Tuesday 4 October
Spending last night in a ryokan gave the students the chance to wake up this morning to a full Japanese breakfast, rice, miso soup, grilled fish, pickled seaweed and flush, tofu with mushrooms…..
Setting out early to explore the black crow castle Matsumoto Jo, the students spent their time taking in all the details they could. Finding the hidden floor which was for both storage of important goods and used as a secret “kill floor” against attackers, the maze of steep stairs and the displays of weapons from swords through to early firearms; the students were able to see for themselves how the use of the castle changed through its history.
Lunch (was a vegetarian delight of flat udon noodles and little treats) was at a lovely hidden gorge with hike down to a lovely waterfall. The students were able to walk through a different ecosystem as the gorge presented a drier forest with birch trees and steep rocky cliffs.
Our afternoon was spent chasing the beautiful Fuji San between the mountains and clouds and we were fornate to be given a full view of her! Some lovely photos were taken by our students.
The evening saw the whole team relaxing at an Osen, enjoying the hot mineral water baths and engaging with food challenges as the dinner was a beautiful kaisekiryori meal.
Tonight we held our tradiontional JOE “circle of triumphs”. Each member shares their highlights, personal favourite moments and sense of personal growth. Your children are amazing and you will be so impressed by what they have learned.
One of the most common learning curves has been the ability to really connect with others outside their usual peer/age groups. They are themselves surprised by the friendships they have made! We as their leaders are so very blessed by their willingness to just keep trying. – Mrs S, Miss R , Miss W, Mr C and Mr H.