This post is by Sarah Montgomery, a 2015 Master candidate in the Higher Education Administration program at GWU.
After a day of research and exploring (which for me included long awaited ramen and dumplings), we rested up for a day of reflection and looking towards the future.
We began the day at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) which houses a magnificent Earth display in the main room of the building. The music is soft and adds to the peaceful and awe inspiring view of this orb that depicts a slowly spinning world.
The rest of the museum was split between 2 floors, one for exploration and on for innovation. There are exhibits on exploration efforts made in space and the deep sea and exhibits of innovation in the areas of green energy, medical research, and robotics.
The most exciting display of robotics was the demonstration of Asimo ( and acronym for Advanced Step in Innovation MObility) a humanoid robot that can run, dance, balance, and kick a ball, designed and built by Honda.
After viewing this dazzling museum we were wisked off to lunch, which was incredible fried chicken, rice, salad, miso soup, poached egg, and pickled vegetables. Extremely delicious and filling lunch in a restaurant where we removed our shoes when we entered and were seated on a raised platform.
Moving through our day, we had a discussion with the CEO and founder of Teach for Japan, which is based of of the Teach for America organization, at the Japan Foundation. He discussed the general model and the challenges that he has faced mapping this system in Japan. It was an optimistic lecture as change seemed to be possible to cultivate better classroom environments and inspire and support the Japanese youth and corps of teachers slowly through this organization.
After our meeting, we attended a debriefing session where we had the opportunity to provide feedback about our 10 day trip and present on what each group though the strengths and weaknesses of Japan are, and what concerns and solutions that we had for the the Japan – US relations. Each group did a great job communicating what they learned and identified through the lens and background in which they came from.
Certificates were passed out and we left the Japan Foundation a bit sad that it was all over and looking forward to spending our last night in Tokyo!