Kimonos, Samurai and Bamboo: My Trek to Japan

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One of the best things about being the Significant Other of a Sloanie is that you’re encouraged to participate in a wide range of Sloan activities. This spring break alone, there were student-led treks to Japan, Morocco, and Korea. I had the opportunity to join my husband Chris (MBA’16) and almost 90 of his Sloan classmates (including 12 other SOs) on the Japan Trek.

Our five amazing student guides—Jumpei, Shintaro, Takeshi, Naoki, and Jun— dedicated their spring breaks to showing us around their home country. They taught us key phrases (arigatou gosaimasu!) and deciphered dinner menus. They helped us navigate through crowded city streets, bustling temples, and strobe-lit nightclubs.

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We stayed in four different cities—Kyoto, Hiroshima, a small town with hot springs in Hakone National Park, and Tokyo. We visited Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and a samurai castle. We visited the site of the world’s first nuclear explosion, and hiked through a bamboo forest. We met Sloan alumni in Tokyo, dined with geishas, climbed an active volcano, and bathed in natural hot springs. We dressed in kimonos and attended a traditional Japanese banquet, learning the complex etiquette of toasting and never filling your own glass.

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It was an unforgettable experience! I got to meet lots of great new people, and travel to a different part of the world. And even though I’m not an MBA student, I got to experience it all as part of the Sloan community. Prospective students often wonder what coming to Sloan will mean for their significant others. I can say from personal experience that SOs are welcomed and included, whether it’s performing onstage at a C-Function, a dinner with your Sloanie’s core team, or on a trip like the Japan Trek.

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