Day 17- Adventures in Nature

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.


  1. Hi Tahlia and team! Fantastic reading your updates! Hope you have a fantastic few more days! Xx mum ♥️♥️

  2. Hi JOE team, thanks for the updates. So happy for you that you were able to see some of the beautiful countryside and Mt Fuji. Can’t wait to hear more about it when you are home in a few days’ time. Dan, Katie has been reading over her travel journal from her JOE trip 2 years ago so is really looking forward to comparing experiences with you. Have another wonderful day today.:-)

  3. Hi Ella, it’s great to hear Mt Fuji was willing to be seen! I tend to be later for work than I intend to lately as I love reading the posts every morning, searching you out in the photos and seeing where and what you’ve been up to. Dad and James leave for Bathurst tomorrow, needless to say they are excited to go but disappointed they will have to wait a few more days to see you. I’m counting down to Saturday to see you and hear all about your experiences (although I do suspect you might sleep most of the weekend). Take in and enjoy your next few days, I’ll be thinking of you, Indiana Jones and the Tower of Terror tomorrow. Love you heaps.
    Mum xx

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