Japan Trip (Part Two)

The exhilarating saga continues.

Day 4

We woke up bright and early to travel by bus to Fushiki High School where we met up with our host sisters and host brothers. The school kindly presented us with little gifts to keep as souvenirs. Being a school in a more rural area meant the school didn’t come equipped with air conditioning. Each classroom had huge windows that opened into the hallway and most of them featured blackboards, just like the Chinese classrooms I had experienced when I still lived in Shanghai. One difference was the switching of outdoor shoes into sandals for indoor use throughout the whole campus. I could never imagine doing that in American schools, just because of the sheer inefficiency caused from having the 3000 or so students in my high school change shoes and then put them inside a cubby to be locked away every morning. We all sat in on varying levels of English lessons and participated in games lead by a British ALT (Assistant Language Teacher).

ramen

From that class we moved to a cooking class and even though I’m usually horrendous when it comes to such things, apparently I’m really good at chopping cucumbers – the best/most intricate slices in my group happened to be mine. Since our group had to prepare food for the teachers as well, we fell behind others and the Japanese students ended up doing most of the cooking for us, leaving us with only side jobs such as washing the dishes and chopping vegetables. The noodles we cooked were Japanese-style Chinese noodles yeah I don’t really understand either and they turned out fantastic! The fruit desert tasted equally yummy.

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Japan Trip (Part One)

tokyo
Tokyo in all its morning glory

So I never did make a post about the amazing experience that was my trip to Japan last summer. Our school had an opportunity to visit the country on an exchange program called the Kakehashi Program (Translating roughly to “bridge to tomorrow”) entirely funded by the government. Since not enough Japanese language study participants signed up, the International Baccalaureate Program candidates were also given the chance. I love traveling, so of course I signed up. I felt so excited the night before the trip as this was my first time traveling internationally without parental supervision. When we boarded the airplane before our 14 hour flight, I was shocked to learn that some of my classmates had never even been anywhere outside of Texas, much less flew on a plane. Having had so much previous international experienced made me feel privileged in comparison. Read More »