Fukuoka and Hiroshhima, The planet of Japan from an Egyptian’s Perspective
To me travelling is one of the most amazing experiences. Getting to visit new places, be introduced to new cultures and meeting new people is something you really need to do every now and then. And so is listening to someone’s story about it, so let’s get into it!
How I had the opportunity to travel with the Scouts?
My name is Mohamed Hussein. I’m from Alexandria, Egypt. My city is a perfect destination for travelers. Travel to Alexandria once and you will fall in love with it. Being from Alexandria and coming from a simple family, it is really not easy to pay for an overseas trip. My first trip was to Zambia in 2011. My family and I were invited by my aunt’s home to spend two weeks there.
The adventure that I am going to write about is a Scouts event in Japan. I joined the Scouts when I was just 11 years old and I feel like I fit in right away. Over time, we traveled to many interesting places in Egypt.
In 2015, our National Scout Association announced interviews for an opportunity to attend an international Scout event. For those who don’t know, we have an international gathering every four years called The World Scout Jamboree. It’s like the World Cup in football except that it’s a year after and most importantly, all countries get to attend!
I was lucky enough to get selected, and I was not planning on passing on such an opportunity as the expenses were fully covered. I couldn’t miss the chance! I went with my friends and unfortunately they only chose 5 from all over the country. 5 out of so many, “What are the odds??”, Mom said. Amazingly I was selected and my dream to travel with the Scouts had finally come true!
I was visiting the far east of the planet where people eat sushi and noodles and bow to everyone else out of respect. Yes, it’s the planet of Japan.
Kicking off an Unforgettable Japanese Journey
Our journey started shortly after I was selected to attend. I was so excited! As you know, I only had the chance to visit Zambia before that. Getting on the plane, as cool as it is, led us to Frankfurt, Germany. It was on a German airline obviously. From Frankfurt we flew to Tokyo and finally to Fukuoka where we were hosted in the Hakata Miyako Hotel.
Exploring the streets of Fukuoka for the first time was really cool and something I will never forget. All of the streets had a special area to walk for the blind and a special part of the street reserved for bicycles. We made our first mistake by trying to cross the street with a yellow signal. Well, it’s ok in my country but it turned out to be a crime there. Everyone seemed to follow all of the traffic rules here…. No wonder why they have such few traffic accidents.
The next day we had time to wander before heading to the campsite. We went to a restaurant with an amazing open buffet. It was special due to the abundance of unique types of seafood I was not accustomed to back home. We had the opportunity to visit the Nissan factory. I was so impressed with the huge number of cars they produce each day and they were happy to show us every detail of the manufacturing process. We ending the day by reaching the campsite in Kiraraham, Yamaguchi which is a huge natural park. We spent the night in our preferred room, AKA “the tent”. This was the start to another 10 days of fun, visits and cultural experiences.
The Greatest Scouting Adventure
On day one, we got to see a traditional Japanese ceremony which was very colourful. A small Japanese rock and roll band which included a solo guitar player, a traditional Japanese dance show and an awesome female singer with a lovely voice. The atmosphere was very cool and spiritual.
On day two, we had an amazing outdoor experience within a Japanese community. We got the chance to visit a Japanese school where we met young men and women. I was surprised at how respectful and modest the Japanese people were. They are taught to bow out of respect to everyone. They love their school so much that it would be a punishment denying them from a single school day. They also spend most of their time doing activities that help them express themselves such as sporting, art and dancing. I really wished I had a school like that back home.