Host family day cruising

Thomas and his host family in Omura
Thomas and his host family in Omura

So, today was the host family day and it was amazing! First of all, I got a good night sleep and the breakfast was really amazing and delicious as always. After the son of the family, Kait, had finished his baseball club training we took the car to Kujukushima, where we hopped on a cruising boat. The boat took us around the beautiful islands in the area and it was an amazing experience. The islands were magical and the weather was perfect.

After a delicious lunch at the harbor we went into the Aquarium there. It was a really cool experience as well. After that we returned home and had dinner, which was so delicious and amazing. I really love my host family and Japan 🙂

Thomas Jinton (Sweden)

Martial arts and dancing

Maki Charlotte and Sabine sweeping by
Maki Charlotte and Sabine sweeping by

This Saturday started with a morning meeting. Our 4th counsellor was finally able to join us starting today, because he first had some exams to finish. After the introductions and meeting finished, we once again started our practice for the Arigatou Event under the guidance of Maki-chan, well-loved by the returning participants.

Because World Campus International / World Campus – Japan celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, we have a lot of dances, more than usual. One of the songs we’ll be singing in in Japanese as well, so we need a lot of practice, so we can show our host families a great Arigatou Event! After having gone over the Arigatou Event for this week, we left for another destination, the local Shorinji Kenpo dojo.

At this dojo, we would get to experience Shorinji Kenpo, but not before we had some lunch: curry made for us by the parents of the children who train there. During lunch, we had a chance to chat with the children a bit. Once everyone finished eating we cleaned up and got to hear a presentation about Shorinji Kenpo and its history. The founder of this martial art wanted to create a way of living in which you improve both yourself and those around you, and together with his knowledge of martial arts he created Shorinji Kenpo. After the presentation, we also got a demonstration from both the children and the teachers. Even some of the very young kids were really good. Finally, we could also practice some of the moves, with the children who train at the dojo.

All in all, it was a great day and although we ended quite early, we moved around a lot, so everyone was a bit tired.

Sabine Boom (The Netherlands)

A very important lesson and takoyaki in Nagasaki

In Japan cranes are believed to  symbolize peace
In Japan cranes are believed to symbolize peace

Today, we all went to go see Nagasaki. We took a train ride there (probably the first experience on a Japanese train for some of us!) and ended up at the Nagasaki Peace Museum. This museum is dedicated to the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. By displaying a lot of information, pictures and items from the place the bomb fell it gives a very clear overview of what happened that day and what the effects of the bomb were.

Even more impressive was the speech from an atomic bomb survivor (hibakusha in Japanese). He was twelve at the time it happened and he lost his mother and three of his siblings to the bomb. It was a very educational and emotional talk as he could describe everything that he saw back then in detail, giving an even clearer image of what happened there than the museum itself. Personally, I had been to the Nagasaki Peace Museum as well as the one in Hiroshima before, and I think having the chance to talk to an atomic bomb survivor added a lot to understanding what the people who experienced the atomic bomb went through.

After our time in the museum we split up for lunch and some free time in Nagasaki. I, Charlotte, Whitney, Sabine and Sami went to a temporary exhibition about Studio Ghibli in the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture. It was a lot of fun, there were a lot of cute and pretty items on display from the movies, for example a life size Totoro and Cat Bus. We are all very fond of Ghibli movies and it was super fun to see a whole exhibition dedicated to them.

I think the most interesting part was an explanation on how the animations are created. There were original sketches, notes and paintings that showed the process of animating. Even though all information was in Japanese it was easy to see how it all worked by looking at those. It was a really unique chance to see something like that!

Upon getting back home, my host family had a really nice surprise for me: as I had told them my favorite food is takoyaki (little dough balls with octopus inside) they treated me to a takoyaki party. Using a hot plate on the dinner table, we all made a whole lot of takoyaki together. It tasted just as good as in the restaurants I ate it at, if not better.

Jana de Bondt (The Netherlands)

Unique Access to Japan!

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