When I first found out I was going to Japan, Naka was far from what I had in mind. As we drove into Ibaraki, the landscape was strikingly different from the one I saw on landing in Tokyo. Rice fields stretch out as far as the eye can see, and the flashing neon lights and loud music are gone. “What have I gotten myself into”, I think to myself on my almost 30-minute bike ride to the nearest convenience store. During the one week that I’ve been here, though, my attitude towards life in Naka has changed drastically. I’ve learnt to appreciate this time I have away from city life, and I hope to explore more of what Ibaraki has to offer.
My internship is at the Kiuchi Brewery, where I am learning about how craft beer is made, and also how an almost 200-year old family operated business has managed to remain successful all this while. So far, the work has been hard, and not exactly as glamorous as I was hoping for it to be, but I’ve probably learnt more here in a week than I did all of last semester in college. The hours are long, but they seem to fly by pretty fast, and I really like the people I work with at the factory. Hopefully, during the next 7 weeks that I’m here, I can teach myself to become more independent, and also more open to trying new things.