happy to see that international students were in love with the cherry blossoms.

Spending a year in Japan was one of the best choices and best experience for me. I’ve made a lot of friends from Germany, Sweden, France, China, Taiwan and Mexico. I could go to a few schools and talk about Hawaiʻi and experience the culture that I always wanted to be in. Studying in Japan is fun and despite having to leave soon, I do know that I want to come back to Japan.