Student Voice: Explore Akita with AIU Bus Trips! – Selina Linde, Ludwigshafen University, Germany

Selina Linde from Ludwigshafen University, Germany studied both in the Spring and the Fall 2022 Semester as an exchange student. We would like to introduce her experience at AIU.

Hello 🙂 My name is Selina, and I am a former international student of AIU. I studied here for two semesters and I had an incredible time! I would like to share my experiences of the amazing bus trips that AIU organized and offered to us students.

There were usually 1-2 bus trips during the semester and we visited many interesting places like the samurai village Kakunodate, Tazawa Lake and the statue of  the legendary figure Tatsuko, Oga Peninsula, the Namahage-kan, Unshoji Temple, as well as the Yokote Masuda Manga Museum.

Kakunodate and Kiritampo

Kakunodate is a well-known samurai village in Akita and there are many buildings, monuments, and places that were occupied by samurai in the past. Because there are many shops and restaurants, visitors can buy souvenirs and even try Kiritanpo, a popular food which is a specialty only in Akita! I had a lot of fun exploring the village and discovering the beautiful architecture! There is even the possibility to pet an Akita dog in one of the samurai residences for 200 yen, so if you go there, please look for the cute Akita dog!

Lake Tazawa and statue of Tatsuko

Another great experience was visiting the deepest lake in Japan (around 400 m deep) called “Tazawa-ko” in which clear blue water shines bright and offers a gorgeous view, surrounded by majestic trees, mountains, rocks. and a clean environment. The best view is directly in front of the statue of the legendary Tatsuko, a character from a very interesting legend about the lake. It’s a perfect spot for beautiful photos of nature and it is also possible to grab something to eat and buy a little omamori (a kind of protective charm) in the shop next to the lake!

Ajisai-dera and Bamboo Garden

There are too many great spots but my favourite trip that we made in spring was the Unshoji Temple (Ajisai-dera) with hundreds of beautiful blue Hydrangeas blooming inside the temple garden. The numerous flowers are very beautiful and come in all shades of blue! There is also a little bamboo garden with a path made of stone.

My friends and I celebrating my birthday and going to Kanto Matsuri

 In Akita City itself, I often went with my friends to festivals, like the Kanto Matsuri festival, or karaoke! But thanks to the bus trips, I got to discover a lot of other different amazing places in Akita Prefecture and had lots of funny and unforgettable experiences. I am very grateful that AIU offered these trips, as it is otherwise very difficult to go to a lot of places and see nature in Akita without a car.

So, if you study at AIU, I hope that besides having an amazing time at the campus and gaining new knowledge in your classes, you will also be able to join the bus trips and explore Akita’s beautiful countryside!