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Japan Trip 2024 - Update 1

Across the Globe

This year’s week-long walking trip in Japan has started off on a brilliant note! Our group of Grade 8 students and staff have been immersing themselves in Japanese culture, language, sights and, of course, cuisine! During their trip they are also taking part in a farm community project. Based around Oita on the island of Kyushu, the first few days have involved getting to know their hosts over delicious home cooked meals, hiking the surrounding mountains, planting shitake mushroom spores in tree logs (it takes two years for them to grow), making sweet potato bread and soba noodles from scratch, visiting temples, taking part in craft workshops and relaxing in an onsen. The students have impressed the teachers with their enthusiasm, energy, vocabulary and language skills!

Day 3 was packed full of activities and highlights, as described by ISL teacher and trip organiser Ashley Ault:

Wow, what a day! Our group started early with a nourishing breakfast at the inn before heading out to a nearby 1200 year old Buddhist temple, where we learned about the balance between Buddhism and Shintoism. We then started the first climb of the day... the sun was beaming down and we had views for days! We visited several other shrines as we made our way up the mountain. When we reached the top, we visited an impressive temple built into the mountainside and the view was breath-taking. We also saw a self-portrait sculpture by UK artist Antony Gormley, who also created the “Angel of the North” and many other works around the world.

After making our way back down the mountain we had a picnic bento box under the trees, before heading off to our crafts workshops on how to use bamboo to weave and make bracelets. We learned about the different types of bamboo, how to prepare it and the time it takes to be able to create beautiful art. We discovered that the bamboo used for Judo mats comes from this region and only seven farms in the world grow it. After our workshops we took the ferry to Himeshima to learn about the seven active volcanoes in the geothermal park (a great review for the unit we are currently finishing). Before we climbed more steps, we went to our first Japanese grocery store to fill up on snacks…most of which are already gone!

After the geothermal park we made our way to our inn to settle in, have onsen, write our introduction letters and get ready for dinner. Everyone was AMAZING today. Super impressed with stamina, attitude and engagement. Looking forward to some recovery tomorrow from the thousands of stairs we climbed today.



Japan Trip 2024 - Update 1
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Japan Trip 2024 - Update 1