Tuesday, September 26
In the morning we took the train to another city near Shizuoka, called 焼津市. Then, we went to "Aoi Food Sample Factory" for making food samples. These are the menu samples you see outside some Japanese restaurants in Canada. In Japan they are everywhere. In the factory, everyone made a dessert-like key chain; after that, we made fake tempura by boiling wax, pouring it into hot water and placing our pre-made rubber prawn into it. It was very interesting and a real art.
At around 10:30, we walked to Aeon Shopping Mall and had a three hours free-time. Nicola, Freesia and I shared two giant Ice Cream Parfaits in chocolate and Matcha flavors. In the afternoon, we left 焼津市 for an ancient park near Eiwa School. We went on a walking tour and went to the 24th floor of a building to see a panoramic view of Shizuoka. It was very interesting to learn some history of the city.
- Queena Chan
Sunday, September 24
Today I went to Tokyo with my host family for shopping in Omotesandou. I have been here on Sunday, but I didn't went to some shops that I want to go, and Omotesandou is a perfect place for shopping, so I went there again.
It was about the lunch time when we arrived, so we went to eat lunch first. My host family took me to a roast beef place, and we waited for few minutes. The beef was very delicious. The yellow thing is called tololo which you can mix with rice. I could eat a whole bowl of rice without any other food. After the meal, we went straight to Opening Ceremony, which is like the buyer store. The shop decorated so nicely, which could totally stimulate people's desire to buy staff. I didn't want find clothe that I wanted to buy, but I just wanted to buy something, so I bought a canvas bag that I noticed in the first sight.The shopping bag from Opening Ceremony is very pretty.Then, the host sister took me to a street where has many cool stores like vintage stores and sneaker stores.
Also, Nike launched a pair of shoes today, and Supreme launched new clothes; therefore, there were many people who waited for hours to buy the latest sneaker and clothes.
The most exciting part for today was I found Coco, which is the bubble tea shop from china. I bought Naigai, which has the cheese on top of the milk tea. By the way, I used wechat pay when I bought it, which made me feel like I was in home.
Takeshita Street is a very famous traditional Japanese street. There were so many people in the street that it was hard to move. There were some Japanese brand and snacks in this street.
Around four a'clock, we went back to Fujinomiya.
- Cloria Yang
Monday, September 21, 2017
The third school day in Japan started with various kinds of delicious breakfast in homestay. We were all excited because we were looking forward to flower arranging class. The teacher, Ms. I Ida, taught us the basic rules of flower arrangement. Based on her help, we all arranged our own flowers, which were really beautiful, and we all brought flowers back to homestay. Since for most of us, it was the first time doing flower arrangement, we were all excited and happy to experience Japanese culture.
One thing that we did not expect was that there was a newspaper reporter came to Eiwa School. He wanted to know more about the exchange program, so he asked some questions about our feeling of Japan and the school. During the presentation we did in the afternoon, he also took photos of the group discussion. After school, we went out as a group and tried the traditional Japanese food--Udon. It was a little sweet but really delicious.
I had sushi as dinner with my host family in the restaurant, and it was a new experience for me. I had authentic Japanese foods, and I am glad to have this great opportunity experiencing Japanese culture.
- Melody Yang
Monday, September 20
Today’s a very special day because it’s my birthday!! In the morning, we went to the school church to join their prayer. It was really regular, orderly and effective. All students were extremely pious, they read the Bible earnestly. Some students share their Bible with us voluntarily, which made me feel their amicable and kindness. We attended a English class this morning. Their English class was so different from ours that we were a little bit surprised by it. After the English class, we had PE. It was an energetic class that affected us to join with them. Eiwa’s students taught us an interesting dance which brought us closer. Even though all of us were very tired after dancing, we still tried our best to talk with Japanese students and know them better. At noon, there was a surprise waiting for me. My host sister told me to close my eyes before I got into the classroom. I was nervous because I had no idea what would happen. When I opened my eyes, I was shocked. The girls wrote on the blackboard, sentences to give me best wishes. When I entered the classroom, all of them were clapping and smiling politely. I was surprised and moved by them. In the afternoon, we learned a Japanese poem. Even though it was a little bit difficult for us, we tried our best to learn and enjoy it. Near the end of the school day, I was surprised again when Ms. Green went and bought Japanese baked good and my SMS friends sang Happy Birthday to me. At night, my host family invited me to a famous traditional Japanese restaurant to celebrate my birthday, which made me deeply moved by them.
For me, the most impressive difference is their propriety. The Japanese say “itadakimas” before every meal and “ tadayima” every time they back homes. They really focus on their languages and manners which astonish me and make me honored.
