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Japanese Language Tour 2019


9 August 2019

Japanese Language Tour 2019

Japanese Language Tour 2019

On the chilly morning of 22 June, the Japan tour group consisting of 19 students and 3 teachers departed from Adelaide airport, en route to Singapore.

Upon arriving in Singapore, a 10 hour stop-over awaited. This experience was undoubtedly a struggle as students attempted to distract themselves with either food or travellator walks. Once we arrived in Japan, we were introduced to Kyoto station which was situated across the road from our hotel. It was a daunting experience ordering food for the first time in a different language! The next day we awoke to bright and warm weather, which was happily welcomed by all students.

In the morning hours, we visited Kinkakuji (the Golden Temple) and Ryoanji Temple. Kinkakuji’s presence and golden glow was breathtaking, and Ryoanji’s prestige and tradition made us speechless. A highlight of Ryoanji Temple was its immaculately raked rock garden, which was formed in1500. In the afternoon we visited Nijo castle, which contained creaky floor boards that were made to alert inhabitants of intruders. Clever ideas like this one really intrigued our group and demonstrated the smartness and craftsmanship of the Japanese. The following day was spent at Universal Studios, which was undoubtedly a unique experience. An upside-down dinosaur ride, Harry Potter World and the incredible realism and size of the precinct made our trip to Universal a day to remember.

The next couple of days were spent exploring Arashiyama and Kiyomizu (Water) Temple. The stunning river and thick bamboo forest at Arashiyama were perfect for taking photos, while Kiyomizu Temple stood out from the dense green forest with its vibrant orange colour.

On day 7, we travelled by bullet train to Hiroshima, to visit the Hiroshima Peace Park. The A-Bomb dome across the river from the Peace Park demonstrated the sheer power and devastation of the atomic bomb blast, and the museum revealed horrific stories and fragments from the day of the explosion. It certainly left a mark on each and every student. On the following day we travelled to Osaka, where the Kaiyukan Aquarium was situated. The sheer size of the building and diversity of sea animals within was something to behold.

The next three days were spent in the Hakone district. Our traditional inn was located on the North side of Lake Ashi, an incredible destination which usuallyhas one of the best views of Mount Fuji. The timing of our stay however was unfortunate, as the weather the entire time included deep fog and light rain, resulting in no photos of Mount Fuji. Whilst in Hakone our group also experienced traditional Japanese food (there were mixed emotions about this), an onsen spa and tempting outlet shopping. Our final few days were spent in Tokyo. We visited our amazing sister school Chuo, and enjoyed meeting our friendly buddies and undertaking a Japanese art class. We attended a down-to-the-wire baseball match at the Tokyo Dome, and shopped at Akihabara, Shibuya and Harajuku (some money was definitely spent).

We arrived home exhausted on Sunday morning (7 July) to our welcoming families. We can’t thank Mrs Thomas, Ms Parnell and Mr Horley enough for making it the best possible tour. It was invaluable to experience Japan and its culture whilst expanding our Japanese vocabulary. I seriously recommend travelling to Japan! 


By Alex Manton (Year 10)

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