Faculties - Japan Study Tour

Japan Study Tour – What a tanoshii trip!!

On 6 April 2016, 12 excited students along with Mr Trayhurn and Mrs Hunter boarded a plane to Osaka, Japan. The 14 day Study Tour included a range of sightseeing areas on the island of Honshuu and a visit to our sister-school Tanagura Junior High School.


 Japanese Tour 4  Japanese Tour 1  Japanese Tour 5


 Japanese Tour 2  Japanese Tour 3

On Day 1 the students explored the wonders of Kyoto; Kinkakuji (the Golden Temple), Sanjusangendo Temple, Ryoanji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine. All students were enthusiastic, respectful and learnt a lot about Japanese traditions and culture.

Japanese culture

Personally, I found Japanese culture to be the most valuable feature of the Japan study tour. For me it wasn't singularly the attitudes, customs or beliefs but a mixture of all three that I found most touching. It was enlightening to be in another country but to also experience the generosity and kindness of every Japanese person I had the pleasure of meeting was remarkable. I was lucky enough to be welcomed and encouraged to participate in parts of Japanese religion with a family that took me in as their own which was certainly the highlight of my trip. I was able to experience many different parts of Buddhism, such as the burning of incense to purify, having the freedom to wander through the most beautiful temples and shrines I've ever seen, as well as having the opportunity to write my wishes on a candle to burn for the gods. I was lucky enough to make a connection with Japanese culture and I will never forget the beautiful things I have experienced.

Amie Wilson

 Japanese Tour 6


The following day we visited ‘Nara to see the deer park, explore Kasuga shrine and Todaiji temple. We began our day by walking to the park to feed the deer, who were both friendly yet greedy at the same time, as they constantly bit our clothes, asking for more food. Our exploration led us to Kasuga shrine, as beautiful orange shrine with rows of huge metal bells hanging from beams. After we explored the park, we made our way to the enormous Todaiji temple, the largest wooden structure in the world. The outside, as well as the inside were both beautiful and amazingly designed. It was definitely something worth seeing.’

Mitchell Treharne

 Japanese Tour 7  Japanese Tour 8

Japanese Tour 9

Our last day in Kyoto included a day trip to Arashiyama in which we went to the monkey park, bamboo grove and a Tofu restaurant. The monkeys proved to be more ravenous than our 12 students who were fast loving Japanese food (not to mention the amount of Japanese lollies eaten by all). What a peaceful day!


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Japanese Tour 12

Our most moving day was our visit to Hiroshima. We were greeted by Akikosan who expertly guided us through the Peace Park, where we saw the Atomic Bomb Dome and Sadako’s Monument. On behalf of Cardiff High School our 12 ambassadors hung the thousand origami cranes beside the monument. The cranes not only represent a wish for all of our students who contributed to the making of the cranes, they are also a symbol of peace. This moment was one in which the students and teachers will never forget. Our school should be very proud of their involvement in such a momentous occasion. Once we had hung the cranes, we were fortunate to meet a survivor of the atomic bomb, Mr. Hiroshi Harada who discussed the horrific day the bomb was dropped and his personal experiences. Bailey Cook’s speech in Japanese to Mr Harada stated that we were very moved by his personal story and explained how much we appreciated the time spent with him. The Peace Park Museum was also very moving and we all learnt a lot. I was moved, in particular, by the school students’ belongings found after the blast and was thankful to have my lovely students experiencing Japan and all it has to offer and hope that they will never experience any of the horrors experienced by the children of Hiroshima, rather that their immediate world is filled with peace and the love of those around them.  

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Japanese Tour 17  

The following day we visited the island of Miyajima where we made momiji sweets, rode the gondola to the top of Mt Misen and enjoyed the glorious Itsukushima shrine.

Japanese Tour 19  Japanese Tour 20 

Japanese Tour 21

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Tokyo! Bright lights, karaoke, the Sky Tree, Harajuku fashion, Nakano manga stores, shopping (Amie, Holly and Mrs Hunter preferred running-a-muck in the clothing stores rather than Starbucks), food and more food. The students experienced a Japanese izakaya followed by a night of karaoke! Well done Brad for eating 8 layers of ice cream in Nakano!!

