From March 12th to March 16th, some 50 students or so and I went hiking along the Nakasendo trail. The Nakasendo trail starts in Kyoto and ends in Tokyo, and has 69 post towns in between. Of course, we did not do the entire trail, that would be absurd for some 16/17-year-olds. The trail was first used in the Edo period when it was used for messengers. Our hiking group only stayed in the Nagano Prefecture. Over the week there were lots of new experiences. Firstly, learning how to pack is essential! I overpacked my bag so my back hurt for the first day– but then my back got used to it. To be fair, they told us it was going to be super cold– so I packed layers of course, but it turned out contrary, it was really warm. Secondly, I made many new friends and became closer to the friends I already had. It was so much fun to hike with friends because then you get to suffer together! Just kidding, I loved the hiking trail even though some parts were extremely difficult. Lastly, I had my first experience in the traditional Japanese Onsen. When I first came to Japan there were so many things people talked about of the traditions in Japan, and half the words I could not understand. One of these words were onsen. People told me many different things, but now, I experienced it myself and know what it is. At first, I was a bit uncomfortable bathing naked in front of other people because we do not do it in my culture and being one of the only Caucasian there. However, I have to welcome the culture of the country I am living in, so I decided to go for it. To be honest, I am glad I decided to go because it was such a nice experience.
In the end, the Nakasendo trip was so amazing– even though I had my doubts. Definitely would recommend the next 11th Graders to chose this trip.