Tokyo: LINC Edition

May 26, 2016
• by
Naomi Toux-Kidane
This summer I traveled to Tokyo, Japan for LINC (Learning about International Commerce). It was my first time traveling to Asia and I was very nervous about the 11.5-hour flight but it was definitely worth it. LINC was by far the best experience of my life.   IMG_6751 IMG_6755 This is Miko, our tour guide. She carried this little bow on a stick so that we wouldn’t lose her in the crowds. She taught us how to address people formally and the do’s and dont’s of conversation and mannerisms in Japan. We first met Miko on the bus from the airport to the hotel. Miko was the best tour guide ever and we even did the SoCal spell out for her the last day at dinner to show our appreciation. IMG_8153 The first day we went to the Meiji Shrine, one of the most famous shrines in Tokyo. Miko taught us how to pray at the shrine because it is a very specific process that people follow so as not to seem disrespectful. When we were walking up to the shrine we saw a group of schoolchildren who were more than excited to join in on our group picture. They even made the “fight on!” gesture with us! Throughout out trip we were shocked by how friendly and hospitable the Japanese people were.   IMG_6951 This was the incredible view from the 47th floor of our hotel (The Keio Plaza Hotel). This was the floor on which we sat for the Apple presentation and where we did our group presentations. The first few days it was cloudy, it rained one day but for the rest of the trip it was sunny and great weather.   IMG_6997 IMG_7013 This is Pasona, one of the companies we visited. Pasona is a staffing company but they have found a very interesting way to create a great work environment for their employees. Pasona engages in corporate farming through sustainability and they have plants growing throughout the entire office building! They even let us plant our own rice on the first floor. Luckily, no one fell in although we did have some close calls. IMG_7591IMG_7349 Later in the week we went to a temple in Asakura. We didn’t have time to change from the company visits so we went straight to the train station in our business formal attire so that we could see the temple before the sun set. Leading up to the temple there were a bunch of little shops that sold beautiful souvenirs and food!   In conclusion, this trip has inspired me to study abroad during my time at USC. Going to Tokyo helped me form tight bonds with my fellow classmates and allowed us to share unforgettable experiences together.