The Study Abroad Newsletter


Mika Odaira | Business Administration Major - Rikkyo University, Japan

In early April, the cold sting of winter remains in the air. Even so, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Everywhere I went, there were bright pink, soft pink, white, and even red trees adorned with sakura blossoms. Before the State of Emergency was declared in Japan, I got to do a bit of sightseeing in the countryside town of Hino where my mother’s friend lives. She took me on a bike ride along the riverside of a charming residential district and we stopped to see the sakura trees in many different spots. At noon, we rested on the river bank to eat seasonal sweets and just take in the view of spring in Japan.

Just before this, I also got to tour Kamakura and Enoshima, a popular day-trip spot just an hour by train from central Tokyo. Kamakura is known as a historical town and the home of the popular series Slam Dunk. It is a seaside town with a famous beach that’s bustling during summer months. The sea breeze and smell of salt water was a nice reminder of Hawaii for me. The neighboring island of Enoshima is connected by a long bridge that allows us to really enjoy the ocean view. I was actually there with Yurina, a Japanese student whom Amy met while she was studying in Sweden. We toured the town, went to the famous Kotokuin Temple, and ate at a locally renowned curry restaurant.

Kotokuin Temple featuring the Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏).

Mika and Friend in Kimono under arches