Memorable Sakura trip

|     Jared Sekhon Singh     |

A TEAM of 10 students and two teachers were granted the opportunity in July 2018 to participate in the Sakura Science High School Programme held by Japan Organization of Science and Technology (JST), along with students from China and Singapore, assisted by Japanese students. The 12 participants boarded a Royal Brunei Airlines flight to Singapore according to plan and arrived safely at Changi Airport, in transit to Kansai International Airport in Osaka, via Singapore Airlines.

The programme lasted seven days, with the arrival on the first day late at night. We were greeted with amazing hospitality by the Japanese students and organisers; something they would come to enjoy over the whole trip.

During the trip, a multitude of activities and visits were carried out, including meeting Japan’s first astronaut; Dr Mamoru Mohri, an interview with Nobel laureate; Dr Toshihide Masakawa, visiting the Museum of Emerging Science and Technology; Miraikan and a visit to Ritsumeikan University. In addition to learning about science from renowned scientists, we were awed by our peers from Japan who carried out long experiments, such as nitrate dynamics in rivers, teaching us that discovery can come from a young age.

We also had the opportunity of tasting the authentic Japanese cuisine, an amazing experience, as well as learning a few Japanese words and characters. Throughout the whole trip, we were well taken care of, and the organisers never failed to offer their kind support and sincere help.

My personal highlight of the trip was being one of the two students graced with meeting and addressing the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Minister Hayashi who delivered a brief, yet inspiring few words, thanking us for our presence and wishing us well.

The Japanese students and all who were involved in the programme were welcoming and eager to share their culture with us. It is awe-inspiring how Japan, such an advanced nation, can also embrace, maintain and share their culture. This gave me a sense of pride for the Bruneian culture as well, when we shared folklore and traditions. This programme has given us an insight into the Japanese way of life and study habits, as well as granting us the rare opportunity to meet some of the most renowned scientists, highly talented students, and new friends.

It was a great experience, meeting students from all the different countries and exchanging scientific interests and we are all now more interested than ever in Science and Innovation.

Ritsumeikan University with International University students