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School trip

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School trip

Postby Oyaji » Tue 01.30.2007 11:58 am

Every year the second year students of most (I'm tempted to say every) high school and junior high school in Japan go on school trips - 修学旅行. Our oldest son just got back from his trip this evening.

Last friday all of the second year students from his high school loaded on to chartered buses for the drive to Fukuoka Airport. They flew to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, where they again loaded buses and went to Shiga Kougen in Nagano Prefecture for two days of skiing. They justify this by calling it スキー研修. On the first morning of skiing, they divided into small groups and received lessons from an instructor. They were then turned loose for the next day and a half.

There isn't a lot of skiing here in Kyushu, so this was the first time for most of them. Of course at that age they pick these things up quickly, and my son said they had a great time. Still, with a mountain full of country kids from Kyushu skiing for the first time, I bet it looked like something out of Keystone Cops.

On Monday morning they loaded onto buses again and headed into Tokyo, where they were once again turned loose. Each group had decided on a research theme, and my son's group had chosen "Architecture" so they roamed around Tokyo taking pictures of interesting buildings. At one point they got lost, and asked some local high school students where the Ikebukuro Station is. They were embarrassed when they pointed at the building right in front of them. My son said they felt like they had 田舎者 written in big letters across their foreheads.

This morning (Tuesday) they headed to Disneyland, where they stayed until late afternoon, and then drove to the airport, arriving home this evening.

His impressions:

Skiing was a lot of fun, and was the best part of the trip.

Tokyo, though exciting and all, was way too crowded, and the pace too fast. He said they kept politely standing aside for people until they realized that they weren't getting anywhere, and decided they would have to just dive into the flow. I think Tokyo wore them out.

Disneyland was okay, but it too was too crowded, and not nearly as fun as Universal Studios Japan, where he went on his school trip in jr. high.

Of course the best part was spending five days playing -- I mean "studying", with his friends.

I'm sure many of you are wondering "How much?" and "Who paid?"

The whole thing, including transportation, lodging, meals, skiing (including equipment and clothing rental, instructions, and lifts), and an all day *passport* at Disneyland was 70,000 yen, which the parents pay for. It is so cheap because these trips are big business for everyone involved, and they need to keep their customers happy.
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RE: School trip

Postby keatonatron » Tue 01.30.2007 12:20 pm

That's kind of funny; it seems like all the high school kids in the Tokyo area go to Kyoto for their school trips (Every time I've asked someone under the age of 30 if they have been to Kyoto and why, they all say they went with their high school).

It's nice that everyone in Japan gets a chance to see the "other side" while in high school :D
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RE: School trip

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.30.2007 5:44 pm

The 田舎 kids on school tours do stand out like sore thumbs in Tokyo. There's something about the cut of their uniforms and the expressions on their faces. (And I like both far better than I do those on Tokyo kids, who seem like 35 year olds trapped in teen bodies).
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RE: School trip

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 01.30.2007 8:08 pm

keatonatron wrote:
That's kind of funny; it seems like all the high school kids in the Tokyo area go to Kyoto for their school trips (Every time I've asked someone under the age of 30 if they have been to Kyoto and why, they all say they went with their high school).


In gifu, because we're smack dab in between the two, Elementary school kids go to Kyoto, while the Jr. High kids go to Tokyo (usually). High schools around here are all over the place. Some even get to go abroad.
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RE: School trip

Postby Oyaji » Wed 01.31.2007 1:55 am

Mike Cash wrote:
The 田舎 kids on school tours do stand out like sore thumbs in Tokyo. There's something about the cut of their uniforms and the expressions on their faces. (And I like both far better than I do those on Tokyo kids, who seem like 35 year olds trapped in teen bodies).


I agree. I like to think the store keepers and such also find it refreshing to hear high school students actually say 「ありがとうございます」 when they are served.

Harisenbon - The primary schools here go to Nagasaki, the jr. highs go to Kyoto/Nara/Osaka (including USJ), and though the Nagano/Tokyo course is quite popular, high schools do go all over the place, including Hawaii and Australia. For the travel industry its a very lucrative and highly competitive business.
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RE: School trip

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Sun 02.11.2007 3:30 am

My HS went to Shanghai...needless to say it wasnt a very good trip. There was something bad with the buffet they had the night they got there and more than half the 2nd years got very sick. It got even better because when they came back they started giving whatever it was to the kids at the school.


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RE: School trip

Postby Strawberry_Juice » Thu 02.22.2007 12:14 am

At one point they got lost, and asked some local high school students where the Ikebukuro Station is. They were embarrassed when they pointed at the building right in front of them.

I had a similar experience... Ginza = me getting lost. So I wandered about for a bit looking for the Sony building and trying to get directions (but I couldn't understand most of what people told me). Eventually a clerk in a suit shop happily pointed right across the street at the huge, clearly visible building with "SONY" right across the top. :p
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