Sakura Mentor

Life in Japan as an International Student
Pousali Mukherjee Updated in November 2020

Hello everyone! I thank Sakura Science Club for asking me to write about my daily life in Japan.

I am Pousali Mukherjee from India. My first visit to Japan was during 2017 at Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo for ~1 month during Sakura Science Program. At that time, I was doing Integrated Masters Program with major in Earth Sciences at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata. I was motivated to do research. I decided to persue my doctoral research and again came to Japan on end of September, 2019.

I am doing my doctoral research at Kyoto University, Japan. It is almost like I am living in a dream! I am staying near to Kyoto. It is a wonderful place to live. From sunrise to sunset, Nature looks amazing! The sky displays shades of different colour each day, especially during sunsets and beautiful scenery around. There is also less crowd, with a peaceful environment. I must say it is a very good environment, especially for students because there is a calm and peaceful environment and it helps me in concentration. I have been given accommodation at Kyoto University International student house initially for one year. Now my term of stay in this house has been extended for one more year because of coronavirus. We also have good interaction with other members in the house from different countries and some have become really good friends. Sometimes we share our meal, discuss about different topics and also visit some place. Everyone is helpful and kind. My house is very near to my research lab, which is very convenient for me.

My research lab is in Uji campus of Kyoto University. It takes about 15 minutes by walking. The campus is very beautiful, and it looks exceptionally beautiful during autumn and spring seasons. During autumn, read and maroon leaves decorate the campus and during spring, pink and white cherry blossoms are everywhere! The research infrastructure is also exceptionally well. I go to the lab in the morning for doing research work. Everyone in the department has been very kind and helpful to me. My supervisor is very good, and every discussion I have with him sparks more and more curiosity in my mind. Sometimes, for some official work Japanese may be needed, and the students and Professors have been kind to help me with that. There is also a language training program in the institute, and it has been very helpful to start learning Japanese. I also find some time for my hobbies like reading, photography, singing, dancing - depending on my mood. Sometimes I also go for hiking.

The smooth and active environment in Japan has been very convenient for me. The environment is also very clean with fresh air everytime. Even though Indian and Japanese cuisine is very different, I like both. In the afternoon, I usually eat in the institute, and dinner in my house. The convenience stores which are open 24 hours are also very helpful for food options. Overall, I feel very happy to come back to Japan as I wished for and I hope that I can learn a lot and do good research.

Observing the beautiful sunset!
Me (left) with two other students taking photo with Sakura in Kyoto University