Lake Stevens High School student Tyler Storz with Ambassador Exchange student Yosuke Uotani in Japan.
Tasting such Japanese delicacies as squid, octopus and eel – raw isn’t exactly on most high school student’s “bucket list” but Lake Stevens High School student Tyler Storz got to not only try these exotic foods but also learned what it’s like to ride a train to school.
Storz was chosen as a Seafair Ambassador and with that honor he not only got to visit Kobe, Japan but also got the opportunity to host Yosuke Uotani a student who lives in Kobe.
Yosuke arrived on Sept. 30 and stayed with the Storz family until Oct. 5. During his short trip he got to go to school with Storz as well as participate in trips to Seattle for tours at Starbucks, Safeco Field, Seattle Fire Station, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, the Space Needle and Westlake Mall.
“We went sightseeing in Seattle,” Yosuke said. His favorite part of the trip was visiting downtown landmarks especially Pike’s Place and the Space Needle.
“Yosuke said he wanted to taste an American hamburger, so we took him to FatBurger in Alderwood,” Tyler’s dad John Storz said. “He loved it.”
Other favorites included church and “mash.”
“I went to church,” Yosuke said. “Then, I could meet many people and talk with them. And at night we went to ‘mash’. It is really fun memory.”
Storz agreed saying, “It was great bringing him to school and church and introducing him to my friends. Seeing his eyes light up when we served him American portions.”
Only one short month after Yosuke’s trip to Seattle, it was Storz’s turn to visit his new friend in Japan. Storz arrived in Kobe on Nov. 6 and stayed for a week.
In that time Storz visited Kobe’s City Hall, Suma Temple, Suma Tenjin Shrine, where SUGAWARA Michizane, the God of literature or calligraphy, is enshrined and got to see Akashi Kaikyo Bridge which is famous for being the world’s longest suspension bridge.
Storz was also in for a big surprise on the day he went to school with his new friend. The boys started walking the 15 minutes to the train station where they rode the train for 30 minutes and then had to walk a mile to school.
Meeting the people in Japan was especially memorable for Storz, along with the opportunity to meet new friends, especially, Yosuke.
“I was mostly looking forward to seeing the different life that Yosuke lives in Japan,” Storz said. “The most memorable part definitely is finding the people of Japan so warm and welcoming.”
Both Storz and Yosuke found out about the program through teachers at their respective schools. Storz also received a scholarship for his participation in the Ambassador program.
Lake Stevens High School student Tyler Storz with Yosuke Uotani and his family in Kobe, Japan.