Harrogate students experience Japan’s culture

The exchange partners from Rossett School and Ishihami High School enjoyed trips out to local landmarks around Nikko. (S)

The exchange partners from Rossett School and Ishihami High School enjoyed trips out to local landmarks around Nikko. (S)

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Seeing Mount Fuji from the comfort of the famous bullet train was just one of the highlights of Rossett School’s Japanese exchange trip.

A group of 10 students spent 10 days enjoying the varied culture of Japan, from quiet villages to buzzing cities.

It was great for Rossett students to be able to enjoy so many aspects of Japanese culture, from the busy streets of Tokyo to the moving memorials at Hiroshima.

Sports teacher and trip organiser Mark Bulmer

They ate traditional meals and took part in rituals including a Shinto ceremony, as well as visiting the modern areas of Tokyo and seeing the commercial side of Japanese life.

They picked up many interesting facts along the way – including that there are more vending machines in Japan than there are people in Scotland.

Student Debby Stockill said: “I really enjoyed the visit to Japan. We saw examples of both modern and old-fashioned Japan.

“My favourite part of modern Japan was going to Sega World, because we were able to experiences rides, technology and machines that you wouldn’t get in our country, because we are not as advanced in terms of technology as Japan.

“My favourite part of old Japan was visiting the little village in Nikko, because the houses had so much detail and they looked stunningly beautiful.”

The group was also able to find out more about Japanese culture by visiting their exchange partners.

They shared traditional meals and even tried on yukata – traditional robes – before visiting the hot springs.

The two exchange groups gave musical performances in the evening and sampled another traditional Japanese activity – karaoke.

Student Brighdie Oliver said: “My favourite part of the trip was the visit to Nikko to see our exchange partners. We had a traditional Japanese meal and received gifts from our overseas friends.”

Sports teacher Mark Bulmer, who helped to coordinate the visit, said: “It was great for Rossett students to be able to enjoy so many aspects of Japanese culture, from the busy streets of Tokyo to the moving memorials at Hiroshima.

“They also enjoyed meeting up with their exchange partners again, after they came to Harrogate last November.

“Our hosts were very welcoming and made the trip very enjoyable for all of us.”

Back in November Rossett welcomed Japanese Exchange students from Ishigami High School for a few days of sightseeing in Harrogate.

The exchange is well established, now in its 26th year of bringing Japan to Rossett.