2018 Japanese Study Tour
On Friday 23 November of last year, fourteen Darwin High School language students and two teachers departed Darwin for the 2018 Japan Trip.
This annual trip gives students the opportunity to apply their language skills and immerse themselves in Japanese culture. The group spent eighteen days exploring Japan, experiencing cultural customs and having the adventure of a lifetime.
By teacher Mariko Ruzsicska
Arriving in Tokyo for the first night, students enjoyed Tempura-don dinner in a traditional town of Asakusa. The next day, we saw a traditional wedding procession at the Meiji Shrine! We were so very lucky to come across such a special event.
On the third day students were sent to their host families in Chiba prefecture. Still getting used to Japan itself, meeting host families and being on their own was a nerve wracking experience, but after spending two weeks together it was hard to say goodbye. The students had a great time with their Japanese host families and learnt a lot about Japanese culture, and the daily life of Japanese people. Another highlight was the visit to a Japanese school, Shorin High School, where students participated in cultural activities and joined in an English class exchanging languages and making friends.
After visiting Odaiba and Disneyland in Tokyo, we traveled to Kyoto by bullet train. In Kyoto, students wore kimonos and participated in a tea ceremony, where they learnt the Japanese saying ‘一期一会‘ meaning ‘Once in a lifetime opportunity, treasure the moment as the moment you experience now would never come back. We also experienced Japanese traditional sweets making in Kyoto.
On a rainy day in Kyushu, we went ice skating. It was the first ice skating experience for the majority of students. After a few hours of physical exercise, it was time for a big lunch. We went to a Sushi train and ate about 150 plates of sushi!
Overall, students gained confidence in embracing with different culture, learnt to see things from different perspectives and to develop own views as a global citizen. It was great to see them growing into open-minded and responsible young adults.
There were so many highlights on the trip. It was an amazing experience. I can only share a few that stand out. One of my favorite activities was the Host family stay. The Japanese families were so inviting. It was fantastic to see how people live in Japan first hand. It gave great insight to a different culture. We were sad to leave. Another highlight were the many different temples and shrines. It was very interesting to see very old traditional gardens and shrines. We even got to witness a Shinto Wedding procession. Dressing in Kimonos and the tea ceremony was very interesting and it was fun to dress up kimono and walk around the shrine. Japan is an amazing country. I learnt and so did the students.
- Teacher, Matthew Atfield
The 2018 Japanese study tour was extremely informative and insightful into how Japanese people conduct themselves in everyday life as well as the clear differences there are between Australian cultures. I enjoyed taking the train systems and bullet trains that ran across the country, especially seeing the efficiency of everyday Japanese people while the conduct their daily lives. My favourite part of the study tour was the honour of staying with a Japanese household for 2 nights and 3 days. Personally, my host family were very accepting and understanding and they made me feel welcomed and at ease, despite the short time I was with them. I also heard similar experience with all my peers. Which has given me the impression that all Japanese people are kind and accepting, and I truly believe this. Every single Japanese person I spoke to, or interacted with, gave me the same amount of respect and understanding as the previous. Overall this study tour was very rewarding and I made a lot of great memories and friends that I will cherish forever. I highly suggest and Stage 1 or 2 student studying Japanese to make the leap and go on this study tour, because you will regret it if you don’t.
- Student, Isaac Barnes
The 2018 Japan Study Tour was a memorable experience for all the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Japanese students. The host family experience was the highlight of the trip. It was a valuable opportunity for Darwin High School students to immerse themselves in Japanese culture and improve their speaking and listening skills through learning in the context. Also, each host family took their students out on a day trip to various sites in Kimitsu. Students enjoyed their day with their host family, explored Kimitsu and learned more about the city. Other highlights of the trip included Disneyland, Akihabara, Hakata and Meiyajima. Akihabara allowed students to indulge themselves in the urban Japanese experience. From food stalls, to computer stores, to manga stores and many more. Overall, the Darwin High School students will cherish the 2018 Japan trip for many days to come.