In September 2008, 16 students and 6 adults travelled to Haramura. We landed in Osaka and caught the bullet train to Hiroshima. In Hiroshima we went to the Peace Park and placed 1000 paper cranes at the Sadako Memorial.
We also got to spend some time at Miyajima.
Next we travelled to Osaka. This was very exciting for us as we got to spend a day at Universal Studios. From Osaka we had a day in Kyoto where we visited Byodoin Temple, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavillion), Kiyomizu-dera, as well as the Todaiji Temple in Nara.
We spent a week in Haramura. We were all homestayed with fantastic families and had a great time. We went to Hara Junior High for the week. We were lucky enough to also spend some time at the nursery school and the elementary school. School life is very different in Japan compared to New Zealand. It was bit of a shock to our system to have to clean the school at the end of each day!!
While in Hara we did lots of different things, depending on our families. As a group we went to the Cultural Park where we got to play on the toy cars after which we played mallet golf. Honey Mama had organised a wedding party for us to see and a tea ceremony for us to take part in.
At the Village party we performed our items, as well as some of the Junior High students. The adults even did a small performance along with Mr Sweeney!
After our very sad goodbyes in Hara we headed to Tokyo for a couple of days, one of which was a day in Disneyland.
Our time in Japan, especially in Haramura, was a very special time. Everyone gained a lot from the trip and I am sure we all made memories and friendships that we will never forget. Feel free to share your good memories.