Konnichiwa Japan

St Brendan-Shaw College students Elloize and Matilda report on their recent trip to Japan:

On 23 September 20 St Brendan-Shaw College students varying from grades 9 to 12 embarked on an adventure of a lifetime to Japan. Mrs Bramich and Mr Bennett led this incredible trip overseas with the assistance of Mrs Bussey, Mrs Sherriff and Mrs Boulton. Our journey lasted 13 days and as students we were given the opportunity to immerse ourselves in Japanese culture and language, which both proved to be memorable and invaluable.

During our stay in Japan, we travelled to Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Kanazawa and finally Osaka. We first explored Tokyo and soon found out that it was a vibrant city consisting of huge skyscrapers, many people, and a traditional culture and cuisine. On the second day we travelled by train to Disneyland and spent a rainy day riding rollercoasters and meeting Disney characters. Our travels continued via Shinkansen (bullet train) taking us to Kyoto, the old capital of Japan with rich history and traditions.

Hiroshima proved to be a highlight for many of the students as we visited the peace park museum and presented paper cranes on behalf of the school. It was intriguing to learn more about the city, as it was the place of the atomic bombing 70 years ago. This was a very emotional and confronting part of our journey, however it will always be a well-remembered experience for us all.

We then travelled to Miyajima Island where some of us trekked to a beach nearby, interacted with some deer, visited the aquarium, and took photos in front of the famous floating tori gate. The group then travelled to Kanazawa. Here we decorated chopsticks using gold leaf, drank gold leaf tea, walked through houses of Geisha’s and on to the Samurai district.

Our last destination was Osaka. This too was a busy city where we tried a local fast food restaurant Mos Burger, visited a park and castle, and of course spent some of our time shopping. On our last day we caught multiple trains to Universal Studios. This was also a highlight for most of us, as Harry Potter World seemed to be a top hit.

After an incredible two weeks we returned home very tired but with a stamp in our passport, new memories, friendships within the group and within the wider community, a new sense of cultural diversity, a further developed vocabulary, and of course the travel bug.