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Exploring Japan’s Unique Culture…

Posted on: 1st May 2017 | Category: Boarding life, Trips and excursions

Exploring Japan’s Unique Culture… By Alexa Aguilar


It’s always been one of my dreams to visit Japan in the Spring, and my dream came true this April when Surval organized a school trip there...From Tokyo to Kyoto, we discovered Japan’s advanced technology and fascinating history. We ate lots of Japanese food, visited many different shrines and temples, and, by the end of the week, had all obtained a deeper understanding of Japan’s culture and society.

Our stay in Tokyo involved visiting many popular sites like the Shibuya crossing - one of the biggest and most popular in the world. It was exciting to see the bright ads and colourful lights of the city at night. We wandered through the trades in the Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s largest, looking at all sorts of fish, dead, alive, big, small...We strolled down the animated Takeshita Street, also known as the “teenage street”, and - of course! - checked out Japan’s famous shopping scene. Tokyo truly is an incredibly vibrant, vivid, and dynamic city - we all felt caught up in its buzzing energy!

What a contrast then to visit the ancient city of Kyoto: while Japan is striking for its towering skyscrapers and neon lights, what we loved about its former capital were the clouds of pink cherry blossom frothing above our heads, and the red wooden shrines with their distinctive cypress bark roofs. I was also amazed by the beauty of the gardens there - though they look natural, we discovered that they are actually meticulously planned and created. One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Nara Park, where we got to feed and stroke the wild deer that freely roam the paths and grassy lawns there.

One aspect we were all surprised by was how varied the Japanese food was. We discovered that there is so much more to the cuisine there than simply sushi!  One of the best meals was shabu shabu; we dipped a piece of pork into boiling sauce until cooked and then dipped it in raw egg - which some of us were alarmed by… but we all loved it in the end. We all had to adapt to the use of chopsticks, and felt we were masters by the end of the week!

This trip has been one of my favourite this year so far; it has been an incredible opportunity to visit this wonderful country, learn new things and explore Japan’s unique culture.  I would love to go back to Japan one day!

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