Representing Pax Earth Nepal, three members’ team led by Board Member Harihar Sapkota along with Guna Raj Pyakurel and Laxman Bahadur Pahari attended “PEN Meets PEJ 2011 (Japan)” from September 17, 2011 to September 23, 2011. Here is a summary report of the program prepared by Harihar Sapkota in close coordination with Guna Raj Pyakurel and Laxman Bahadur Pahari.

We were very excited for this journey since the day we got the visa from the Japanese Embassy. The excitement reached at maturity when the day of our departure arrived. Since it was the first overseas journey of Laxman and me, our excitement and curiosity was even higher than Guna who had been to England few years back.

On 16 Sep morning, after receiving farewell from our families we headed to Tribhuvan International Airport at 7:00am. We were joined by President Mr. Sujan Koirala, Treasurer Mr. Bal Gopal Shrestha, Vice President Mr. Shreebatsa Basnyat and brother of Laxman Mr. Hari Pahari. They bid farewell and wished for a nice and memorable journey. After immigration formalities, we left for New Delhi via Air India at 09:00am. We landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi at 11:30am. Because of bad weather, we had to spend 25 more minutes in the sky. We had to pass one more transit before reaching to Japan i.e. Bangkok. So, we left for Bangkok at 12:15pm local time and landed at 06:00pm local time after 4hr and 15min travel flight. After spending 4 hours in transit, we left for Narita, Japan at 11:10pm.

17 Sep was very memorable day for us. We landed at Narita International Airport at 07:25am. We were warmly welcomed by Pax Earth Japan President Dr Soko Aoki. We reached Soko-san’s house after 2 hours drive in his car. We had breakfast together at his home. Then, Soko-san took us to a station where we could meet Seika Kondo-san and Ruriko Kimoto-san. Soko-san left us with them. They took us to a Shinto temple and supermarket where we met Shuho Ohkusa-san. Then, we went to Yamasita Park where we met Masanobu Ebisawa-san. After spending some time there, Shuho-san and Seika-san left us with Ruriko-san and Masa-san. We spent more than 4hrs there. We also had the dinner there. After the dinner, Soko-san came there and took us to his home; it was already 9.30pm while we reached his home. After some conversation, we handed gifts and souvenirs to Soko-san which were sent by PEN. After some gossips, we went to bed.

0n 18 Sep morning after having breakfast we left for the joint meeting of PEJ, Pax IV Hyper and PEN. With the technical support of Laxman and Guna, I, on behalf of PEN, presented a paper that highlighted the achievements of PEN till September 2011, major activities carried out in 2011 and the plan for remaining three months of 2011. This joint meeting was attended by Pax members Soko-san, Yohei Katoh-san, Kyosuke Oshio-san, Keisuke Uchida-san, Megumi Hayashi-san, Miho Kaneda-san, Toshiki Tamagawa-san, Natsuo Mishina-san, Guna, Laxman and I. After the meeting, we went for lunch. Then, we attended a Nepalese Exhibition and also visited a Shrine in Tokyo city. That day, we had a home-stay program at Natsuo-san’s home so we had a dinner at nearby restaurant. Toshiki-san entertained us with fireworks before going to Natsuo-san’s home. We met his kind parents and family members, had some conversations and went to bed.

0n 19 Sep at 09:00am after having breakfast, we met Shuho-san, Keisuke-san, Masa-san and Yohei-san. They took us to Honjo Life Safety Learning Center. We experienced a simulation of Typhoon and Earthquake. Thanks to these friends, we could learn how to be safe from these types of natural disasters. After lunch, we visited Asakusa Sintho Temple, Akihabara and Museum of Maritime Science (boat house). We had an experience of Cruise also. After having dinner together, Guna and I went to Masa-san’s home and Laxman went to Keisuke-san’s home for home-stay. We could meet their parents who were very kind and friendly. We presented them some souvenirs from Nepal. That night, we spent few hours preparing the paper to be presented at Shoyu Club scheduled for the next day.

On 20 Sep after breakfast, Masa-san and Keisuke-san took us to Shoyu Club where we could meet Soko-san and respected Masaya Arao-san. We were delighted to meet him. He took us to meeting hall of Shoyu Club. We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Tadahisa Daigo (President of Shoyu Club), Mr. Sumio Hino (Managing Director of Shyou Club) and Mr. Mamoru Yamamoto (Managing Director of Shyou Club). We presented annual and progress report of PEN to such dignitaries of Shoyu Club in the presence of Masaya-san and Soko-san. These reports were mainly focused on educational and environmental activities carried out in Kavrepalanchok and Kathmandu. After formal conversation, we presented few photos of important activities carried out in Kavrepalanchok. We also had a formal photo-session with such dignitaries. We were pretty relieved as one of our important tasks of visiting Japan went well.

After this courtesy call, Soichiro Yamanaka-san and Takahiro Yazaki-san came to see us. We had lunch together and they took us to Scout Association of Japan. After that, we had a chance to visit Akihabara once again. Keisuke-san and Seika-san joined us there and took us to Takaharu Sakakibara-san’s guesthouse better known as Canal First Tower located in Tokyo. We were cordially welcomed by Takaharu-san and his family. That evening, we could meet Keisuke Takeyama-san, Satomi Tsuneta-san and her two friends during the time of dinner. We returned back to the Canal First Tower and had a very sound sleep that night.