Kamakura – only an hour a way from Tokyo and we were transported into a beautiful town, which was once the centre of Buddhism. Our visit to Daibutsu – the Big Buddha was a memorable one! We also visited Hase dera – a lovely temple with a view of Kamakura beach and where Destiny found her talent in photography. Sweet potato ice-cream was on the menu today, along with okonomiyaki! The students were absolutely loving Japanese food at this point!


Disneyland – The students were eagerly awaiting the day when they could meet Japanese Mickey Mouse and of course experience the real life fairy tale that Disney offered us all! Students were splashed on Splash Mountain, scared in Space Mountain and turned around and around on the Tea Cups. They realised that It’s a Small world really is singing about something important as they travelled in a country that welcomed them with open arms and they soon felt at home. The parade and fireworks at the end of the night were a magnificent way to end our tour together before the students headed to their host families.



What a fantastic way to end our Study Tour!! The last three nights of our Tour were reported as the most memorable by our intrepid travellers. Once arriving we all had lunch and the Cardiff High School students were met by their beautiful and welcoming host families. They spent the weekend with their Japanese families whilst the teachers and adults were looked after by the wonderful staff of Tanagura Junior High School. The staff were taken to the local Spring Festival, Aizu and experienced one of the most beautiful hot spring resorts the area has to offer. Mr Trayhurn, Mrs Hunter, Kim and Corey had the most wonderful time and are indebted to the Japanese Principal, Mr Nagayama and wonderful staff who looked after them during their stay in Tanagura. We felt at home and loved every moment of our time in Tanagura. On the school day in Tanagura Junior High School the students and teachers were welcomed at a formal assembly. Amie Wilson and Billi Prince took the stage and awed the crowd with their Japanese speech and should be very proud of their efforts. At school we were able to experience Japanese traditions and participate in many exciting activities. We also had our farewell dinner in which Tamika Marriott took to the stage with a beautifully pronounced Japanese speech thanking Tanagura High School and the host families for everything.





Caleb Gill’s experience explains the importance and appreciation of our connection with Tanagura Junior High School:

Going into the final part of the trip, the part where we stayed with the host students and their families, many students were nervous and worried. However, the families were extremely welcoming and very kind to us, even to the point where they loved me more than my own parents. The families took us various places such as Aizuwakamatstu Castle, which was a very long drive and a lot of work for the host family to do for us. Other students went for a game or two of bowling. The students also took us to a festival celebrating the Sakura (Cherry Blossom Tree) and we got to try many festival foods. There was also a marching band who played the Star Wars main theme song which was unexpected but cool to see the Japanese involved in western culture. However, one of the best bits of the trip was our trip to Tanagura Junior High School. Here we got to experience painting Daruma dolls, making and eating mocha (Rice Cakes), a koto lesson (koto is a Japanese string instrument) and a quick go at kendo, where everyone had to scream loudly in order to hit their opponent. Even though the stay with the host student was the reason most people were nervous, by the end of the stay all of us were getting emotional when we had to leave our families with students and host families alike crying. Altogether the host families turned this part from nerve-racking, to many of the students’ favourite part of the trip.


Cardiff High School is very grateful for the hospitality shown by each host family and are proud to have Tanagura Junior High School as our sister school. We look forward to many future Study Tours and are awaiting Tanagura Junior High School’s visit in July this year. The students and teachers on the Study Tour are very appreciative of the experience offered to our students.

Overall, the Japan Study Tour was an experience of a lifetime for many. I hope that the students were inspired and enjoyed every moment of the trip. Mr Trayhurn and I appreciate the maturity, enthusiasm, humour and enjoyment of each and every student. The 12 students were wonderful ambassadors for Cardiff High School and we really did become a little family over the two weeks. Thank you to all students who made this trip everything and more!

Participating students:

Bailey Cook, Joshua Crouch-Reeves, Caleb Gill, Mia Hirst, Holly Holden-Stewart, Brad Holloway, Tamika Marriott, Kieanna Mason, Destiny McCormack, Billi Prince, Mitchell Treharne, Amie Wilson


Last Updated 15 March 2017