Today, our last school day, was a very interesting day.
After our free period at the start of the school day, we went to Japanese class where students at Immaculate Heart College taught us some useful new Japanese phrases, such as how to talk about the texture of items (ふわふわ、つるつる、ちくちく、etc.).
After lunch and cleaning time, we had a free period, which we spent preparing for our visit to Hiroshima and practising new vocabulary.
After the free period was a calligraphy/origami session in which other students taught us how to make various shapes (paper cranes, hearts, shuriken, etc.) We then wrote our kanji names in calligraphy on card paper, and used the origami to decorate.
Blog post 7
Written by Agnes Lee
We are not morning people.
However, this morning was particularly exciting as we prepared to visit a local kindergarten. Upon being welcomed by over 300 3~6-year-old kindergarten students, we were dumbfounded by the accuracy and patience they displayed as they performed Aida’s Triumphal March. In fact, our mouths could barely close.
We also had the enjoyable opportunity of exchanging nursery rhymes, such as “Twinkle twinkle little star”, ‘I’m a little teapot’ and “Baby shark”. Led to their spacious and pristine classrooms, we took the time to entertain one another by playing some Japanese games and folding origami. The kindergarten children were extremely kind and considerate. These traits were highlighted when lunch was being served to us. Their table manner was cut to precision, and their concern for other peers, such as concern for nutrition or portions were displayed. After emotional attachments and difficult “goodbyes”, we headed to Tenmonkan.
Tenmonkan is a famous shopping area in Kagoshima, and deserves to be on your travel bucket list. In Tenmonkan, we were able to taste Japan’s most famous “shiro kuma” (sweet shaved ice). Even though it was a freezing cold day, our spoons did not stop scooping! After our delightful experience, we were granted an hour of exploring time. Tenmonkan was packed with convenience stores, clothing stores, stationery stores, food stalls and traditional Japanese clothing stores. This shopping experience taught us that Japanese people hold onto their culture as they advance technologically and socially, unlike most other countries.
To wrap up our school program, we were presented with an award recognising completion of the week’s course. We feel grateful for the experiences provided by Immaculate Heart College and hope to use our knowledge gained in the future.
Blog post 8
Written by Agnes Lee
There is nothing better than a hands-on experience within a country you have never been to. Today, we did just that. Reimeikan is a museum of Japanese arts, festivals and culture which is still well preserved within the rapidly advancing Japanese society. Friendly staff guided our study tour group to an intriguing room, packed with traditional toys, games, instruments and even samurai armour (torii) and a traditional sword. To be given the chance to wear the samurai armour, we had moved our hands rapidly in a gruelling game of “scissors, paper, rock”. The two winners were geared up as samurai complete with a helmet, body armour and katana (traditional Japanese sword), and basked in sheer joy. On the other hand, the unfortunate victims of the two samurai were dressed in peasant clothing, which was a very simple sleeve of fabric pulled over our bodies. We were grateful for the time granted for us to explore more of the Japanese museum.
From festival, housing, food, dialects and sword displays, the museum portrays the ongoing traditions and arts in Japan, and will likely never be forgotten from Japanese society.
As it was also our last day of homestay, we were then able to spend quality time with our beloved host families. We are extremely grateful for all the time, effort, consideration and love that they put into our activities, food, travels and actions. We pray that we will be able to meet them again.
Blog post 9
Written by Charlotte Lowe
Kagoshima to Hiroshima
I never realised that I could become so emotionally attached to a family who welcomed me into their home for 10 days. Not much over a week and it was hard to stay goodbye. I can safely say, that for most of us, if we were able to stay there for longer we would give anything. All the host families were so amazing and the fact that we cried must mean that we had a really enjoyable time! Riding the しんかんせん (bullet train) from Kagoshima to Hiroshima was probably the most enjoyable modes of transport in Japan!
1945, August 6, 8:15 am
“With the dropping of the atomic bomb, the city burned, and many lives were taken.
‘Help!’ The fallen children wail
‘Where’s my son?’ Ask searching mothers and fathers”
The museum was inspirational and I don’t think anyone of us was prepared for how confronting that was.
“Peace is being able to smile naturally
Peace is everyone and yourself being happy
Peace is a future with hopes and dreams.”
(Excerpts from The Commitment To Peace August 6, 2018)
We were able to eat an authentic Okonomiyaki (savoury egg pancake) at a quaint restaurant. I tried the pork, egg and udon Okonomiyaki and it was so good! After we finished we were determined to go to karaoke (even though some of us were tired). I don’t think that Mr Arkell’s or Ms Kuzi’s ears will be working tomorrow but that was so much fun.
Blog post 10
Written by Charlotte Lowe
Today was a full day of sight seeing. The places we went to really took my breath away and really showed off the best of what Hiroshima has to offer. Miyajima is an island full of beautiful shrines and temples. I felt really calm today and it helped balance the intense amount of emotion from yesterday.
The Itsukushima tori gate was built on water to try and mimic the appearance of the りゅぐじゅ (the mythical dragon palace). The itsukushima shrine is dedicated to three Munkata goddesses. They are worshipped as deities of the sea, traffic safety, fortune and accomplishment. It was filled with tourists but that couldn’t take away from the beauty of the day and the shrine. We were given free time that was mainly used to eat lunch and look at the thousands of souvenir stores that flooded the main road. We then walked to an illumination. There were about four blocks of park covered in lights, in various shapes, on both sides of the streets. It was spectacular and after a full day I think we were all very exhausted.