11 May Japan Trip 2017
Normally, a two week school holiday comes and goes, but April 13th – 28th were two weeks that 13 students and 3 teachers would remember for a very long time as they travelled to Japan for our bi-annual Japanese Trip. For the first week of the trip the group travelled around Japan visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. This time provided students an opportunity to see a great number of attractions and cultural heritage sites and experience traditional cultural activities that students had encountered in their studies throughout their Japanese education at Pakuranga College. One of the stand out experiences for the students, despite the nature of some of the images displayed, was the trip to the Hiroshima Peace Park. This experience was incredibly moving and emotional for the students and staff alike, and no doubt the lessons learnt will stay with our group for a very long time. The students and teachers throughout the first week also had the opportunity to try their hand at some traditional arts and crafts, as well as partake in cultural activities such as traditional public bathing, and helping to make (and more importantly eat) the local delicacies.
During the second week in Japan we visited our sister school, Toyama University of International Studies High School. For 7 days the students stayed with Japanese host families and were able to attend school. For our students this was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. During their time at school they were given the opportunity to participate in everyday Japanese lessons and school life as well as experience traditional Japanese club activities, such as tea ceremony, calligraphy & Japanese archery.
Throughout this whole trip students had the opportunity to take what they had been learning in the classroom over the past 4 or 5 years and experience it in a real life, natural environment. It was a chance for them to develop their confidence in not only using Japanese language, but also in their understanding of Japanese culture, traditions and everyday life.
Lisa Cumberland, Head of Japanese / Head of Faculty, Languages