“Superb, Fantastic, Outstanding, Mind blowing, History ………” These are a few words picked from a musical reality show. The judges of the event used to say these words at once when the singer sang exceptionally well. These expressions have had a quite association with our visit to Japan.

The seven glorious years of friendship have been passed. Thank you, Lord Baden Powel for founding such an important educational movement that helped us establish our friendship. In the words of Soko-san, “Though the friendship had begun from scouting, has now turned into Pax Earth.”

Without much exaggeration, let me enter into the focal point….

PEN MEETS PEJ journey began on 27th May at 11.15am when we were blessed by our respected parents for a safe and successful journey at the doorstep of our residence. After farewell from family members, we left to the airport accompanied by friends and families members. Dipendra Dangol and Suraj Acharya (a friend of mine from schooling who is leaving for Japan for the job at a restaurant) reached the airport little earlier but waiting for me to enter inside the airport. Almost all members from PEN were present to bid farewell. The plane took off at 14.00 and landed at 18.00 in Thailand. After four hours of transit, we left for Japan. The scheduled was delayed by 2 hrs.

On 28th May at 8.00 we landed at Narita International Airport. We were already 2 hrs late. We were warmly welcomed by Soko-san and Takaharu-san, our old friends. Both waited more than two hours at the airport to welcome us. We then left for Tokyo. After two hours drive from Narita, we could reach Tokyo where we had to leave Suraj who was with us from Kathmandu to Japan.

After leaving Suraj, we went to meet Masaya Arao-san and had lunch together. We then left for Soko-san’s house. After some hours rest, we went to a departmental store from where we could purchase rice, vegetables, chicken and some hot spices so as to prepare Nepali food. Under the initiatives of Dipendra, we could prepare Nepali meal and had dinner together with Soko-san and Megumi-san.

On 29th May morning, we left for Keio University with Soko-san. We explored the class room, theatre, laboratory and cafeteria of the university. At around 10am, we met Soichiro-san. He along with Fumito-san and Yoko Akahari-san took us Taibutsu, Enosima where we could see many Sinto temples and devotees. We could also meet a priest (a friend of Soichiro) who works for a Sinto temple. He offered teas for us. We also went to the beach of Pacific Ocean, took some pictures and returned to Yokohama for the Reunion Party. The party was historic. I could meet many old and new friends. We had a wonderful time speaking, sharing news and eating and drinking Japanese foods, beers and alcohol. Soko, Kohki Okamura, Takaharu Sakakibara, Soichiro, Fumito, Akahari, Yositaka Ida, Tomoko Umemoto, Yohei Katoh, Yohei Kanagawa, Kyosuke Oshio, Norihito Otaguro, Shunsuke Imura, Yuki Kidu and some friends were present. We went to house of Kohki-san which was quite near from the restaurant.

On 30th May, we woke up at 5.30 and left for Yokohama station. We had to leave for Kyoto at 6.50am (on a bullet train). We were accompanied by Soko-san and Shunsuke-san in this trip. We were in a hurry so took the breakfast in the train. After 2.30 hrs travelling in train, we could reach Kyoto station. We directly went to the hotel, put the luggage and left for the world heritage sites. We visited golden temple and silver temple before the lunch. We met Lisa-san outside the silver temple. Together, we had the lunch. As we were quite tired, we shortened our trip and returned to the hotel to have some rests. At around 4.30pm, we went to Kiyomizu temple which was quite attractive. We could see many visitors in the temple. Shingo-san came to see us in the evening. We discussed on philosophical aspect of life and had dinner together.

On 31st May, we were so tired that we could not wake up on time. Soko-san gave a call, then only, we could wake up. We hastily left the hotel and headed for the station. If we were 5 more minute late, we would have missed our train. We had breakfast in the train as before. The day was very important as the workshop of Pax Earth had been scheduled at Shinjuku. The workshop was started at 12.15pm. I, on behalf of PEN, presented a concept paper. We had a comprehensive discussion on the concept paper. As per the recommendation of the PEJ members, we agreed to concentrate more on the educational activities for children. Shusuke-san presented PEN a HP Notebook. PEJ members Soko-san, Shunsuke-san, Masahiko-san, Yohei-san, Juichiro-san, Soichiro-san and Chihiro Muramatsu-san were present on the occasion.

After the meeting, Soko, Dipendra and I went to Staff Craft to attend the dinner hosted by Kuno-san. Kuno-san and Arao-san were such noble personalities, equally active and enthusiastic at the age of 80+ we were quite amazed. I tried to imagine what would be our situation if we live at the age of 80+ in the context of Nepal. (Staff Craft is a place where the world political leaders, government officials, distinguished guests and foreign diplomats go to have meal). Later, Kae-san joined the reception. After the dinner, we went to have a cup of tea with Kae-san. We had overnight stay at Soko-san house.

On 1st June, we took rest in the morning time. Soko-san arrived at around 10.30am after lecturing at his university. After having lunch, we (Soko, Dipen and I) left for Shoyu club. We had about one our meeting (3.00pm to 4.00pm) with Shoyu club’s managing directors Sumio Hino-san and Tadahisa Daigo-san. The meeting was mainly focused on educational activities in Kot Timal, Kavre Palanchowk. We handed a concept paper to Shoyu Club as well. We presented some Nepalese souvenirs to them and also received souvenirs from Shoyu club. Our advisor Masaya Arao-san was present at the meeting. We had a photo session after the meeting.

