Japan Assembly report! @Kyoto

I’m Yuka Shimabayashi (Yukachin), an Asian Beat staff member.
We have not posted any information on this website, but on June 18th and 19th, we held a program called “Japan Assembly” to meet with friends who had participated in Asian Beat Online in person.

We gathered in Kyoto and had a good time!
The plan was to gather participants from overseas as well, but it was still difficult to enter Japan due to the situation of the new coronavirus, so this time only the participants living in Japan did it on a small scale. We were able to spend the time with various members of Japanese residences from the Philippines, Indonesia, and the United States, as well as Japanese.
It was nice to meet and talk without any major troubles! Thanks to online, we could finally made our meaningful connection!

We actually experienced the wonderfulness of meeting and participating.
From now on, offline activities will increase.
Please enjoy the blog written by one of the participants with expectations for the future.

Hi everyone!
I’m Hiroyuki Yagi from Japan.
I live in Tokyo, and I took the Shinkansen to Kyoto and participated in the Japan Assembly!
I’ve only met everyone online, so what do I feel like to actually meet? I was thrilled to head to the meeting place at Kyoto Station.
“Can I find them without problem?”
I was heading to the meeting place while feeling anxious for the first time in a while.
But I didn’t have to worry about that. Because there was a group that seemed to be fun in front of me.
After greeting, we checked the vaccination certificate, a negative check and went to the city of Kyoto.
Firstly we went to Higashi Honganji.
It’s a big temple, and a part of the temple in front of you is open through the gate, and everyone spent their time relaxing there, visiting the inside of the temple.

Next, checked in at our accommodation!
After putting the luggage, everyone was shopping ingredients for dinner.
There were quite a few foods that some people could not eat for various reasons.
(Participants from Indonesia were religiously unable to eat pork)
It was very interesting to be able to know a different culture and buy ingredients while discussing so that everyone could eat with peace of mind.
When I returned to my accommodation, everyone cooperated to make dinner to recreate their home-cooked food and the taste of their home country, and we enjoyed
eating them!

The details of the upcoming real tour was announced and it was a great success.

*Details will be announced on our website!

Unlike online, we approached to the people we wanted to talk to and some people talked about the world’s picture books, and we all enjoyed a fun night together.

The next day, those who got up early in the morning meditated, went for a walk, had breakfast together.

Then we changed places and talked about the future of Asian Beat.
It was a very meaningful time with various ideas.

Q, How was it when you met offline?

・ It was good to cook and help each other’s national dishes and eat them together!
・ I felt nostalgic from the beginning. No matter what period of Asian Beat Online I participated in, I felt a sense of intimacy and soon became friends.
・ You can talk at the timing you want to talk to. Free time and chat time are important.
・ People who are not good at English should meet and interact offline. In addition to language, there are plenty of ways of communication by using gestures and objects.

Q, Future Asian beat ideas

・ I want to have the alumni association once every three years. The host country changes every time! Eventually, we will expand to Mexico!

・ Challenge activities in languages other than English. What would a person do if someone who does not understand the language at all!
・ I’ve done the Asian Beat Online 4 times, so next time I’ll set it to Asian Beat Online 4.5 and try various short-term trial programs!
・ In the online program, actively incorporate eye exercises to prevent fatigue!

When we actually met in person, various opinions were combined with one person’s opinion, and many ideas came out. This is a difficult part of online.
Overall, it was a time when I thought, “I’m looking forward to meeting everyone I met online in various countries.”

Meeting. There is Asian Beat Online culture like acceptance and listening each other.

We moved to a lunch venue, where we also experienced the Kyoto namagashi “Neri- kiri work”.
Everyone said “It’s difficult” and “I don’t know” about Japanese sweets which are traditional Japanese sweets.
Somewhere in the time to make it, everyone smiled and the unique Japanese sweets were created.

The last big activity was the “online exchange meeting”.
We wanted to deliver the excitement of “actually meeting” to overseas members as much as possible, and we put it in the program this time.
Divided into two groups, we connected from “Nishiki Market” and “Kiyomizu-dera” by zoom and tour.
I went to “Nishiki Market” and the market was crowded with people.
Various things were on sale, and there was a rare “hamo tempura” in the Kanto region, and even for the Japanese people there were a lot of good scenes.

The group who went to “Kiyomizu-dera” was singing and dancing with the theme song of Asian Beat at the place called “Kiyomizu-stage”. (It’s amazing to be able to sing and dance at such a high place …)
At the end, both groups joined in front of Kyoto Station, shared their impressions of today, and were dissolved.
2 days Japan Assembly!

After all it was good to meet, talked and interacted!
It was much more fun and memorable, and I was able to rediscover many of the good points of Japan that even Japanese people didn’t notice.
I’m looking forward to meeting everyone overseas.

In this experience, the 10 people who participated will definitely want to meet their friends from Asian countries who they met online! It seems that the feeling has increased.
In the future, while taking safety measures, we would like to increase opportunities to meet in person and deliver a further evolved international exchange program.