Sakura Mentor

What Surprised Me When I Came to Japan and Advice Based on My Experience
Pousali Mukherjee Updated in December 2020

Hello everyone! This is my second report as Indian mentor for Sakura Science Club…

The beautiful country of Japan never fail to surprise me! The timely work and the dedication of the whole system in Japan is one of the things that has impressed me a lot. Leaving my motherland country, India where I had stayed for 23 years with my family and moving to a foreign country was not so easy for me. I had mixed feelings (happy because I am going to Japan for my research and sad to leave my family, my country) in the first connecting flight from Kolkata Airport to Bangkok airport. But when I arrived here last year after the initial Sakura Program in 2017, I was excited and I got flashbacks of my initial visit two years before. Things were very smooth and timely and I sincerely thank Japan government for it. Especially all the official procedures that a foreigner has to do after coming to Japan is very smooth and did not seem difficult. Other than that, trains in Japan surprise me all the time. I still remember the first train I took after landing in Japan, the colourful cute train “Haruka express” with Hello Kitty symbols everywhere and even inside. I am also mesmerized by the fall and spring season in Japan. In Kyoto, beautiful Sakura flowers bloom during late March to early April, and it looks very pretty. Autumn looks beautiful with red leaves. In general, nature is very beautiful here. If I go to a place for sightseeing, I am amazed by the construction, design, and architecture of very minute details. Also, I am thankful to a lot of people here (Japanese and also from other countries) who is just a message or call away from me. We support and help each other a lot. All foreign students in Japan in my University usually are advised to stay initially at an international house, and it helps to make great friends. Also, people are very helpful at all times. Moreover, now during covid times, 99.9 % of the people are wearing masks and I sincerely thank the government and the people for their efforts in limiting the spread of the disease. I hope situation will get better soon. I also thank the members of my University who support me.

I would recommend the students who want to come to Japan for higher studies to have a very good grip over the language. At first, it looks a bit complicated in the beginning. But as you keep learning, trust me…you are going to enjoy it! I am learning the language very slowly I think, but I am enjoying it! Knowing the language helps a lot, especially in communication and understanding what others want to say. That is my motivation in learning the language, and I recommend you to learn it if you are considering to come here. Also, I would advise to feel free and ask for help anytime you think you need. And other thing I also learnt from my experience is to differentiate and ask your mind between what is actually needed and what you think you want. When you live all by yourself, you have to take all decisions by your own. So it is important to listen to your intuition. We get many answers of complicated situations by thinking a bit.