Japanese language students from Ulladulla High School had the opportunity to travel to their country of study for two weeks during the school holidays.
The students visited Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima, undertaking the martial art Kendo and archery as well as immersing themselves in language classes at Mikawa Junior High School – Ulladulla High School’s sister school for 23 years.
Most of the students had only been studying the language for about a year so to be immersed among Hiragana and Katakana – components of the Japanese writing system – characters for their eating, travel and shopping was a wonderful opportunity offered by their Japanese teacher Mrs Louise Morgan and Mr Armati.
Highlights of the trip included watching “with inquisitive disbelief” at the food that rolled out on a Tokyo sushi train, some of the outfits on the mannequins at the Tokyo Gucci shop, and the sombre reflection on the horrors of the Hiroshima bomb by a survivor from the day.
Foremost, was the delight on the faces of the Ulladulla students when they reconnected with their exchange students whom they had originally billeted at their home in Australia.
The generosity of Mikawa High School and Kosei Gakuen High School was humbling.
Students were treated to Kendo instruction, calligraphy lessons, a typical morning tea, archery exhibition and finally the whole school stopping to escort the group to their bus at the end of the day.
Finally, an exhausted group of Ulladulla High School students negotiated Australian customs on the last Friday of the school holidays before returning home.