Photos by Caroline Rock, (University of Texas at Austin) Student Correspondent CET Japan, Summer 2018 This weekend we went on an excursion to Awaji Shima, or Awaji Island. After a two hour bus ride, the first item on the agenda was an udon noodle-making class! Making udon included rolling the noodle dough, kneading it four times (with our feet! Don’t worry, it was wrapped in plastic!), and cutting the noodles to the perfect proportion. My roommate and I took turns cutting the noodles to size. The bowl of udon ended up bigger than our heads! The nature of Awaji Island was totally breathtaking. We had to drive for two hours, but it was so worth it to get out of the city and see Japan’s beautiful nature. After a pit stop at a toy-making factory, we stopped at a flower center with amazing views of greenery, ocean, and mountains. The beautiful rows of flowers, trees, and rolling hills gave us a great escape from all the schoolwork we’ve been doing. The colors and landscape felt straight out of a Miyazaki movie! There was a forecast for 大雨, or rainstorm, for the weekend, but luckily it didn’t rain a single drop! Living in Osaka has been great, but it was really nice to leave the city and see all of the amazing nature that Japan has to offer. It was the perfect weekend escape before we all had to go back to the reality of schoolwork!