• Soldiers engage in cultural day activities, which included a visit to the Heian Jingu Shrine in Kyoto, Japan, as part of concluding events of Orient Shield 12.  Orient Shield is an annual, bilateral tactical field training exercise with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and the U.S. Army. (From Left to right) Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile Public Affairs, Illinois Army National Guard, out of Springfield, Ill.; Pfc. Ricardo Lowe, Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Staff Sgt. Robert Olson, Company A, 1-14th Infantry; Pfc. Candace Core, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Stryker BCT; Sgt. Risati Taufaanuu, Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 1-14th Infantry; Pvt. Shotaro Nishiyama, 33rd Infantry Regiment, Japan Ground Self Defense Force; Sgt. 1st Class, Masato Kokuba, 33rd Infantry Regiment.

    Experiencing Japanese Culture

    Soldiers engage in cultural day activities, which included a visit to the Heian Jingu Shrine in Kyoto, Japan, as part of concluding events of Orient Shield 12. Orient Shield is an annual, bilateral tactical field training exercise with the Japan...

  • The traditional dress of the women of Kyoto, Japan, was one of many things Soldiers involved in Orient Shield 12 saw while on culture day.  Troops from both the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, went to the ancient city of Kyoto, Japan, for culture day

    Experiencing Japanese Culture

    The traditional dress of the women of Kyoto, Japan, was one of many things Soldiers involved in Orient Shield 12 saw while on culture day. Troops from both the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, went to the...

  • Spc. Jason T. Dorsey, from Chicago, public affairs specialist with the 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Illinois Army National Guard, out of Springfield, Ill., poses with traditionally dressed women of Kyoto, Japan. Troops from both the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, went to the ancient city of Kyoto, Japan, for culture day.

    Experiencing Japanese Culture

    Spc. Jason T. Dorsey, from Chicago, public affairs specialist with the 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Illinois Army National Guard, out of Springfield, Ill., poses with traditionally dressed women of Kyoto, Japan. Troops from both the Japan...

  • Pfc. Core Candace of 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Sgt. Risati Taufaanuu, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker BCT, out of Schofield Barracks, get pictures with traditionally dressed Japanese children while visiting Heian Shrine in Kyoto, Japan.  Troops from both the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, went to the ancient city of Kyoto, Japan for culture day.

    Experiencing Japanese Culture

    Pfc. Core Candace of 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Sgt. Risati Taufaanuu, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry...

KYOTO, Japan (Nov. 7, 2012) -- With Orient Shield 12 winding down, Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, along with their Japan Ground Self Defense Force counterparts, participated in a historical tour of the ancient city of Kyoto, during the first of two culture days.

"We are very thankful for this opportunity to go see a place that we haven't been to," said Pfc. Sam Merzoug from Falls Church, Va., a medic with Company A, 1-14th Infantry. "A lot of these guys haven't been to Japan so they were really excited. I think what our command did here was great for the Soldiers. It definitely boosted the morale."

Defense Force Members were excited to have the opportunity to share their culture with Soldiers. For many Soldiers it was a distinct break from the normal.

"It's a good time for Soldiers because the Japanese culture is very different from the USA," said Sgt. 1st Class Kiyome Yoshida, from Nagoya, Japan, visual information specialist with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force. "I hope they had a good time."

Soldiers rode busses from the Aibano Training Area to Kyoto on three separate day trips, Nov. 4-6. While in Kyoto they were given the opportunity to explore Heian Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple as well as the shops and restaurants among the scenic winding streets of Kyoto.

"I love the way they dress and their architecture," said Merzoug. "Parts of it reminded me of New York City except that it was in a traditional setting. The food was great. The fashion was great. Everything was great."

The Japanese people left an impression on the Soldiers visiting Kyoto.

"They are very respectful people," said Merzoug. "You can tell it's a very old culture; very different from ours."

The day will be an unforgettable day for many involved.

"I hope they can see the heart of Japan," said Yoshida. "Japanese are kind people. I hope the U.S. Army would see our hearts."

Page last updated Thu November 8th, 2012 at 08:39