The first day, I walked around a lot of cool places in Kobe, and we went to the top of the mountain.  It was a lot easier than I had anticipated getting around the city, and the language barrier isn’t that bad.  Almost every street sign and building has the english translation on it, and most people can speak some English.  We went to Chinatown for a little while, and saw some of the new year festivities and celebration.  There, we sat down and had one of the best meals I have ever had, I tried all of the traditional Japanese dishes.  Everything was so good, and most of the things I ate, I had no clue what it was.  Afterwards, I caught up with a couple of friends at a different restaurant and had sushi with them.  More good food.  Then we went out to different bars and met some more semester at sea people.  We went to one international bar where a lot of the Japanese people could speak english.  I had a number of conversations with them, involving topics on Derek Jeter, Star Wars, and how much I look like Shawn Mendes.  They all wanted to take pictures and dance with me.  It was really awesome, I had a great first night, and I’m looking forward to the next four.

The second day I took a bus to one of the smaller towns and we went to one of the hot springs.  The water there was 44 degrees celsius, and it was filled with brown minerals, but I enjoyed relaxing for a bit.  Then we had Kobe beef burgers, and they lived up to the name.  Probably the best burger I have ever had. I walked around the town for a little while afterwards and went into a lot of the shops.  I love trying all of the drinks at the vending machine, because I pick one and I never really know what it is, but they are all really good.  Another thing about Japan is everyone dresses really well, and the streets are always clean.  Children also walk home from school, even in the city, alone, which is definitely different than America.  Another interesting thing about the city is nobody ever honks their cars, and most people talk softly.  Kobe and Osaka are huge cities, but everything is very quite, which is very strange and unlike New York.

Today, we just took off from the port of Kobe, and are heading down to Vietnam.  I had a wonderful time and I wish I could spend some more time wondering around.  The previous two nights I’ve gone out and went to different markets and temples.  I bought a new hat, which I am very proud of it.  Today I went to Kyoto, which is one of the three biggest cities in Japan.  It is filled with ancient temples and buildings, and because of the fact that it was not fire bombed during the second world war, a lot of old structures remain.  We went to the golden pavilion which is a beautiful temple that a lot of people visit.  We also went to the oldest market in the city, and I tried all the best food on the street.  I loved everything about Japan, and I would gladly go again.  The food and the culture here are amazing, and far different than anything I could have expected.

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