It all started with the vision of Mr. Yoshio Iwaki, Dr. Toufiqul Islam and AIUB (American International University — Bangladesh)to facilitate a cultural exchange program which would enable Bangladeshi students to experience Japan and its rich tradition, culture and advance technologies.
After a month long prep for the visit to Japan, we kicked off from Dhaka on 4th of September, our destination — Tokyo.
Flying and traveling outside Bangladesh is an experience I am having for the first time. It was exciting and enjoyable journey starting from Dhaka to Tokyo via Singapore (Chengi international airport).
First touch at Tokyo: Haneda International Airport
Even before the plane landed, I was pumped up with energy to get the first sight of the land of the rising sun. Didn’t miss a few glimpses from the plane window. Finally we landed safely at Haneda airport and was warmly welcomed by Mr. Yoshio. It is worth mentioning that this generous man came all the way from Kustatsu, Shiga to greet us. We were honoured for his presence.
After finishing off the immigration paper works (a lot of them!), we headed for the station for catching the Nozomi train from Tokyo. We grabbed a few bites of Onigiri (our first taste of Japanese food). Learning how to open the packet without messing up the food inside will surely be a life saver in the rest of our trip.
Nozomi Express: experiencing Japanese train
Traveling on a Japanese train, be it Shinkansen or Nozomi is a worthwhile experience for anyone. As we rolled through Tokyo and I starred through the train window to catch the first few snapshots of Nihon (Japan). It was just the beginning of many more exciting train rides we would experience during our 2 weeks stay.
Kusatsu: Home for the upcoming days
As soon as we reached Shiga, Mr. Shigioki, Mr. Wakada and Mr. Fyjitsu welcomed us and picked was up from the station. We rolled for our home, Kusatsu, located in the Shiga prefecture which would be our home for the upcoming 2 weeks. Mr. Yoshio was kind enough to let us stay in his house, it is mentionable that the enjoyable experience that we had during our stay would’t be possible without him facilitating homestay for us. We reached the home around midnight in Japan. Nevertheless we were warmly welcomed by Kana and Shizonno (who happened to be previous challenge program members). After exchanging greetings we were given a tour around the house, in a few mins we learnt what to keep where and how to clean everything and oraganize. We freshened up and spent a good time chatting with Kana and Shizono about Japanese house norms and traditions. The friendliness and warm welcome of all these Japanese people made the very first day a memorable one.
P.S: We have more exciting stories of our short stay at Japan. Please drop a line in the comment to let me know if you are interested to know more. Will be happy to write a few more lines!