Today at Tomio Diason we have once again been visiting classes. Some of us have sat in on English, music and art classes as well as PE. After lunch we experienced a tea ceremony and calligraphy and a farewell.

Over the last few days Oscar has enjoyed playing educational games with the students at Tomio Diason. In one class he played jepordy, where our students had to guess what animal was being shown, based on the discription Japanese students gave us. He liked the music club we visited in the afternoon because they sounded really good, probably because they are very dedicated. His host family is really nice, he had a great barbecue last night with teriyaki chicken kababs, beef and pork.

Casey enjoyed the music class with the year 2s. They sung their school song for us, and Casey sung the old Harrison school song for them. After that it was very energetic, dancing and jumping around. The class did a washing machine dance where they held hands and shook them side to side and then spun to turn the circle inside out. They did this with bigger and bigger groups, until the whole class was in a huge group. It was funny and enthusiastic!

Rashmi loves how nice the students are, in her last class they showered the Harrison students with origami gifts. Rashmi enjoyed the basketball club after school, where she practiced shooting. She also found the lunch at school really welcoming, and she loves how the students serve the food to each other.

Leo has noticed how many after school programs there are – a lot more than Australia. It was great to see what a variety of clubs there were for people who had a range of interests and hobbies. There was a soccer club, which he really liked because he likes soccer. There was the arts and craft club, where we did oragami and we had a tour of the students artwork. The students had a very different style of art than we do in Australia, with lots of anime. Leo thinks it’s a great school and he’s enjoying seeing how different it is in Japan than Australia. For example the school day is longer in Japan, and lunch is done very differently. The classrooms are different, each student has their own individual desk with a little cubby under to store their books.

Najieh likes everything about the school and the host family. She enjoyed the relay in PE today, where our students teamed up with Tomio Diason students. Yesterday she enjoyed listening to the school band in clubs, they were impressive because they had only been playing together for a week, and were really good. One night Najieh really enjoyed was when her host family had friends around for dinner and they had so much food, with sushi, fried chicken, sashimi, pizza, miso soup and Japanese cakes for dessert. They also played games together, and Najieh learnt a new game called uon. It is a card game where you try to get up to 101, but if you go over you loose. Najieh says it’s all been a really great time.

Joel has found the students, parents and teachers very welcoming. He really enjoyed learning how Japanese schools work, and teaching them some English. He likes the guessing game he played in English lessons. He likes the clubs, and how independent the students were with the clubs. With his host family had a great barbecue with a different host family. After dinner everyone went outside and played with the sparklers in the garden. They played with the local children. The sleeping arrangements are very different, Joel’s been sleeping on a squishy mattress on the floor. It’s been a very educational stay and he’s learnt a lot about Japanese culture.

Joanna enjoyed the calligraphy class. It was really fun, because she knows a lot of Japanese she was able to use her knowledge. She learnt how to use the brush, and was told you should hold it perpendicular to the table. The Harrison students practiced a lot. Joanna felt that when she drew the lines, she let herself do them freely with flowing moments and she found it really relaxing. It was like she could express her feelings with the strokes. They’re all really nice people, and she’d love to come back again.

Euan thought the tea ceremony was delicious and absolutely amazing. It was held in in a classroom with traditional tatami mats on the floor. The classroom was set up very traditionally, the people were wearing kimono and hakama.

The class sat down in a square around the mat and were told about the history of tea and the tea ceremony. We were given a sweet and they explained that the sweetness would balance out the bitterness of the tea. It was a small pink flower shape.

It was very sweet. Then we were given matcha in a bowl. We had to hold it in our hands and turn it twice clockwise before we drank. The tea was bitter and it balances out the flavours. Euan’s host family invited friends around for a Japanese barbecue which he also really enjoyed. He can’t wait for more.

Monica loved the kindness of the people. If you don’t understand they try to understand it, and will find a way to explain it to you. One of the highlights was how her host mum is teaching her new things about the culture. She taught Monica how the Japanese baths are different, first you rinse in the shower then you soak in the bath to relax. She also brought friends over and they played games. The sushi train was completely different. Monica had a tablet where you placed your order, and thenthe food was delivered on the train. When it arrived it made a ‘ding’. One lesson they did painting, and the teacher taught them to paint with a Japanese style. Students had to paint stationary, and Monica painted a pencil case. The students helped explain to her how to dab the brush. Monica will never forget what she’s learnt.

Vanessa loved the the calligraphy lesson, and painting words. She painted the words smile and joy. She also liked lunches at the school. The Harrison students were spread out across the classroom, so they had to make new friends with the people they sat with. Vanessa enjoyed seeing what others do and get to know new people. Vanessa also found her host family very caring, and enjoyed fireworks with them.

Priyanshu found it very different. The oval and the grounds particularly, the oval was made of sand and they could repaint lines really eaisily. Priyanshu thinks it means you can do many more types of sport. At lunch students don’t really go out to play which was different too. He enjoyed visiting English classes with the smaller children. They were really cute and good to talk to.

What a great visit with our sister school!