Chuseok (Harvest Festival) in Tokyo

Guest post by Daniel Lee, a senior at Foster studying Finance and IS, who participated in an exchange with Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

One of the best parts of studying abroad at Yonsei during the fall is that Koreans celebrate Chuseok, which gives us students a week-long break to rest and recover. Trying to make the most of my time and location in South Korea, I decided to use my break to travel to Tokyo, Japan for five days. Those five days in Tokyo were packed with a ton of amazing food, incredible sights, and interesting people.

The thing that I found was most intriguing was the unique intensity of Japanese culture and society. As soon as you arrive in Japan, you are met with the meticulously constructed and complex subway system that can literally take you to any spot in and outside of Tokyo, as long as you know where you are going. Just in the way the subways are run and built, you get the sense that the Japanese hold the utmost dedication and pride to the things that they care about. As I explored deeper into the city I began to notice this more and more. With food, Michelin star chefs all the way to lowly cooks seem to harbor a deep passion and intensity for their craft, that is unlike anything I had ever witnessed. Even in places like arcades I witnessed this almost obsessive intensity, through high school students furiously tapping away at rhythm games with sweat literally soaked into their school uniforms. To an outsider, all this might seem obsessive and a bit intimidating, but in my short time there I began to catch a glimpse of the beauty found in Japanese culture. Japan is truly an amazing place with beautiful people and I am sure I will be back to see more of it in the future.