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Photographed by: Mary Waters
HiroshimaI traveled to Hiroshima with Drew, a red headed crack up from the south, and Aaron, a comedian in his own right, which was much easier due to how small of a group we were. Once we got there, we headed to the Hiroshima Museum for Peace, along with the Peace Park, both of which are put in place in memory of the Nuclear bombing which took place at the end of WWII. It's amazing how strongly the city felt about nuclear peace. To see photos, wax figures, and video of the destruction and pain that was caused by a simple dropping of a bomb really makes one stop and wonder if it was every really needed. I'm glad their is such a strong movement against nuclear warfare in Japan, because it feels like its becoming more and more of a threat every day.
Blake Daniel Van Fleteren -- Phoenix, AZ
Arizona State University
Photographed by: Reta Enders
Location: Mt. Fuji visitor center
Peace Pole ProjectJudy Lunn discovered this Peace Pole at the Mt. Fuji visitor center with our guide -- Miyuki (which means "beautiful and happy"). She saw a similar pole last year on the isle of Korcula in Croatia. She did some research and discovered that they are part of The Peace Pole Project, which is put on by the World Peace and Prayer Society. Over 200,000 peace poles have been planted in over 180 countries by this organization. Each has the worlds "May Peace Prevail On Earth" in English and in the native language. We should also find one at the Pyramids of El Giza in Egypt. For more information, visit the following website -- www.worldpeace.org/peacepoles.html
Judy Lunn, IT Coordinator
TokyoTokyo is the largest city in the world and there are far more people in and on it's streets at any given time than in New York City; yet somehow, no matter the magnitude of the hustle-bustle of Tokyo by day, I always felt a feeling of quiet and calmness. Even when utterly lost in the complex and confusing metro system, where there is no sight of an English map or helpful subway employee, there was warmth that emanated a feeling of safety. And these feelings were even more obvious and prevalent at night, where in Asakusa (old Tokyo), the neon lights still shone over sparsely populated streets, and unlocked bikes are scattered in all the dark back alleys. Japan has a calming spirit that I personally felt from our arrival in rainy Yokohama through our sunny, hot, and humid departure form Kobe.
Jake Chudnow -- Elkins Park, PA
Photographed by: Mohamed Barakat
Japanese BaseballI went to a Japanese baseball game at night. The game was different, way different. The home team's fans all sit in one corner (1st base side) and the opposing team's fans all sit down the 3rd base line. So the fans all get to sit together, and they are loud. They use drums and brass instruments. They cheered the entire game, from before the first pitch till after the game was over. The away team's fans were sooooooo crazy. They reminded me of high school kids at their basketball and football games. The fans exchange cheers back and fourth and yet were very respectful of each other and of course...the home team won, which was really cool.
Tim Wiltjer -- Byron Center, MI
Davenport College of Business