Hiroshima Flower Festival

On May 3, 2010 during the "Golden Week" holidays in Japan, I went to Hiroshima city to check out the Hiroshima Flower Festival.

I first learned about the festival from the teachers but I also heard that it is not very interesting so I decided to see for myself what the festival was about.

The first float I saw was this one. I have no idea what a wax "Barac Obama" and a Abraham Lincoln float have to do with the so-called "Flower Festival" but this is the float for the "Fukuyama Car and Clock Museum"...


Higashi-Hiroshima Walking Tour/Stamp Rally

On April 28, 2010 I participated in a walking tour of historical sites in Higashi-Hiroshima. That is the town where the university I am attending is located.

Since there is usually nothing to do on the weekends here except studying or biking to some strip mall, I decided to sign up for the tour. Because the sign up information was posted in the dormitory for international students, I thought it would just be a small group. Little did I know how organized the tour was.

The entire tour was organized by the Saijo Rotary club and it seemed like all their club members and their families participated.

All the international students were driven to the starting point in a park via a rented taxi van.

I made a Google map to determine the distance walked that day. It turns out we walked 6 miles or 9.6 kilometers that day

View Higashi-Hiroshima Walking Tour in a larger map

Hiroshima City Field Trip

On April 23, 2010, the all the students of in the Intensive Japanese Language program for Japanese Government Scholarship recipients went on a field trip to Hiroshima city.

Because Hiroshima University is located in Higashi-Hiroshima (literally East Hiroshima), we had to take a 40 minute train ride into the city.

We started by going to the Hiroshima Museum of Traditional Industries but because there wasn't anything interesting to take pictures of, combined with the fact that I was holding a bag containing my lunch, I didn't take any pictures of that museum.

After that we went to the grounds of Hiroshima Castle to have lunch. With my lunch disposed of, my hands were finally free to take some pictures.

Entering Hiroshima Castle, like everything else in the city, the original one was totally destroyed by the atomic bomb so this is a reconstruction. It only looks old from the outside, the inside is totally modern.


Hiroshima University and Surroundings

This April I started school again after almost 3 years in the workforce at Hiroshima University in Japan. The school isn't actually in Hiroshima city, but rather in a rural suburb of Hiroshima called Higashi-Hiroshima. It is 30-40 minutes away from Hiroshima city by train.

I received the Japanese Government Monbukagakusho Scholarship for graduate studies in Transport Planning and Engineering after an application process that lasted for one year. All scholarship recipients spend the first 6 months in Japan on Japanese language training. After that we will enter our respective graduate schools. I will be entering the Transportation Planning Lab in the Graduate School of International Development and Cooperation at Hiroshima University because the faculty operates completely in English.

All international students who first come to Hiroshima University stay at the International House, a dormitory for international students. According to the guidelines, international students are only allowed to stay there for a maximum period of 6 months after which time they are required to find another dormitory or private housing. I will probably move to another dormitory as there are 3 other dormitories in the Hiroshima area.

The view from my room. All rooms are one person private rooms. The other building is designated for families of visiting researchers or professors.