Today I woke up at 6am (probably the jet lag) and read until everyone else had woken up. We then had breakfast and at 9am Michiko dropped us off at Himeji Castle. We paid for our ticket (I paid less since I’m 16) and proceeded to visit the place until 1pm. Once inside, we came across a volunteer guide and we decided to join her, just the two of us! Her name is Yasuko Endo and she was very nice to us and explained a lot about the castle! I understand now why it is considered the most beautiful castle in Japan now after seeing its white plastered walls and black hued tiles! No wonder it’s also called the Flying White Heron! The fact that it was never attacked and never got damaged by earthquakes or WW2 makes it even more remarkable. It was restored and became open to the public only in March this year! So we were really lucky to go inside! I really enjoyed myself! If you ever come to Himeji, this is the place to visit!
Later, when we finished the tour, we went walking towards a nearby Starbucks where Michiko would pick us up, but since we were a bit early, I wanted to take a detour and came across this neat little retail centre where we spent some time and I bought some things. We then waited for a bit at Starbucks and went to eat at a restaurant with Michiko-san! At about 3pm, we left the house to go to a hotel in Awaji Island with Michiko-san, who had business there, to stay the night (stopping for a while to admire the view)! The hotel is amazing, with an indoor swimming pool and everything!
We had a lot of fun and at 8:30 pm passed out on our beds. We are still getting used to the time difference I suppose! (x_x)
After 11 hours of flight, we finally arrive in Osaka, Kansai airport. We landed at about 8:30 so a whole day had passed during our travel! I think Tom and I managed to get some sleep but we still remained tired upon arrival!
Even though it is early in the morning, the temperature is already very high (28 degrees!!!) and the air is very humid in the summer here! We then took a bus from the airport to Himeji, taking a few hours also, and met Michiko Shirai, our very first host! She was very nice and drove us to a nearby restaurant to have lunch (meeting a friend there) and then went shopping for some food in a mall. We then drove to Michiko-san’s house and settled in our rooms.
At about 3pm, Michiko-san had to go to her mother’s cousin’s husband’s funeral who died of lung cancer. We caught up on some sleep while she was away and slept until 9pm! When Michiko got back, we had dinner (yakisoba!) which was delicious!!! Here are some pictures :
We then met Michiko-san’s daughter, Fueka-san, who came at about 10pm, and then spoke about our plans for tomorrow. We will visit Himeji castle!!!
Today is officially the start of our new adventure! With little to no sleep at all, we arrived at the airport to board our flight to Japan! We are taking our flight one day before everyone else and will arrive at Kansai airport while changing flights in Paris (Hopefully every thing goes well!) Tom has to check in his guitar case and needs extra leg room on the plane because he’s 6 foot 5! One thing’s for sure, we are starving and we can’t wait to get out of the endless check in queue!
Today, Tom and I met up with our teacher, Akemi-sensei, as well as Angela, another student of hers who will be joining us on our trip. We went to a Sushi shop called Yuma Sushi which is a supporter of our charity and ate delicious sushi while we discussed about the trip and worked out all the final details before leaving. We were also joined by a keen enthusiast who would like to join the charity fundraising trip next year (He’s the one taking the picture)! Yuma Sushi was very generous and kind enough to let us eat for free and I am so grateful! Thank you! I will surely come back soon! (^-^)
My name is Emile Loveday and I am 16, nearly 17 years old. This is my first ever trip to Japan (and first ever blog), and I hope it won’t be my last. I am taking you, the reader, with me on this journey so you may witness and experience what I will be living with my friend Thomas Wordley (18 years old), for the next month, starting on the 29th of July and ending on the 31st of August.
Firstly, I will start by thanking the person that made this whole trip possible: Akemi Solloway Tanaka. She is my Japanese teacher and has introduced Tom and I to this adventure. She will join us shortly after our departure and help us during the first part of the trip. However, this trip will not entirely consist of sightseeing and relaxing. Our primary goal is to help a charity : Aid For Japan.
Aid For Japan is a charity for orphans, victims of the tsunami that hit the Tohoku East coast on the 11th March 2011 and devastated the country, causing the loss of many lives. Please visit the link for more information : http://www.aidforjapan.co.uk/
Our aim for the first half of our trip is to raise awareness of the terrible consequences that the tsunami brought about in Japan. We will give speeches, spend time with some of the orphans and visit many places during this time.
During the second half of our trip, we will be left alone in the country and stay in the homes of Akemi-sensei’s friends so that we may learn to behave like true Japanese men. As such, we will eat traditional Japanese foods and try to live following the Japanese cultures and rules.
I hope you will follow us on our ventures and I will try to post everyday about what we have done and accomplished!
Until then! (^-^)