Food is an integral part of any culture and has a unique way of bringing people together. Through our blog, we plan to explore the ties between historical Japanese sites and the niche cuisine of the areas. The locations we have on our itinerary for this program are well-known if not famous, and many of the classic local dishes may not be considered by the average traveller. With this in mind, the aim of this blog will be to act as a kind of supplementary travel guide and information page in regard to these niche dishes. By associating specific dishes to specific landmarks, other travelers going to Japan will have the opportunity to plan for the must-eat meals and different niche dishes to try during their tour to get the most of their trip and fully immerse themselves in the culture.
When trying the more traditional dishes we hope to gain insight as to the social aspects and etiquette that are tied to the dishes. For example: the correct way to eat them, the proper utensils and condiments, and the way they are served by the host or chef; furthermore, as we focus on specific dishes to each famous historic location we visit, we will research the specific conditions and resources of the area that made these dishes to be a quintessential meal in the area. We will compare the local dishes that are traditional with what has emerged through modernity and subsequent access to different ingredients. We will try anything and as many dishes as possible in each area and provide a report which will break down the flavors, textures and whether we enjoyed the different local dishes.
Who We are
Edmund Ho (1st photo)
Hi my name is Edmund Ho, I’m coming to Japan this May and studying abroad for two weeks in Kanagawa and Tokyo. I’m optimistic and outgoing guy that loves food. I’m also a badminton player and have been playing the sport competitively for about 10 years now. This will be my second time coming to Japan, where I went last year for the first time for vacation on my own. I am fluent in English, Chinese, and Japanese and partially in Korean as well. I am coming to Japan, because I just love the country so much and have so many friends living here. My main reason for coming this time as a student, instead of vacation is because I really want to gain some international student experience. I am graduating soon and this will be my last chance to experience the feel of being an international student. I am looking forward to coming to the country again, playing badminton, eating lots, seeing my friends and in general just having lots of fun in Japan. It’s a country that I truly fell in love with and will make sure to take lots of photos, eat lots of food and enjoy this trip to the fullest. This trip I’ll try my best to immerse into the Japanese country and learn as much as I can while I’m an international student. I plan to travel another week after to Kyoto and Osaka as well. I’m really excited because this may be the last time I come to Japan for a while. But, I’m ready to have fun, Edmund is coming to JAPAN!!!
Emma Phillips (2nd photo)
Hi I’m Emma. I have just completed my third year of my English degree, I have geared my studies of English literature towards post colonial theory. Japan is fairly unique in its extreme rejection of colonial forces from Europe and I am looking forward to learning about the ways they defended their culture and stood up against Christianity. Next year I am participating in a semester abroad in Singapore, a country that was not as successful in defending itself against colonialism. By studying in each country I hope to compare and contrast the ways in which the cultures developed through either rejecting or accepting the ideals of colonial invaders.
Liam McConnell (3rd photo)
My name is Liam, I am currently in my 3rd year of communications and media studies at the university of Calgary, transferring from the new media production and design program at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology). My first interest in Japanese culture came from watching and reading a lot of Anime and Manga, including running a podcast show reviewing good and bad anime (weebs.podbean.com). All the anime I was watched lead me to be interested in other aspects of Japanese culture, specifically the camera industry; which is where I’m focusing with my individual research for the group study course. Another reason for my focus on the camera industry is my love for photography; I’m planning on taking around 3000 photos (conservative estimate) during this trip. I took an introductory Japanese language course this winter in preparation for this study trip, and had a lot of fun learning the basics, so hopefully I will be able to practice my new skills while I’m here. I look forward to posting more on this blog, talk to you then!
Aleksa Zeljic (4th photo)
Hey, my name is Aleksa Zeljic. I just finished my second year as an Urban Studies major at the University of Calgary, and plan to eventually go into architecture and design. This study abroad opportunity was introduced to me by my friend that is going on a different program, and I found a lot of interest in the Japan: Culture and Life program. From a young age, I used Japanese temples, clothing, and scenery as inspiration for my drawings. The unique style and culture of Japan really resonated with me throughout my life, and I knew that I needed to take this study abroad opportunity to better understand Japanese culture. This blog is dedicated to documenting our groups’ experiences in Tokyo and surrounding areas, and having fun on our travels!