Once in a lifetime! What an experience!
It is very difficult to put into words the effect that the Japan Study Tour has had on us all. What a week!
When we first heard a year ago that we were selected by ‘The Great Britain SASAKAWA Foundation’ to take part in a week’s study tour of Japan we didn’t quite realise just how it would change the way we experience life.
Thank you to all those people who helped us raise enough money for our travel to Heathrow and back. Without your support this could not have gone ahead.
The Study Tour involved us staying with host parents and school buddies during our stay. A real insight into Japanese culture, food and hospitality. We were not disappointed. Everyone was so generous, helpful, kind, excited and very caring.
Eating was an adventure at times and some of us were more adventurous than others… from Tempura Lotus root to battered whale and everything in between!
Our hosts ranged from a Buddhist Monk sharing his Temple to a family of four giving up their only bedroom for us to stay. “We have made friends for life!”
‘The Great Britain SASAKAWA Foundation’ and ‘Osaka International House’ put on an extensive and packed Study tour. This included staying with host families, school buddies, visiting Temples, singing Karaoke in an ‘Elderly Persons Home’, visiting the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute, riding the Bullet Train, visiting Hiroshima, meeting with a survivor of the first Atomic Bomb, staying on an island, touring Miyajima, visiting a local high school, practicing Calligraphy and visiting the Life Safety Learning centre. From Mr Murray’s impersonation of Popeye to Charlie’s Pop Star status with the schoolgirls! All this between long haul flights!
One of the most humbling experiences was our talk form a survivor of the first A Bomb in Hiroshima. He was very candid and it affected us all in some way. His strive for peace and his humility was very touching. “From space the Earth has no borders” were the words that will stay with us forever.
It was very much a two way process. The Japanese were so interested in our life styles. We all have a much deeper appreciation and understanding of each other’s culture, society and achievements.
We have all learned to speak a little Japanese although their English is much, much better. We are putting together a display and scrap books to share our experiences.