Photo of Tokyo Tower ascending into the clouds, highlighting the hight of the structure

Floor level of Tokyo Tower

The second full day called the Texas State School of Journalism and Mass Communication students to several iconic Tokyo sights. Our group took an engaging tour of Tokyo Tower, heard valuable tips from the Tokyo bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal and finished off with an electrifying game at the ballpark!

Insightful advice from the bureau chief

A group picture including Tokyo Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, Peter Landers.
SJMC Japan group at WSJ Tokyo

Upon arrival at the Tokyo bureau of the Wall Street Journal, we were greeted by a friendly WSJ representative. We walked into the quiet office, which was filled with prior publications and employees busy at work. The group sat in an area with shelves filled with manga and other books published by HarperCollins, which is also owned by Dow Jones and shares an office with WSJ. As we thumbed through the esteemed authors’ publications, we were joined by Bureau Chief Peter Landers

Landers gave insight into the life of a bureau chief and how he got there. One recommendation he shared with the group was that, when applying for journalism or media jobs, news clips or completed projects help an inexperienced applicant stand out. He shared that employers look for accomplishments rather than recommendations. 

“I say this hypocritically because I didn’t have this when I was applying (for jobs), but clips are probably the biggest thing,” he said in reference to the importance of published work. He reflected that he came out of college without any news clips, but had good grades from a good school (Yale), and skills news organizations valued.

Iconic Tokyo Tower adventure

Embarking on a journey with a group can elevate any travel experience, and visiting the iconic Tokyo Tower was no exception. The collective awe of the beautiful structure heightened the anticipation of the experience. 

“I was honestly really scared of going up because I’m really scared of heights, but being with everyone helped so much,”  Brianna Archer said. “I feel like we have all gotten to know each other so well, and it eased my nerves.” 

The tower’s red and white structure, which mirrors the colors of the Japanese flag, stands as a symbol of Tokyo’s modernity and rich cultural heritage. 

Take me out to the ball game

The atmosphere as we walked into ZOZO Marine Stadium was intoxicating. The support from both the Chiba Lotte Marines and Hiroshima Carp fans was palpable. 

The group met up with students from Chuo Gakuin University and after finding our seats, we indulged in delicious, traditionally American ballgame snacks, such as hot dogs and french fries, as well as some Japanese fare, such as squid and bento boxes. The rhythmic chants and boisterous cheers echoed through the air from all sides of the baseball park. Despite the language barrier, Texas State and Chuo Gakuin students were able to form fast friendships, thanks to Google Translate. To make the moment even more memorable, we took multiple group photos.

ZOZO Marine Stadium lit under a June sunset
ZOZO Marine Stadium

“Meeting Japanese students in our age group at the baseball game was a lot of fun,” Zoë Simonovic said. “They were very excited to see the game and interact with us, and it made me feel so welcomed. I feel like a lot of the connections I made with them were very special and unique.”

Experiencing a Japanese baseball game was an unforgettable cultural exchange. The energy, passion and unity displayed by the fans were simply awe-inspiring.

Although our allegiance may have been with the Marines, witnessing the Carp’s triumph was still a moment to celebrate. The stadium erupted with joy as Carp fans cheered exuberantly, filling the air with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Texas State and Chou Gakuin students join together at ZOZO Marine Stadium for baseball game
Texas State and Chuo Gakuin students at ZOZO Marine Stadium

While most of us were at the game, Reese Ziegler and Allison Binkley spent their evening in Harajuku. They explored the Muji store, which stands a whopping six stories tall, and enjoyed Indian cuisine. 

The group returned to the hotel at the end of the night, exhausted but exuberant. We headed to our rooms to prepare for Saturday, which will include a visit to a local university, as well as our first “free night” in Tokyo. Keep up with our adventures on the SJMC Japan Instagram!

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