- Freesia Xu
Tuesday, September 19
Today, Tuesday September 19, it was our first day with our host families and school. From my house you can see Mt. Fuji, and I love Mt. Fuji. It was like "wow". I told my host family I really like seeing it on our way home yesterday and they said that we can see it from the house, but not then since it was night. So in the morning I was very excited to see it.
After breakfast my host sister Kanon showed me the way to school and also Nicola and her host sister Touka where there too. From my house to the school is one hour away, and my host dad drives us to the train station and then we take two trains. Once we arrive to the city we take the bus, then we walk to school. The travel is very long to be honest, but is really fun, since you get to see and know your way around. My host sister Kanon gave me my train ticket and a cute card with two chickens drawn on it for the bus.
When we arrived to school the SMS girls met at the meeting room, I was one of the last ones to arrive. Everyone was so excited, but very jet lagged. We worried about our communication with our families, since their English wasn't very good and most of us didn't know Japanese. In my case, I had a good but awkward communication with my family. My host parents didn't speak English, but my host sister did a little. I was able to understand Japanese but I was a little afraid of talking since my grammar is not good at all, but I at least tried and did say some stuff.
At school we attended Chapel at the start and then did our presentation. Later on the first and second period we had a school tour and a orientation. The school is shaped like an "H" and on one side is the junior building, where our classroom is, and the other side is the high school, the gym and chapel. In the middle there are meeting rooms and music, science and art rooms. There are 4 floors and there are way too many stairs. Later on we went to our classroom on the 4th floor (so far) and we had a relax period, then geography with 1B, PE and at the end some presentations about us and the school.
When school ended I went with my sister to eat udon. I actually have never tried udon before and was really curious about the taste. To my surprise, it tasted a bit like soy sauce, quite a good funny taste actually. Later we went to her saxophone lessons. It was still really awkward to talk to each other. At her saxophone lesson I found Olivia, also waiting for her sister. It was 7 pm at night and I was very tired. When she finished her lesson we went back home, so we took the bus and the the train again, but without Nicola this time. On the train I got to learn that we liked the same animals and also that she likes Vocaloids just like me, so we started to talk more. When we arrived at the final train station we saw her parents and we decided to go to the mall for a bit. The mall is so big and they got me some school supplies as a gift, since I actually love getting school supplies, so I was like "yay!". After the mall we went back home had dinner and then went to bed.
My 2nd day in Shizuoka was very fun and helped to connect more with my host family.
By Paulette Lopez
Monday, September 18
We ate our breakfast at 8:00am in the hotel lounge. It was really great and also gave us energy for the day. After breakfast, we went down to the lobby and met our guide Reina, a beautiful Japanese lady. We took the train to the shrine where the Emperor of Japan lived and bought many souvenirs. One thing that was really unexpected was that there was a wedding going on. It was very different from Canadian weddings. Then we went to 元宿 for shopping. For me, I bought some earrings which were really cute. After shopping, we returned to our hotel to pick up our luggage then took the fast train to Shizuoka to meet our host families. Before meeting them, all of us were really nervous about the language barrier. However, after meeting them, we felt that they were so nice and hospitable. It eliminated our nervousness. We went home with our host family and ate dinner with them. It was a very nice day.
I noticed there was one difference from Canada. Parents here are more willing to do things for children. Unlike Canada, kids are more independent.
By Audrey Liang
Sunday, September 17
Carl was kind enough to drive us from SMS to the airport at 5:00am on Saturday, September 16. We were all a little tired but knew we had many hours on the plane to sleep. At 8:45am our first flight took us to Calgary with a 2 hour layover. Then we boarded our 10 hour flight to Tokyo. We were on the new Air Canada Dreamliner, so it was relatively comfortable. Most of the girls slept for at least part of the flight.
When we arrived at Narita Airport, we dropped off our larger cases which were being shipped directly to our home stay families in Shizuoka. Once that was done, it was time to purchase the tickets for the limo bus to our hotel.
Our hotel, the Shinagawa Prince Hotel was huge. Four towers with lots of restaurants, a separate food court and shops. Once we checked in and got our room assignment, I let the girls have free time with a curfew of 10:30pm. We had torrential rainfall with the threat of a typhoon so I knew they would be staying within the confines of the hotel. All went well with them checking in with me on time by their curfew.
This morning we are meeting in the business lounge for breakfast and then a little bit of sightseeing. Thank goodness today is sunny, 33 degrees and VERY humid, and no typhoon! Stay tuned for our next blog.
- Sally Green