Japan Trip 2019

In the last week of Term 2, 8 of our Taiko students, along with Mr Simmons and Mrs Ferguson headed off to Japan for a week of Taiko activities, School visits and cultural exchange. After some initial dramas with their flight being cancelled, they still made it to Japan in time to attend their first activity. They no sooner checked into their Hotel and they were off again to visit “Matsugaya High” for an afternoon of Taiko playing with their Taiko Club.
On day 2 they went to the “Taiko Lab” in central Tokyo for a 2 hour Taiko lesson with a professional Taiko Instructor. Then that evening they were all part of a Taiko Concert in Tokyo where they performed 2 of their pieces as well as getting to watch other Taiko groups perform, including professional Taiko Group, “Mugen”. Day 3 they went to Flute making workshop and made their own Bamboo Flutes. This was followed by an afternoon of sightseeing as well as catching up with Fumiko, the Japanese Percussionist who visited our School last year. They went to Asakusa and visited Tokyo’s oldest Temple and Shrine. Then in the evening went to Tokyo Tower for some great night views of Tokyo City. Day 4 they went to Kamakura which was the medieval capital of Japan. It was good to get out of Tokyo and see a different side of Japan including ancient Temples, beautiful gardens and a massive statue of Buddha! Day 5 they visited our sister School, “Tama Meguro High” and were made to feel incredibly welcome. They picked us up from the train station, welcomed us with a Tea Ceremony, provided us with lunch and invited us to their classrooms to engage in various activities. It was a very enjoyable day, and many students said it was the highlight of the trip. That evening they went to a Japanese family’s home for dinner and had a smorgasbord of very delicious Japanese foods. Day 6 we went to “Shoyo High” for an afternoon of Taiko activities as well as visiting classrooms and engaging in activities with their students. Once again, it was a very enjoyable exchange and as with all the Schools, the Japanese Teachers and Students made us feel very welcome. That evening we went to the famous “Shibuya Crossing” in central Tokyo and braved the crowds to make our way across the “5- way scramble crossing” in a sea of people! Day 7 was our final day. Before our long haul back to the airport, we went to “Ginza”, which is one of the “flahsiest” suburbs in Tokyo and did some shopping in a 7 story stationary store!

All in all, it was a very successful and rewarding trip. We learned more about Taiko, became to understand Japanese Culture a little better, made friends at the Schools we visited and enjoyed visiting some wonderful places in and around Tokyo.