My most memorable trip was my first trip to Japan. That was in 1965 and I was 19 at the time. I came on an Overseas Study Program sponsored by my college. There were 16 of us students: 10 girls and 6 boys. We came to Japan by ship. It left from San Francisco, stopped in Hawaii for one day, and arrived in Yokohama. The trip across the Pacific Ocean lasted two weeks.
After we arrived in Yokohama and passed through Customs, we went to Tokyo by train. Then that night we took the night train to Hiroshima. When we arrived in Hiroshima in the morning, we were met by 16 families with whom we had homestays. We stayed in Hiroshima for one month. I stayed with the Hiyama family who lived in the suburb of Fuchu. While we were in Hiroshima we visited many schools, including the University of Hiroshima, and met the governor, mayor, and other famous people. It was very interesting and everyone I met was very friendly and kind.
After we left Hiroshima, we traveled around the country for two weeks sightseeing before we finally settled in Kyoto where we spent the next three months. We lived in a small Japanese Inn called the Rakutoso, or Three Sisters Inn. In the morning we went to the American Cultural Center where we were given language lessons and other lectures about Japan by professors from Kyoto University and Doshisha University. Each of us students had to write a report. I wrote about how lumber imported from Oregon is processed. In the evenings I took karate lessons which I very much enjoyed.
When it came time to return to America, I did not think I would ever have another chance to visit Asia, so another student and I made a short trip through Southeast Asia before returning to Oregon. We visited Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, and Manila.