I was one of a group of 8 lucky girls from Euroa Secondary College who were given the opportunity as a part of the LOTE programme to travel to Japan. We were accompanied by our amazing LOTE teacher Shimizu Sensei and Briony Clark and Lindy Whitney, two lovely parents who were kind enough to volunteer.
On Wednesday 16th September, the 11 of us set out on an adventure we will never forget . After arriving in Tokyo, we travelled to Osaka on the Shinkansen – the bullet train so named so because it can reach up to 320 kmh. Osaka would be our home for the next 4 days. During our time in Osaka we visited an all-girls high school, Kaorigaoka Liberte High School, and we hope to stay in touch with some of the students we met there. We went to Osaka Castle, a 418 year old relic where the interior has been transformed into a museum, and then on a day trip to Kyoto (a 40 minute train trip) where we visited Kinkakuji Temple, a Buddhist temple of which the upper exterior has been gold plated and Kiyomizu Temple, a Buddhist temple on the side of a hill surrounded by lush greenery.
After leaving Osaka we arrived in Hiroshima and went straight to the Peace Memorial Park where we went to a museum and learnt about the A-bombing. We then travelled to Miyajima, a beautiful island covered in trees where we walked through Itsukushima Shrine.
After our day in Miyajimi came the most anticipated part of the trip – a visit to Tokyo Disneyland!! Unfortunately, the weather was miserable. It was cold and it rained ALL day – this was the first and only time we experienced bad weather on the trip. However there was a positive side to this as it meant the park wasn’t as busy so we didn’t spend as much time waiting in lines as was anticipated. Regardless of the weather Disneyland was still fun.
Throughout our time in Japan we had the opportunity to experience their amazing culture and try new and exciting things, including food – even though there were a few trips to Maccas which by the way is better in Japan!!
Lastly I would like to thank all of the wonderful people who helped make an absurd dream a reality – parents who came with us, members of the local community who made donations to enable the trip to happen, the school for their support and most importantly Shimizu Sensei who curiously listened to a group of teenage girls saying they wanted to go and somehow turned the idea into the 2015 Japan tour.
Tori Robinson (Year 10)