We continue our interview with M, a student of the Department of Local Produce and Food Sciences of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences!
M contradicted her friends and former highschool teachers back home in Aichi, who said “Yamanashi is a country with nothing to look forward to.” As a Yamanashi native, I was very happy to hear this but….
Actually, I was lucky. You know that there are many invitations to circle activities during the first few days of the start of the freshman year, right? During that time, I was fortunate to have come across NPDL (an organization of students who work vigorously on projects that support the townscape/urban development of Yamanashi/Kofu). And on April 12 (I even remember the exact date♪) I participated in one of their events, “the Urban Development Girl’s Meeting × Ohanami”. At the event, the circle members introduced me to stylish restaurants and coffee shops that serve savory coffee in the Kofu area. Since then, I’ve considered Kofu to be an enjoyable city. Come to think of it now, I was extremely fortunate to have someone show me the pleasurable aspect of Kofu at the start of my university years.
・Speaking of NPDL, they had an event using our communication room in the past and provided us with a report♪. The article can be found here→ http://www.conohana.yamanashi.ac.jp/h24-h26/1122
I heard that the NPDL originated as the laboratory research group belonging to Mr. Ishii of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. So I assumed the members of NPDL were all from civil engineering majors….Oh! Didn’t you tell me you were hoping to pursue a field related to either civil engineering/architecture or nutrition/food(science) when you decided which university to go to? (Please refer to the previous edition for the first half of M’s interview!)
Yes! I ultimately went on to study a field related to food science but since I also had an interest in townscape and urban development, I was more than happy to join the circle when they invited me to join♪. There are many members who belong to faculties other than the Faculty of Engineering. I was the only one in my highschool to come to University of Yamanashi, so yes, I did have some worries. But thanks to my encounter with NPDL and its members in early April, I was able to enjoy my life in Kofu without having to feel lonesome or homesick. Now, I participate in planning the “Urban Development Girls’ Meeting” that takes place once every month. I am really having fun here now!
（The photo shown here is a participation certificate of an event that took place in November, 2014. The students hosted an event, “Call Out From the Students! How to be Enthralled by Kofu in a Day”. She exclaimed how delightful it was to walk around the city with junior high and highschool students!）
・That sounds like so much fun. (Aahh…To be young again….I almost let out an “old” person’s remark, but took the effort to keep my thoughts to myself.) You seem hooked on the circle activities, taking walks in and around Kofu and discovering the city’s charm. But how are you going with your studies?
Just fine(^^) The classes are all very interesting. I’m learning much about nutrition and food science, which was what I had strived for in the first place. And the Wine Science Research Center is like a typical example of THE lab research. It’s so cool(^^) This summer, we went to a wine farm for some practical training. We worked on gibberellin treatment and grapevine induction. It was a hot and sweaty task, but I enjoyed being close to nature♪
・You worked on the gibberellin treatment? Good job! That’s probably something you can experience only in Yamanashi.
Yes, I think so. But to tell the truth, I had some doubts during the first semester. After enrolling in the university I sat down and looked through the class curriculum offered in the Wine Course thoroughly. I remember asking myself, “Does this mean I’m going to have to study about wine all the time for the next 4 or 6 years? It was at the start of my freshman year and I wasn’t sure yet whether or not I wanted to pursue a career that had something to do with wine. With that in mind, I wasn’t too happy to immerse myself in wine science classes. But I spoke to one of my seniors and he advised me to simply enjoy my courses and the assignments and/or practical training that come with them. He mentioned that it wasn’t necessary to force myself to like wine, and that I should work on my studies without feeling any haste to find out what it is I really wanted to do. Thanks to him, I was able to relax and spend my days as a wine science major without feeling any pressure.
・What a wonderful advice♪ The Wine Science Course is indeed a rare course of study. I doubt you can find something like that in any other universities in Japan. So perhaps, there are some people who come to study this course with a special interest or a specific goal in mind. But that doesn’t mean you have to be restricted to that sort of thought. In fact, during your years as a university student, it might be better to concentrate more on widening your horizons. The more knowledge and experience you achieve during these years, the more you become closer to becoming a person of many talents. (The author is trying to act a little like a grown-up).
“A person of many talents” sounds nice! I hope I can be that kind of a person. I’ll try my best to get there!
・Lastly, would you mind giving a message to those highschool students who are pondering whether or not they should apply for University of Yamanashi?
At University of Yamanashi, there are many students that come from outside Yamanashi. Most of them live alone, and the cultural exchange we have with one another here is quite interesting. Hearing many different dialects is probably something unique to this university. If you can endure the difference of temperature during the day and throughout the year as well (it can be very cold in the morning but by the afternoon, it can become so hot!), Kofu is a very comfortable and pleasant place to be♪Sure, there is somewhat of a countryside atmosphere but it is quite close to Tokyo. I consider Kofu to be a nice place to make a living. Many students, including those from other universities, and even adults are working hard to improve the city of Kofu. Although the process is a gradual one, such activities have influenced the city to change. Moreover, the whole prefecture is now in process of an urban development in line with the opening of the maglev bullet train line. Don’t you think it would be great to have a firsthand experience of Kofu’s evolution? So I would like to say, come and see the city of Kofu! People say that Kofu is desolate and that there is nothing in the city but that is only because they haven’t gone to discover the city with their own eyes and feet! There are so many wonderful shops and places you can go into alone and have a relaxing time! So please pass this message around and let people know how wonderful Kofu is! If any of my juniors decide to come to University of Yamanashi after reading this article, I well happily take you on a guide around the city♪
・So that was M, who just can’t stop loving the city of Kofu. Thank you very much, M!
I wonder how many students will knock on our door(*) asking for M. I so look forward to that moment♪（※：As of January, 2015, our name has changed to Gender Equality Office! Please be careful not to make a mistake when you come to visit us!）
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