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Vashon to Himeji '08

Himeji Castle and Mt. Shosha

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We met our excited students Monday morning at the JR train station and they were filled with stories about their fantastic weekends with their new families. Some kids visited Universal Studios in Osaka, went to festivals, had family B-B-B-Q's, traveled to Kobe, Nara or even as far away as Kyushu-Japan's southern island!
Check the Homestay page in a few days for more detailed stories about your students' adventures.
Monday was a very rainy day in Himeji. We walked up the main avenue to the beautiful castle that is Himeji's chief tourist attraction. A former teacher from Himeji-Minami High School was our volunteer guide and we all learned a lot from her wonderful narration. We climbed up, up, up to the highest part of the tower and enjoyed the amazing view while shivering in the cool wind.
After the castle tour we walked to Kokoen Garden. The students enjoyed the traditional Japanese beauty and time with each other and their new friends. Japanese gardens are often most beautiful when glistening with raindrops. Your students spent the rest of their afternoons shopping, eating lunch, visiting Starbucks and enjoying time with their new brothers and sisters.

Click here for today's photos.

On Tuesday we met at Himeji-Minami High School and went to the opening ceremony for the Juniors and Seniors. There were speeches (one by Keller and Daniel) and a performance by the choir. The students introduced themselves to 700 Japanese students! We spent time getting to know some of the students and then set out for our trip to Mt. Shosha. The students enjoyed the ropeway ride up the mountain over bamboo forests and the walk up to the temples at the top.
After the excursion many students continued on to karaoke!

Click here for Himeji-Minami and Mt. Shosha photos.

Vashon to Himeji '08