Japan Trip/Exchange 2018 日本の修学旅行
On Friday 19th October, a group of 14 students, accompanied by Mrs Rajakumar and Ms Davids, departed from Hockerill and set out on a trip to Japan – a trip which would prove to be one of new experiences, education and immersion into the Japanese society.
After arriving in Japan, we travelled across the country to Nagano, a smaller, more rural city than Tokyo, which is home to the famous Zenkoji Temple. We stayed in a Buddhist Monastery for four nights, and over the course of our days in Nagano, took part in various activities, such as travelling to the Togakushi Ninja Museum and shrine, and visiting the stunning Matsumoto Castle, one of the last of its type still remaining in Japan.
We also visited our partner primary schools – Komaki and Wakatsuki – for three days, interacting with all of the students and participating in traditional Japanese activities such as Japanese-style drumming, origami and dancing, in addition to just generally experiencing this completely different schooling system.
Following our final day at the primary schools, we then travelled back to Keio School in Tokyo to meet with our extremely welcoming exchange partners, who had visited us at Hockerill in March, and their families. We spent 2 full days at school with our partners, again experiencing this completely different system and culture, taking part in a whole range of classes at school – ranging from music to studies of Japanese society.
The weekend was then spent in our host families, who were all incredibly generous, showing us around different parts of Tokyo and helping us understand new aspects of Japanese culture and society. Not only was our time with our exchange families fun and exciting, but we all felt that it helped us improve and experiment with our Japanese language much more, and despite being difficult at time, was a very beneficial experience.
Finally, after saying goodbye to our host families, we spent our final day in Tokyo participating in the Tokyo Challenge – an urban-orienteering activity in which travelled around the city by train in small groups, visiting the different districts in Tokyo and spending time in a huge range of areas – from Buddhist temples such as the beautiful Sensouji Temple, to Harajuku, the fashion district of Tokyo.
Overall, The entire trip was a truly fantastic experience, during which we learnt to understand the Japanese way of thinking, visit many of the country’s wonders, and of course, improve our language skills drastically.