After Shoyu-club, we went to International Christian University. We met Director, Service Learning Assoc. Professor Yoshi Hongo and Administrative Staff Chisato Kamei. From Pax Earth, Soko-san, Soichiro-san, Masahiko-san (and his friend), Dipendra and I were present. We discussed on the possible collaboration between ICU and Pax Earth in service learning experience. We also discussed on the possibility of international service learning experience for the students of ICU in Nepal. We agreed to continue communication on this matter in the future. The meeting was arranged by Masahiko-san. Then, we went to a restaurant to have a dinner hosted by Takaharu-san. That night, we had an overnight stay in Kohki-san’s house.

On 2nd June, we woke up early morning and had some breakfast at Kohki-san. At 9.30am, we left for Niigata with Kohki and his girlfriend Rina-san. We took the lunch on the way to Niigata. It took almost four hours to reach there. We could meet Shouichi Iga and his girlfriend. He was quite impressed with the life-style of Nepal and Bangladesh and shifted the profession to farmer. He has a clear vision that agriculture will provide security for his future life. We were there to experience camp life. We pitched tent at the farmland of Shouichi-san. We cooked fish, chicken barbeque and other items. Shouichi-san brought the best rice grown on his field. Together, we had an exciting camp life at Niigata.

On 3rd June, we left for Tokyo where we were planning to meet some scouts. On the way, we had a natural hot spring bath. Kohki-san and Rina-san took us in a hydroelectricity project: J Power. We were shocked to see such a huge electricity project. After some hours of driving on Kohki-san’s car, we arrived in Tokyo at 8pm and directly went to the scouting meeting. We could meet Rover scouts: Shaho Ohkusa, Seika Kondo, Takahiko Saito and Yohei Ueda. Soichiro-san and Yoko-san were also present at the meeting. We discussed on some activities that might be possible in the next September as these scouts are planning to come Nepal in September. After the meeting, we met Yohei-san and had dinner at an Indian restaurant. We had an overnight stay at Yohei-san.

On 4th June, we had breakfast prepared by Yohei-san’s mother. She was very kind and humble towards us. Takaharu-san came to pick up us. We left visited Akihabara to purchase some electronic items. We were quite surprised to see such a huge electric market for the first time in our life. We had lunch at Akihabara. After the shopping, we left for Disney Land where we could meet Soichiro-san. From 6pm to 9.30pm we had lots of fun in Disney Land. We experienced ghost ride, jet-costar, 3D movie and spacecraft war. It was our life time experience. After Disney Land, we went to a Nepali restaurant where Kae-san was waiting for us. We were very happy to meet Takaharu-san’s newly wedded wife Hyejin Moon-san at the dinner. That night, we stayed at Yohei-san.

On 5th June, we woke up early morning and had breakfast prepared by Yohei-san’s mother. As it was the day of my departure, I was bid farewell by Yohei-san’s respected parents. Before moving towards the airport, we (Yohei-san, Kyosuke-san, Soichiro-san, Yohei-san’s friend), went to Sony where we could visit “The Square.” We could observe the new and latest products of Sony. The Power of Sony is really praiseworthy. They are giving due attention to the changing interest of customers and following innovative approach in research and development. That’s why Sony is the world’s leading consumer electronics brand. We were very happy with the presentation. We could meet Hideyuki Fujita-san, Asst. Manager, External Relations Department and our friend Yuhei-san who is working in Recruiting Department.

After the courtesy visit to Sony, we left for Narita International Airport. On the way, I could exchange few words with Soko-san. (Yohei friend) drove the jeep so quick that it didn’t take more than 1 hr. 15mn to reach the airport. Takaharu-san also arrived to extend good bye to me. I was farewell by Yohei-san, Kyosuke-san, Soichiro-san, Takaharu-san, and Yohei’s friend. Though the tears from my eyes were about to fall, I could control. After their seeing off, tears began to fall from my eyes…. I wanted to cry with big shout but I had no option left than to calm myself.

Yes, in this way a 10 day exciting journey comes to an end. Each and every moment of our stay was pleasant and precious. You never gave us a single chance to feel that we were far from our home. You didn’t leave any stone unturned to make our visit interesting, attractive, meaningful and memorable. Japan is my second home.

It was indeed,

A Superb, Fantastic, Outstanding, Mind blowing and Historic experience in our life.

I will cherish the memory forever …..

Let me personally and on behalf of Pax Earth Nepal thank dear Soko-san for not only making this visit possible but also effectively managing and supporting our schedules, Shoyu Club (without their financial support, this visit would not be possible), Kohki-san and Rina-san (for arranging camp life in Niigata), Takaharu-san (for bringing us in Disney Land and Akihabara as well as gifting PEN a digital camera), Soichiro-san (for being with us in most of our stays and visits); Shunsuke-san (for making our visit to Kyoto exciting and providing PEN a HP notebook); Yohei-san and his respected parents (for making our stay of last two days very precious); Megumi-san (for giving company in many occasions specially in preparing Nepali meals); Kae-san, Tomoko-san, Lisa-san, Fumito-san, Yoko Akahari-san, Yositaka Ida-san, Kyosuke-san, Norihito-san, Yuki Kidu-san, Shingo-san, Shouichi Iga-san and all other friends who came to see us in spite of their busy schedules and made our visit memorable. I also thank all the attendants of Reunion Party of Pax.

We are grateful to Kuno-san and Arao-san for their time, supports and suggestions. Pax Earth is quite privileged to have such high dignitaries as Advisors. We are quite impressed by their active and enthusiastic spirit at the age of 80+ which is rarely possible in Nepal.

Prepared by
Sujan Koirala (in coordination with Dipendra Dangol)