Japan: Pearls of The Heisei Period

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In the past few years, I have traveled to Japan multiple times, and every time was a wonderful experience. The country, which neighbors China, has a culture that is so similar to mine, yet so different sometimes. Even though we share the same cultural roots, the extremely friendly Japanese people, clean and tidy cities, and well-preserved religious temples are the best new experiences of my trips.


I took this photo in one of the busiest business streets in the Dotonbori district of Osaka. People from all over the world come here to experience Japanese modernity. Hanging high in the air, colorful store brands mix with exaggerated Japanese characters. The delicious food and snacks that were served along the streets introduced Japanese culture to me in a very striking way.  


We are now in Kyoto, one of the oldest cities in Japan. Lots of traditional religious temples are well-preserved and welcome countless travelers everyday. The famous Fushimi Inari Taisha (depicted in the photo) leads people to the worshiping grounds for god Inari with the classic decoration of red wood torii paths. Rows of red wood torii built among deep forests have the power to make worshippers calm and devout.


The train in Mountain Arashi near Kyoto is known for its extremely slow pace and natural environment. It provides the passengers with the experience to fully appreciate the scenery surrounding the train. I have seen lots of delicately old trains in Japan, many of which run slowly across the beautiful landscape — a good balance for overwhelming city life.


Renowned for its diverse breeds of deer, Nara is a place full of lively scenery. In the Nara Park, I was surprised to see lots of deer calmly walking among people, occasionally asking for food by gently poking people with their antlers. They have become a part of the religious temples around them, and thus they can be offered full freedom and equality in that environment.


My trip to Japan will always stay with me. The beautiful onsen, delicious sashimi, people wearing kimonos, and natural landscape are one of my greatest traveling memories. I look forward to visit more parts of the country in the future, deeply exploring the familiar and charming culture.

Carrie Jiang

Carrie Jiang '21 is a film studies major and possibly Asian studies minor. She loves films, photography, and food.

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