Japan & Me

Laura Pardon

Occupation: Student at Brighton Secondary School
Age: 17

Can you tell us about a place you like in Japan
I visited many cities in Japan, but I liked Tokyo the most. It was busy, exciting, and different to anything I've seen before.

What did you do when you stayed in Japan
I was there on a study tour, so for one week we went to school with our host students. The other week was spent seeing the sights of Japan. We stayed in Tokyo first. I saw Mt. Fuji, Kaminarimon and Tokyo Tower. We went to Hiroshima to see the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Museum, and Miyajima. We also spent time in Kyoto visiting the many temples and other historical buildings there, such as Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu-dera, and Kinkaku-ji.

What interests you about Japan
I don't know what it is that interests me about Japan. I think it might be a mix of the sights, the language and the people. I have liked learning Japanese since primary school - I think my teacher's positive energy rubbed off on me. I like learning new words, kanji, and grammar structures. Even though Japanese is hard to learn, it's rewarding for me in the long run as I want to move there.

How is life in Japan different to life in Adelaide
Life for teenagers in Japan is based more around school than their social lives. The transport systems are insanely busy all the time, and their buildings are a mix of traditional and modern, while Adelaide is a quiet, domestic city, and not as exciting. People in Japan are polite, and they love Australians.

How do you imagine your future in relation to Japan
I hope to become an English teacher and work in many different cities in Japan. I hope to spend a long time there and become a great teacher. I'll also come back to Australia and teach Japanese here.

How does Japan influence your life at present
I have many Japanese friends, here and in Japan. They are so kind and funny - you can't help but become friends with them. I like to watch anime and read manga, and I also like to eat Japanese dishes. My favourites are sushi, tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and yakitori (grilled chicken).

Can you tell us something memorable about your time in Japan
I remember a party held at my host family's house. Some people that I didn't even know gave me presents and were very nice to me, and I got to dress up in a yukata. We drank Orangina (a French soda), lit fireworks, and ate lots of food. It was a really fun night.

Edited: June 2013