A Partnership Between the Penn Biden Center, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Embassy of Japan The Kakehashi Project

The Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, working with the School of Arts and Sciences and the Embassy of Japan, is proud to announce an exciting opportunity for Penn students to travel to Japan from January 6-14, 2020, during Penn’s winter break, to participate in the Kakehashi Project.

Experiencing Japan
Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Penn Students at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

PBC students began the trip with a visit to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an orientation session on the goals of the Kakehashi Project and a lecture on Japanese culture and customs. 

National Diet
Penn Students visit the Japanese Parliament

Students toured the Japanese parliament, the Diet, to learn more about Japan's democratic system. 

Yokota Air Base
Penn Students at Yokota Air Base

Students learned more about the U.S.-Japan Alliance and and the security partnership between our countries by visiting Yokota Air Base, a U.S. military base in Japan and home to the 374th Airlift Wing.

Penn students at the Atomic Dome in Hiroshima

Students traveled to Hiroshima, where the first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, to learn more about the history of the U.S.-Japan relationship. They visited the Peace Memorial Museum, Peace Memorial Park, and the Atomic Dome--one of the few buildings that was not completely leveled by the bomb. 

Hibakusha Testimony
Penn students with a survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima

As part of their visit to Hiroshima, students heard the first-person testimony of Kiyomi Kono, an 87-year-old survivor of the atomic bomb. She shared her experience of living through the bombing and its aftermath, and her plea for peace and a world without nuclear weapons. 

Itsukushima Shrine
Students at the Itsukushima Shrine

Students learned more about Japanese religious traditions with a visit to the famous Itsukushima Shrine. 

Homestay in Akiota
Penn students with their homestay family

A real highlight for the students was their homestay experience with a Japanese family. Students learned to make sushi, practiced Japanese calligraphy, helped with household chores, and made many special memories. 

Tea Ceremony
Penn students learn about the tea ceremony.

Students learned about the Tea Ceremony and the importance of "Ichi-go, Ichi-e", experiencing a moment that will never happen again. 

Students visit Sensouji Hondo

Students experienced the sights and historic landmarks of Tokyo--from the Sensouji Hondo to the Meiji Shrine, the Tsukiji Fish Market to the Kabuki gallery, and through the bustling streets of Shibuya and Harajuku.   

Sophia University
Penn and Sophia University students together

Students also experienced some time with Japanese students over lunch and conversations on the Tokyo campus of Sophia University.