July 11, 2018

A trip to Nikko

For a bunch of students and our International teachers, today was a chance to escape the city heat. Only half of the students could make it but that still meant we had 10 students with us on this trip. Because we are all spread out over the city, we had two different meet up points in the morning.


So as I said, we had been hoping to beat the heat but that is not so easily done... it was still 28°C with about 80% humidity. Ah well. It was still really nice to be up in the mountains with all the trees and some slightly cooler breezes. And, luckily, we didn’t get the rain that’s happening all over Japan.


After the 2 1/2 hour train trip to the mountains, we took a local bus up to the temple area. Because it was a weekday, it was mostly tourists and lots and lots of elementary students in the area.

With only a few hours available to us, we stuck to the main shrine called Toshogu.
Toshogu is a special place, it is a mixed shrine and temple. We had reviewed the differences in Ueno on our last excursion but could now see both in one spot. No wonder many people get confused..

There is an idea that it was like an amusement park at the time and so lots of special elements are incorporated into the design and layout of the shrine. There are the imaginary elephants, the monkeys, the dragons and peacocks and so on decorating the various structures.

A lot of planning goes into these places and often times they incorporate spiritual ideas and elements related to energy. We all stopped for a minute to enjoy the power spot.


This shrine gives us so much to talk about that it is hard to know what to cover and what not to cover. We had sent some information to the students for them to read so they would have a little bit of an idea before going. If we had more time I would have loved to have covered much of this information in class but this time it was not possible.


Once again we reinforced the idea to the Japanese students, who are going to go abroad and who have been abroad, that they really need to learn a lot about their own culture so they can tell people, who are interested in Japan, more about it in English. For the two students who came this time who are leaving this year, they could talk a lot with their classmates who had already done it.


This year‘s group of students really enjoyed the fortune telling spots at the shrine. Some of them really challenged themselves trying to explain it in English and Japanese. I wonder what they were hoping for?



about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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