As jet lag had set in with great intensity, I did not sleep much of my 1st evening in Tokyo, forcing myself to stay in bed waiting to fall asleep again I eventually caved and went out for a walk. My walk took me around the corner to the 711 where I was greeted with some veryyyyyyy interesting foods…… spaghetti in a bun, pre-made hot dogs, corn buns, hot coffee in a can and more…… Of course after that breakfast in the hotel had soup, rice, fish and other fun things!
After finishing my can of coffee (lol) We headed to the ministry of Foreign Affaires (our 1st stop on the trip) and listened to intriguing presentations about Japan, their economy, their struggles, their stance on weapons and their history with the United States. Surprising to me, a lot of the Japanese constitution rides on America and what they want out of Japan…. And since Japan is a country with very little natural resources, they really need these ties with other countries to import goods!
We then had a presentation about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We talked about how they will make the games safe, how they will make transportation smooth for athletes and spectators alike, how to combat their summer heat as the Games are during the hottest weeks of the summer, the “beyond2020” program, their food, and the “Host Town” initiative. It is are sure to be a great Olympic Games!
Next we went to the Imperial Palace where we learnt that they still, in fact, have an Emperor and Empress that live in the palace. It only opens to the public on two days of the year which is when people can finally see the grounds. It is a beautiful, big, place surrounded by a mot and what looks like grown up bonzai trees! hahaha
We then went to check out a gym where we would be able to train. As fate would have it, Tessa and Scott were in the process of doing their performance! A record breaking one at that! We stopped everything (as we will continue to do the rest of the trip) to watch the TV and Peyongchang as CANADA always shares the love, from any country we are in!
Next we took on JICE, which is the organization who made it possible for my group to be on this amazing trip! They organize all of the exchange programs and interestingly enough, we are the first Canadian athletes to be part of this project!
The Kakehashi project has these objectives:
- To promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and Canada to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation.
- To promote a global understanding of Japan’s economy, society, history, diverse culture, politics and foreign policy.
- To convey information on Japanese characteristics through communication devices including social media.
We visited their open concept offices, met employees and their president.
After a LONG day of meetings and exploring, we finally sat down for dinner. Tempura and Sashimi!
As of Day 1, we know that Japan is all about cleanliness (not a single garbage can and no litter), has incredible programs in place for 2020, and has very high tech toilets lol
Until next time!