This year, for the first time we took a group of 30 students from year 9 and year 10 to Japan in the September/October school holidays. After a long flight and a traditional meal we began our tour of Tokyo. Our initial visit included the Imperial Palace East Gardens and Asakusa Temple which is a famous Senso-ji Buddhist temple. The students were delighted when we visited the Meiji Jingu Shrine; where the students were able to witness two Japanese traditional weddings taking place. We had lunch in Harajuku and walked to Shibuya Station to see the famous Hachiko statue.
With much excitement we visited Tokyo Disneyland and the students had a wonderful time learning how to use a Japanese map. After three jam packed days we boarded the bullet train for Kyoto and saw many temples and shrines including Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu-dera. While in Kyoto went to Nara and visited Nara Park one of the oldest parks in Japan with wild deer wandering freely. That afternoon we visited one of Japan’s largest bronze statue of Budda in Todai-ji temple. Then we again boarded the bullet train to Hiroshima and spent the afternoon at the Peace Memorial Museum where students gained a better understanding of the atrocities of Hiroshima. As the trip came to a close we spent a fun filled day on the island of Miyajima where students saw the famous Itsukushima Shrine and historical monuments.
Overall, it was a wonderful trip and the students had many memorable experiences and many opportunities to practise their Japanese language in a real-life context. Students had the opportunity to meet new people and practice their social skills and appreciate another culture.