Experiencing Japanese Culture in Odaiba!
5/28 – Everyone woke up in high spirits today despite the pouring rain outside. Some of the guys went running in the rain while others did exercises indoors. We gathered in the morning to read some words from the autobiography of CARP’s Founder and our True Father. One of the passages that stood out was,
“Today I tell young people to experience everything they can in the world. They need to directly or indirectly experience everything in the world, as if they were devouring an encyclopedia.”
For many of the CARP students from America, this is their first time visiting Japan and for some it is even their first time travelling out of the United States! One of the main motivations for organizing this trip was to have young students experience CARP in Japan, in a culture that is different from America’s, and to connect with people who have different customs and speak a different language.
Today we were supposed to go to Waseda University where True Father went to school as a young student, but due to a change in schedule, we ended up spending the whole day exploring Odaiba in our groups. Imagine 35 students getting on-and-off trains during Tokyo’s bustling rush hour. It was very hectic, but we all arrived safely to Odaiba.
From there we moved around freely in groups. Odaiba is a really big shopping area, so we had different options to explore: aquariums, trick art museums, science museums, and a wide range of restaurants.
I asked several people about their experiences, and they shared their favorite part of hanging out in Odaiba:
“I liked the ‘One Piece’ restaurant. I am a big fan of the manga, ‘One Piece’. We cannot have that kind of experience anywhere else so it was very precious.” – Atsuki
“My favorite part of the day was seeing a different world than the one we live in, being somewhere we’ve never been before.” – Stephanie
“I loved eating the real authentic ramen. It tasted a bit different from the one in America.” – Gilbert
After a full day of fun, eating delicious Japanese food and getting to know our group members better, we headed home.
In the evening, we had a guest speaker, Mrs. Uchida, who came to speak about her personal experiences with True Father. She spoke about a dreams she had where, “True Father listened to our stories for hours and hours. He gave us love and responsibility.” She also conveyed to us the importance of the Divine Principle. “I recopied everything in the Divine Principle to help me study. I deeply felt how great the Divine Principle is. I was a student at the time, but after I heard the Divine Principle, I left school and devoted everything to the movement. I felt that the Divine Principle is very necessary.”
“It was amazing to see how many experiences she had with True Father,” said Yasutaka Ozawa. “I was moved by her dedication to her life of faith. She read the Divine Principle 210 times front to back. She tried reading the Bible in all three languages because she knew that True Father did that too. Also, when asked, ‘How can we connect to True Father?’ she replied that it is through reading his words and watching videos of True Father. It made me happy and gave me hope that there is someone who has gone through so much to build her own faith and still believes that we can build a relationship with True Father simply through reading his words and watching videos. That’s the foundation that we stand on.”
It was a long but exciting day. We got to experience so many different things and get to know each other better.