Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Youth Ambassador for Tohoku

In less than 12 hours, I'll be on a plane off to Tohoku. I went to Tokyo in end-May, and just came back from a beautifully scenic trip to Chubu/Hokuriku. However, this trip to Tohoku will be different from the rest.

Instead of leisurely sightseeing and going around at my own pace and own time, I will be going as a youth ambassador; to show support for the people of Tohoku through volunteer work and interaction with their local university students; in hopes to strengthen bonds between Japan and Singapore, and to show friends and family that Tohoku is "back to normal" and safe to visit.

Even for my Tokyo and Chubu/Hokuriku trips, friends and family advised me against going; stating radiation fears, contaminated food and water, vulnerability to natural disasters etc. But each time I've come back wonderfully, thoroughly enjoying myself and proving to them that their fears were baseless and unfounded. However, this time round, the task will be even more daunting, as Tohoku was the center of the March 2011 devastation.

On this trip, I'll be experiencing first-hand and seeing for myself how Tohoku has recovered and been rebuilding life. A lot of my family and friends still shun Tohoku and want to avoid the area at all costs; some do not even want to visit Japan, even now. I do hope to convince everyone (ya'll included!) that it's safe, a region perfectly fine to visit and with great places to discover; and to let them know of the strength and resilience of the residents.

I'll also be participating in and enjoying matsuri (festivals) over there, the Akita Kantou Matsuri and Sendai Tanabata Matsuri. Photos when I'm back~ I've yet to start unpacking from my previous trip, and needless to say I haven't even begun packing for this! *Off to packing!*

**For future posts regarding this program, you can come back and visit http://ciramisu.blogspot.com/search/label/yat.**

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