I’d been to Japan with my family four years ago. I still remember the beautiful scenery and nice people there. Clean streets and polite waiters were my first impressions on Japan and Japanese. However, I didn’t know any Japanese at that moment. The only contacting way among us is smile and gesture. During this winter vacation, I went to Japan again. The first impression on my mind was the same, but the environment was changed. I went backpacking by myself in poor Japanese this time.

Kyoto is one of the historical cities in the world and had been to the capital of Japan for hundreds of years. Osaka is the second biggest city in Japan. Everyday more than ten millions people work or travel in this region. Kobe port is the first open harbor in Japan. You can find many exotic buildings there. The above cities are very close to each other and have different features. Therefore, they become my destined places to visit. 

         I arrived at Osaka JR station at 3pm on Feb. 3rd. Aya is the fist person I met during the Japan trip. I met her in APLDS (Asia-Pacific Leadership Development Seminar) in Taiwan at 2004. She was a Japanese delegate in the conference. Then, I met her again in Turkey half a year ago. She joined AIESEC short-term traineeship and so did I. We felt very intimate not only because we met in Taiwan before, but also there are less Asian people in Turkey. Suddenly, “the world is too small” comes to my mind.

 We met each other in the gate of JR station. She was still young and cute. I thought she became more mature than before, especially after experiencing such different exotic life. We talked about many things, such as school, AIESEC, Turkey, future and the like. It’s also a good opportunity to practice my poor Japanese and my “tutor” always gives me a small clue.

         The second person I met is Yutaka. He is one of my best friends in Japan. During this trip, I stayed three nights in his house. We had much time chatting with each other. His kindness and hospitality gave me many good memories. I still remember the night we went to a public bath together. He told me that after taking a bath, drinking milk is their traditional customs. I don’t know why they like to drink milk not juice until now, but it’s really relaxing. 

I’d traveled in Kyoto for three days with Yutaka’s bicycle. It’s a very convenient and common conveyance for Kyoto residents. As we know, Kyoto is a very traditional city. They conserve many historical building and culture there. I enjoyed the slow and relaxed atmosphere very much. To learn more Japanese culture, I always tell my friends that I’d like to visit traditional places. Thus, we visited many temples, castles and old streets and they made me understand more Japanese history.

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