trips are great. Everyone, teachers and students alike, always
look forward to the school trips. In Japanese junior high schools,
the first and second grades go on a day trip, and the third
grade goes on a three to five day trip, in my ken, usually Tokyo
to see Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Disneyland, and the sites around Tokyo.
To the right is Todai-ji temple in Nara. In my first year of
the JET program, that was where the first grade went for their
yearly school trip. They type of trip varies wildly between
historical or cultural, as in a trip to Nara or Hiroshima, and
those purely for entertainment value like amusement parks.
for one day school trips, the students are made to dress
in their P.E. uniforms. There is a short assembly outside
of school before they are loaded up into buses. When they
arrive at the destination, students are looked over again
to make sure their appearance and nothing they have is against
regulation. I always see girls being forced to change their
legwarmer/baggy-type socks. The school officials and teachers
always want to present a good face.
pose with a theme-park character
on a water-coaster
at a local amusement park
JET almost always goes on one of the day-trips. I always asked,
but was never allowed, to go to Tokyo. At the amusement parks,
they lecture them on the importance of behaving before they
go inside, then turn them loose. The teachers hang around
in packs and keep an eye on things when they themselves aren't
having too much fun. As a JET you're expected to go from group
to group of students, hang out and entertain, and you have
a ton of fun doing it, too! The day is exhausting, but worth
The photo at the left was taken when I went with the first
graders on a trip to a local island. An hour or two on a ferry
and then a few more hours exploring the island. I love school
time, I went on a trip to the south of Wakayama to pick ume,
or Japanese plums. Ume juice is delicous and Wakayama
is known all over Japan for producing the absolute best and
sweetest juice. After picking the fruits, we took our booty
home and bottled up the green plums in sugar water for days.
You can't actually eat the raw plums, they are far too sour!
trips never get out of hand... the students are far too excited
and far to afraid to do anything which would jeopardize future
school trips! The trips are an awful lot of fun and as a JET
you get some of the best quality time to be with the students.