Exciting Japan

Evgeny Kravchenko

After a long flight I stepped to the ground and got to another planet. A planet of very hospitable people, green cities and beautiful traditions. During stay in Japan I deeply felt mode of life of local people and really enjoyed being a part of it. I’m very thankful to all my host families, who took care of me and showed their beautiful country. We visited magnificent places – mount Fuji, Ise Shrine, Meiji village and many others, so I had an amazing opportunity to explore Japanese wonderful nature and great architecture of ancient buildings.


This month was filled with plenty of exciting events and activities. One of the most bright – sumo tournament attendance. It was incredible to see by my own eyes solemn rituals and fulminant duels between extremely strong mens, which weight twice as much as my. Four hours flew like one minute and left an amazing memory.


It was extremely interesting to discover Japanese culture, learn traditions and read about history of the Land of the Rising Sun. And, of course, it was wonderful to get acquainted with traditional cuisine.

Japanese food has an amazing palette of tastes and I really enjoyed exploring the new ones: sushi, tempura, tororo, shabu-shabu, manju, ramen … this list goes on.


Japanese industrial companies and products are known all over the world and I had an amazing time exploring diversity and advancement of their technologies. With my host families we visited toyota factory, industrial museum, canned food factory, railway museum and others. For me, as a physics student, was a great pleasure to observe, how developed mechanisms automatically assembling car’s frame and sending it further along the conveyor line.


During the camp I met many interesting people from all over the world. We had a wonderful time together : roller coaster tracks, exiting excursions, games and museums brought a lot of fun, and long bus trips between them – discussions with interesting interlocutors. There was many activities, fond memories of which will remain in my heart but also one outstanding moment, that deserves a special mention – meditation in Buddhist temple in Kyoto. A beautiful view, silence and traditional interior created unbelievable peaceful and calm atmosphere that helped to move away from all doings and stay alone with internal world. And a walk through traditional Japanese garden around the temple helped to rethink many important questions and set long-term life goals.


I love playing chess, and now I discovered for myself another beautiful game – shogi, Japanese chess. In the beginning it was very hard to rebuild the strategy and way of thinking I used to. But then I adapted to the new rules and had a lot of fun, playing with my host families. Shogi is an amazing game, that changed a lot my view of board games.


I’m very grateful to my host families and YCE organizers for this amazing experience and great time. I really hope, that one day I will return to Japan and see one more time wonderful people I met during this month. Thank you!