Japan Study Tour 2017

There is no greater learning experience for our students than what they can attain from immersing themselves in direct interactions with the people and culture in the community where Japanese is spoken as the first language.

The 2017 Japan Study Tour, which departs on Friday, 15th September, will improve the students’ confidence and assist them to develop their Japanese language skills in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Students will experience a cultural, historical and culinary journey in a land renowned for its history, beauty and culture. They will see their own country from a different perspective and experience educational opportunities far beyond what can be achieved in Australia.

Students will attend the Aichi Reimei High school in Yatomi and stay with a Japanese family while they undertake daily Japanese language lessons and attend various activities organised by our host school. We will also visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima. Highlights of the tour include visits to many of Japan’s historic castles, shrines and temples, a day at Tokyo Disneyland, an afternoon at a Sumo Tournament and a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park where students will deepen their understanding of the destruction caused by the dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945.

Blog updates will appear below once the immersion tour has commenced.

  pdf Click here for the Japan Study Tour Itinerary (368 KB)


Monday, 25th September

Last week was a fantastic week, with all the students enjoying time with their host families, and experiencing Japanese school life. During each day, students experienced a variety of activities organised by our host school, Aichi Reimei High School. On Wednesday, we visited the local kindergarten. Notre Dame students and the kindergarten students sang, played and talked together. The kindergarten students were very cute and absolutely loved meeting our students. On Thursday, we were invited to the local middle school (years 7 -9), for the school cultural festival. This involves performances of singing, dancing, martial arts and comedy. Friday was an excellent day for the students, in which they attended classes with their Japanese buddies. Highlights included kendo in PE class, goldfish catching in the afternoon, and attending English classes for Japanese students. Each evening, and for the full day on Saturday, students spent time with their host families. Students enjoyed sampling Japanese food, playing Japanese games, and visiting local attractions with their host families. The home stay was the clear highlight of the trip for all of our students, and saying goodbye to host families on Sunday morning was a terribly sad time for everyone, and many tears were shed. 

On Sunday morning, we travelled to Kyoto, which is famous for its beautiful temples and ancient culture. On Sunday, we visited the famous Kiyomizu temple, a beautiful temple on a hill, with an excellent view of all sides of Kyoto. On Tuesday, we enjoyed a great day at Nara, visiting the famous deer park, and todaiji temple with the enormous statue of Buddha. This was followed by a trip to the beautiful Fushimi Inari shrine, famous for its many red tori gates leading to and surrounding the shrine.

We are all looking forward to visiting some more of kyoto's beautiful sites.


Thursday, 21st September

The students (and teachers) are all having a great time. After seeing modern Tokyo on Saturday, we saw a little bit of the traditional tokyo on Sunday. We travelled to Asakusa on Sunday to see the beautiful temple. We all enjoyed souvenir shopping around the temple. After this, we were lucky enough to see a sumo wrestling tournament. This was so exciting. We got to see all the traditions involved, including the wrestlers salting the wrestling ring. Often the fights would be over in seconds. Following this, we went to the akihabara electric town for dinner, and the students tried their hands at the arcade games, not many being successful at winning anything!

On Monday, we had the most exciting day at the happiest place on earth - Disneyland! Some of the highlights included the Space Mountain roller coaster, the Star Wars 3D ride, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The students also enjoyed buying some great souvenirs, including some great Disney character hats. On Tuesday morning we travelled to yatomi for the home stay element of the tour. Students are now enjoying getting to know their host families, and are having a great authentic experience being immersed in Japanese culture.

Sunday, 17th September

We have arrived safely in Tokyo, Japan. We arrived on Friday evening, and headed to our traditional Japanese style hotel. On Saturday morning we headed off for our first day of sightseeing, beginning with the Miraikan Science Museum, where we were lucky enough to meet the Asimo robot and see a humanoid robot in action. This was followed by a trip to Harajuku, where we got to see some of the crazy fashion and Japanese popular culture. We then went to Shibuya to see the famous scramble intersection. We all had a go at singing at a karaoke box, the highlight being the whole group singing along to Greased Lightning. This was followed by a lovely dinner at a sushi train restaurant. All the students are having a great time. We are looking forward to sumo on Sunday and Tokyo Disneyland on Monday.

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