On 21 Sep, as there was a fear of outbreak of Typhoon, there was not any special meeting or program and we slept till 9:00am. When we woke up, we saw cloudy sky and wind with rain. Soichiro-san said us it’s not dangerous so we wanted to visit some nearby places. He gave us two options: a 3D movie or Aquarium House and asked to choose one. After discussion, we choose Aquarium House because we felt we might have a chance to see a 3D movie if we go to Disney Land. After the breakfast, we went to Aquarium House where we could meet Megumi-san, Naoki Yonekawa-san and a sister of Guna. It was a very interesting place where we could experience a sea-life. We spent nearly four hours including the lunch. After that, we went to guest house but unfortunately train was stopped because of a storm (typhoon). Soichiro-san immediately phoned Takaharu-san and he came there with his car in about 2 hours and took us to his guesthouse. Shuho-san joined us at guest house and we discussed the next day’s program i.e. whether to visit Disney Land or Disney Sea. As previous two groups from Nepal had visited Disney Land in both the occasions, so, this time we wanted to explore Disney Sea.

On 22 Sep at 08:00am we bid farewell to Soichiro-san and headed for Disney Sea with Shuho-san. We had breakfast in the car. At 09:00am we reached Disney Sea, our dream place! It was really out of the world experience to be in Disney Sea for the first time in our life. We spent whole day in Disney Sea experimenting different adventures and activities. The evening’s electric parade and fireworks were awesome. Actually, the Roller Coaster, Jet Coaster, Indiana Jones, 3D movie, Strum Rider etc. were fantastic. We had great enjoyments with lots of thrill and horror inside the Disney Sea. Then, we returned back to the guesthouse where we were going to celebrate Joint Nepalese-Japanese night. This event was attended by Soko-san and his better half Megumi-san, Takaharu-san, Yohei-san, Kyosuke-san, Masa-san, Keisuke-san and Naoki-san. Masa-san and Naoki-san prepared some delicious dishes. Our celebration continued till the mid-night.

On 23 Sep, we woke up at 07:00am. Soko-san and Megumi-san came there. We thanked Takaharu-san and his family for their hospitality. Soko-san and Megumi-san took us to an unknown destination. On the way, we could talk with Megumi-san in Nepali language. After more than 4hrs drive, we arrived at Megumi-san’s aunt house at Motosuko Lake near Mt. Fuji. We felt very happy to see the world heritage: Mt. Fuji. It was quite beautiful and peaceful place, weather was little cold. After some rest, we went to Yurari Hot Spring with Soko-san. We had some hot spring experience. We were bit shy experiencing this for the first time in life. We had Sauna Bath, Hot Spring and extremely cold water bath. Soko-san said us the hot spring is made by Volcano of Mt. Fuji. We spent nearly 2 hrs inside the hot spring area. We returned back to aunt’s house. Soko-san, Megumi-san, Mr. and Ms. Hosono and the family prepared dinner for us. We were very pleased to stay with such a respected, friendly and kind family.

On 24 Sep morning after the breakfast and an unforgettable farewell from Mr. and Ms. Hosono and family, we left for Tokyo at 09:00am. This was the last day in Japan and we had to hurry up to reach Narita International Airport; Soko-san drove his car very fast. On the way to the Narita, we could manage ten minutes to spend for shopping in a supermarket where we could buy two cameras and had lunch there. We reached Narita International Airport at 04:00pm. After some gossips, it was a time to depart. Soko-san, Megumi-san, Yohei-san, Keisuke-san, Masa-san, Shuho-san and Juichiro-san bid farewell to us. It was really hard to leave our respected, lovely and kind Japanese friends. Then, we left for immigration procedure. At 6:05pm, we left for Bangkok via Air India. After 6hrs 35min flight, we arrived in Subarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok at 10:40pm local time.

On 25 Sep after spending 8hrs in transit, we left for New Delhi, India at 06:50am. We arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi at 10:20am. After spending couples of hours there, we left for Nepal at 12:50pm. After 1hr and 40min flight, we arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu at 02:45pm. We were welcomed by PEN President, Treasurer, respected mother of Laxman and friend Akash Karmacharya.

Our journey to the land of rising sun was over but the memory is still in our mind. The experience we gained during Japan visit was a brand new and we will cherish it till we take our last breath in this world. We enjoyed each and every moment in Japan.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude especially to President of PEJ Dr. Soko Aoki and President of PEN Mr. Sujan Koirala. Our visit became unforgettable and meaningful because of their sincere planning and management. They worked nights and days to prepare necessary documents and make necessary arrangements for our visit. We are also grateful to PEN Treasurer Mr. Bal Gopal Shrestha who has supported us throughout from planning till the end. Vice President Shreebatsa deserved a special thank for his help specially in making the presentation so as Secretary Manohar Sapkota for his valuable advice. We would also like to thank all board members of PEN who selected us for this life time experience. We are very much grateful to Takaharu Sakakibara-san and his family.

We are equally thankful to our Japanese friends: Megumi Yoda-san, Soichiro Yamanaka-san, Megumi Hayashi-san, Kyosuke Oshio-san, Miho Kaneda-san, Keisuke Uchida-san, Yohei Katoh-san, Shuho Ohkusa-san, Satomi Tsuneta-san, Toshiki Tamagawa-san, Seika Kondo-san, Ruriko Kimoto-san, Natsuo Mishina-san, Masanobu Ebisawa-san, Naoki Yonekawa-san and Takahiro Yazaki-san. We could explore Tokyo, its surroundings and gathered lifetime experiences because of their friendly support and enthusiasm.

We are very much thankful to respected Masaya Arao-san. We pay our respect to Shoyu Club, Japan especially to respected dignitaries Tadahisa Daigo-san, Sumio Hino-san and Mamoru Yamamoto-san. We are also grateful to Mr. and Ms. Hosono and family.

Long live friendship between PEJ and PEN!

Cheers for Pax Earth life!

Written by Harihar Sapkota in coordination with Guna Raj Pyakurel and Laxman Bahadur Pahari