Shrines, sashimi, shinkansen and sticky rice. How do you make sure 19 students know how to eat with chopsticks? Take them on a whirlwind cultural tour of Japan!
Coordinated by Nicole Robins; Timothy Jiow, Cynthia Edward and Sarah Harris accompanied 19 Year 10 and 11 students on the tour, stopping in many places including Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima and Osaka (one of the food capitals of the world). We dove into understanding cultural parts of Japan visiting the Shinto shrines, temples, gardens and both Nijo and Osaka Castles; as well as experiencing more modern culture at Universal Studios and dinner with karaoke.
When we visited Nara and saw the largest wooden structure in the world, we also saw how urban Japan is so close to wild Japan, as the deer roam freely in the town. The deer are so polite they bow their head to ask for a biscuit. In each town we were spoiled with local cuisine experiences: karaage and melon pan in Tokyo; Tempura and Sashimi in Kyoto; Soba and the Dontoburi food district in Osaka; and, Okonomiyami in Hiroshima.
Hiroshima was both sombre and peaceful as the history of the Atomic Bombing was made very real to the entire group. As our visit fell on Good Friday, we really reflected on how the sacrifice and loss of the innocent directs us to look for hope in the future. For Hiroshima, hope is in the determination of forging world peace. It led us to look toward Easter Sunday with a renewed understanding of the hope we have in the Resurrection. The joy of Easter Sunday was added to through our visit to Universal Studios, as well as the chocolates from the teachers and the group of Year 10 girls who brought Easter eggs all the way from Australia for everyone!
Miss Sarah Harris