I was pleased to join the Japan Study Trip with wonderful students from LKY and University of Tokyo. Even as a Japanese, it was a great opportunity to explore Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kamakura, where I have not visited before.
My experiences in this trip are three-fold. First, joining a workshop and tour in Kyoto, I found that interaction with local people made tourists more satisfied with their trips. In Kyoto, I joined two workshops of green tea in a well-known matcha company and enjoyed different kinds of green tea. Then, I visited to a Japanese sake museum managed by famous Japanese sake company. These visits became special for me, thanks to wonderful tour guides and their lectures. In contrast, in Miyajima, Hiroshima prefecture, I explored the island by myself. Of course, I enjoyed the beautiful landscape and its food, but it was difficult for me to deepen my understanding of its history and its special culture without any tour guides and their explanations. This experience made me think that experience through tours and workshops would have a key role to raise satisfaction of tourism in Japan.
Second, I was impressed by continuous dialogue with LKY students. While heading to meetings, I had some chances to talk with LKY students who have various backgrounds. I was usually surrounded by graduate students who do not have working experiences at the University of Tokyo, so it was great to discuss current policies and their home countries with students who had worked for the governments before. I was glad to have such friendly participants from LKY.
Third, I would like to address one potential improvement for the next trip: I wish I could talk with local people about public policies for tourism. Although I had wonderful opportunities to talk with public officials from local governments during this trip, I could not have any chances to hear how actually local people have responded to the policies. Since local people are main actors to improve tourism or promote any economic activities, it would have been better to have key persons from the private sector, when we had a discussion about tourism or economy.
Although it was just a eight-day trip, it was meaningful and memorable for me. Thank you so much for organizing this trip, and I hope I can see wonderful participants soon again.