We once again went to Iizaka Onsen town, but this time not for the onsen, because of the summer heat. We had a lecture about the Onsen Musume Project and just walked around. At the end of the day, we tried the allegedly best gyoza in Fukushima, which lived up to the expectations.
This was a program I never knew I would do in Japan. But thanks to the university, we could try rice planting at the university grounds, which was a pretty fun and tiring experience, and being so hot outside did not help at all. But I enjoyed it and thanks to this, I could experience another vital part of the Japanese culture.
Climbing Mt. Shinobu & Barbeque
This was an eventful day for sure. In the morning, we went to clim Mount Shinobu, which is not so far from the dorm and thankfully, it was not that hot that day, climbing was still tiring. But it was totally worth it, the scenery is beautiful, and there was a shrine up on the mountain as well with the huge waraji sandal.
As soon as we arrived back to the dorm we started preparing and cooking the meat, got some drinks as well, so we had a proper and really fun barbeque in the back of the dorm to celebrate, that COVID-19 is „over" and we can hold events like this again.
Fukushima Ambassadors Program
Students from Colorado and Scottland came to visit and learn about Fukushima and it's history for almost two weeks and we had the chance to accompany them. We had fun ice breaking group activities and went to interesting places like the coastal area, museums and Aizu as well. I learnt a lot during this program.
Aizu trip #2
This was a one day trip, but maybe the most fun I had. We started our trip at the Nakano Fudouson temple, which was really beautiful with lots of greenery and even a waterfall. Then we went peach picking and I swear I had the best peaches of my life. But the top for me was when we went to swim in Lake Inawashiro, I had a lot of fun with everyone, I wish we could have done that more times. Afterwards, we finished our trip at Goshiki-numa, walked around the lakes, embraced the beautiful scenery and simply having fun.
Soma Nomaoi Festival
As the last trip of ours, we went to see the Soma Nomaoi Festival in Soma city. It was amazing, so many people dressed up in samurai armors and they were riding horses, it was so fascinating to see that a more than 1000 years old tradition is still remaining. But we all were a bit worried, because it was awfully hot that day, almost 40 degrees, and of course noone wanted to get sunburnt or have a heatstroke. They allegedly going to hold this event in May from now on, so it should be better for everyone.
Fun Activities in Fukushima City
When we did not travel we hung out a lot in Fukushima together, because this city can also provide some fun activities. Sometimes we went bowling and to the arcade in Round1, having karaoke nights in Manekineko, eating the best shaved ice in Kooriya Pumps, petting cats in a cat cafe etc. We also experienced a firework show at the end of July and the Waraji Festival in August, which was really spectacular, as a lot of groups danced on the streets of Fukushima city wearing yukatas.
I feel sad that my time here is coming to an end, but I made great memories for a lifetime and will never forget it. I think applying to this program was the best decision of my life. I met so many great people, made a lot of friends, went to many places, grew a lot... I will definitely miss my time here in Fukushima.