Aina Oliver is from Mallorca. She fell in love with Japan when first visited with her family as a child. Now she is finishing a MBA at Nagoya University.
Why did you leave Catalonia?
Visiting new places and meeting new people is one of my passions. My family loves to travel too, and we used to spend every holiday abroad from the time I was a little child. So I always knew that I'd study in a foreign university after graduating in Barcelona.
Why did you choose Japan?
When I first came to Japan as a child I completely fell in love with the place and the people. After that, I always dreamed of spending some time here. Then I found this university in Nagoya, with an international approach and more than 1.500 foreign students from 80 countries, and decided to apply for a MBA.
How long have you lived there?
I came here this year before the summer, to get ready to start the semester. So it's been a few months.
What do you think is the best thing about living there?
The best part is that I am in contact with a lot of people from different backgrounds. Not only Japanese students, with their particular culture, but from everywhere around the world.
What do you miss most from home?
I haven't had time to miss home yet. I'm so pleased here that I'm making the most of each one of my days in Japan.
What characterises your neighbourhood?
I live on campus, so my “neighbourhood” is full of students! When I have some free time, I always go to Nagoya, the largest city in the Chibu region of Japan.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?
In Nagoya, you shouldn't miss the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, where you can understand why Japanese technology conquered the world in the second half of the 20th Century. The best place of all to visit in this city though is Nagoya Castle, an amazing building from 1610.
And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?
The Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden, for sure. You'd feel in touch with nature and in a very peaceful environment.
Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?
I guess I can't say the cafeteria at the University, so I'd suggest the Yabaton restaurant, near the train station. It's small but the food is absolutely delicious.
Where would you have a special dinner for two?
Im 'afraid I can't say. I guess I need more time in Japan!
When is the best time of year to plan a visit?
Nagoya has a subtropical climate, so you can visit anytime. Summers are hot but winters are cool. It rains often, though.
What is the best kept secret about the area?
I'd say the Tea House in the Shirotori Garden. If you're lucky, you might be able to attend a traditional tea ceremony.