Molly Graepel rss Nagoya, Spring 2009

Molly is a junior at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. She is an East Asian Studies Major and an Economics Minor and is participating in the IES Nagoya program. She cannot wait to experience the unique culture of Japan, explore the captivating cities, and eat a lot of sushi.

Molly's Posts

  • Last Post

    I had a wonderful host family, I met so many kind and interesting people, and I traveled and saw things I’ve never dreamed of – every day was truly a new and amazing experience leaving me with countless unforgettable memories.


  • 88 Temple Pilgrimage

    For my last trip in Japan I went to the island of Shikoku with my three friends. It wasn’t your usual site seeing trip; we went to Shikoku to become henro (pilgrims) and complete part of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage.

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  • The No Theme Post

    [gallery link="file"] Self-explanatory.

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  • Temples in Japan!

    [gallery=270] There are a lot of temples in Japan. I’m pretty sure there is one temple for every ten Japanese people. And the more you know about the history of Japan, the more interesting the temples will be. If you don’t like temples, don’t come to Japan.

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  • 宮島

    [gallery=264] We took a ferry to the small island of Miyajima, less than an hour outside the city of Hiroshima. Miyajima is designated as one of Japan’s three most scenic places and out of those three, most people consider it the best. The picturesque island is most famous for its giant torii gate, which at [...]

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  • The once small fishing village called Edo…

    [gallery=262] Tokyo, it’s a helluva town.

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  • Meijo Park

    [gallery=245] I went to Meijo Park in search of some good spots for cherry blossom photos, which I found plenty of. But what I also saw, starkly juxtaposed with the cherry blossoms, were the residents of Meijo Park. ¬ In a country that considers itself a nation of middle-class people, there still exist the unfortunate [...]

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  • Sakura

    [gallery=240] The world-renowned sakura, or cherry blossoms, mark the coming of spring in Japan. As the temperature becomes warmer and the days become longer, parks, streets, temples, castles, and shrines erupt in colors of pink and white. Japan becomes one of the most beautiful places in the world, but this only lasts for less than [...]

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  • Hanami in Nagoya

    [gallery=241] When the sakura finally blossom, the Japanese make their way to the parks and spend the day and night drinking, eating, and enjoying the spectacular cherry blossoms. This is known as Hanami, which literally translates to flower viewing. Unfortunately, because park space is seriously limited in Japan, getting a prime spot under the cherry [...]

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  • The City of Peace

    [gallery=202] The first atomic bomb “Little Boy” exploded on August 6, 1945 in Hiroshima. “A sudden flash, an enormous blast— silence— hell on Earth.” The heat rays and blast destroyed 90% of the buildings and homes in the city. Over 140,000 died as a result of the bomb and many who escaped death initially are [...]

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  • To Osaka

    [gallery=198] I went to the highly recommended Osaka with some friends for part of spring break. Osaka is famous for delicious food, friendly people, and a crazy nightlife. Needless to say, I had a great time.

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  • Soybeans and demons

    [gallery=170] Setsubun is celebrated annually on the third of February. The festival is accompanied by a special ceremony called mamemaki, a ritual to cleanse away all the evil from the previous year and drive away evil spirits for the year to come. Buddhist and Shinto shrines all over Japan have celebrations for Setsubun. In Nagoya, [...]

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  • Nagoya: First Impressions

    [gallery=169] Nagoya is the fourth largest city in Japan. I’ve been living here for quite some time now, but there is still so much to explore.

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  • My Adventures with Half-Naked Men

    [gallery=162] In February, my friends and I headed to the very famous Hadaka Matsuri, or the Naked Festival. Interesting name, right? Hadaka Matsuri began back in 767 when the local governor of the Aichi Prefecture started the festival to ward off a devastating plague. The tradition still continues today on the 13th day of the [...]

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  • Ja Ja Ja Japan

    [gallery=159] During orientation we stayed in Inuyama. After our Japanese classes were over, we were allowed to explore Inuyama on our own. We left our maps behind and were eager to get lost…

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  • Twelve hours later…

    [gallery=142] After the endless flight to Japan, the other IES students and I spent one night in the city of Nagoya trying (and failing) to adjust to the time change. The next day we headed to the countryside for the IES orientation. We stayed in a traditional hotel, which is called a ryokan in Japanese. [...]

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  • What I can’t fit in my bags…

    [gallery=104] I have been dreaming of Japan ever since the beginning of the fall semester and my departure date is rapidly approaching. My head is filled with anticipation and excitement; I am ready to immerse myself in what will be a completely new and different culture. Words really cannot describe what awaits me. Yet, there [...]

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