Day 1: Welcome to Kushiro!

After months of preparing, the day for the Hokkaido trip has finally arrived. We hastily finished packing, said goodbye to our friends in the dorm, and headed for the airport. A few hours later, we arrived in Kushiro Airport and almost immediately, a gust of cold air welcomed us as we exited the airport.

We then boarded the bus and headed for the Onnenai Visitor Center to have our first hands-on experience of wetlands.20160730_152926

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Hokkaido is very serene and filled with the wonders of nature as compared to the hustling and busy streets of Tokyo, so seeing so many trees and grass around is a nice change from buildings and automobiles.

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The visit to the Onnenai Visitor Center was very interesting and educational. I learned so many things today just by observing and walking along a path. The trees and the wetlands gave a sense of serenity towards the group.

We then headed for the inn, Minshuku Akkeshi, which amazed me as it was very welcoming, clean, and it embodies the Japanese culture well.

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After our dinner, we headed to the room for the lecture series – which was interesting as I learned a lot about not only the environment and history but about people and Kushiro as well. Overall, it was an educational and interesting day in which I know that what I learned today I won’t be able to learn and realize had it been written in a textbook.

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