It has been a busy time for the Languages Area with many different activities happening in and out of the classroom. A group of OLMC students and staff recently returned from a successful Japan Study Tour where the group visited our sister school, Seirei High School.

Later this year OLMC will be hosting a visit from Seirei High School. There will be more information about this in the coming weeks, including an information evening on Wednesday 29 May about hosting students from Japan. The following is a reflection written by two students who took part in the recent Japan Study Tour.

James Stavretis
Languages Learning Leader

On Thursday 4 April, 23 OLMC Senior Japanese students, seven students from Sacred Heart College, and four teachers embarked on the 2024 Japan Study tour. During our 17 day stay in Japan, we visited Tokyo, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Akita and experienced the amazing opportunities Japan has to offer. During our trip we immersed ourselves in the culture by practising our language skills, tasting the delicious food and visiting the most amazing places.

For the first half of our trip, we all travelled together, visiting the sights of Tokyo and Kyoto. Whilst we were in Tokyo, we visited Disneyland, Tokyo Skytree, Akihabara, Harajuku, the famous Shibuya crossing and so much more. Our days consisted of sightseeing and a lot of shopping. We also were lucky enough to see the gorgeous cherry blossoms, which decorated the city with colour. Tokyo was a bustling city with amazing colour and neon lights at night, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

After Tokyo, we went to Miyajima Island where we had a one night stay at a Japanese ryokan (a traditional Japanese style hotel), which allowed us to experience traditional Japanese food, yukata dressing gowns and sleeping on futons.

Before we went to Kyoto, we had a stop at Hiroshima and visited the Memorial Peace Museum. It was very moving to learn about the effects of nuclear weapons.

Whilst in Kyoto, we visited some famous temples and shrines such as the Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavillion). The scenery was spectacular and it was amazing to see the ancient Japanese architecture. We also went to Nara Park where we saw many deer and visited Todaiji Temple and its famous Giant Buddha.

In Akita, we had the opportunity to experience everyday Japanese life. We visited Seirei High School, our Japanese sister school. We were met with a warm welcome from the students at Seirei and we were filled with excitement as well as nervousness, wondering what it would be like to stay with a Japanese family. We met our host sisters and commenced our home-stays and were made to feel part of the family. At Seirei High we did Japanese lessons, went to club activities and took part in a tea ceremony, calligraphy and art classes. Our group even made it on to the local TV news and newspaper! By the end of our stay in Akita, we had made life-long bonds with our host families and school friends which we will cherish forever.

Our stay in Japan was filled with laughter and joy and it was an unforgettable experience. The connections we’ve made with everyone on this trip are now life-long and definitely memorable. Thank you to Stavretis Sensei, Durant Sensei, Williams Sensei and Breed Sensei (from Sacred Heart College) for taking us on this life-changing trip and supporting us to further develop our Japanese skills. We will cherish these memories forever.

Sephora K (11CCTR) and Allegra M (11AASE)