Friday 22 December 2017

William D'Arcy's Japan Adventure - Part 2

It’s been a while! So much has happened! My adventure never stops!

Since last we spoke, I've changed residents. Although sad to say goodbye to Aiko, I couldn't complain about the warm welcome of my new host family, the Egawa family. This time IT'S CRAZY! I’m now staying with a family of 5, 3 kids a little bit younger than me so it's so much fun! So far the youngest one, Marina has taught me a little bit of Japanese, the oldest daughter Reina has taught me how to play Igo, a traditional Japanese board game, and their son, Ryosuke and I have attempted cooking enormous things in the kitchen - not that it works out all too well. I’m loving it here, the Egawas are some of the nicest people I’ve met. They even went as far to take me to see the new Star Wars movie! What more could I ask for! I mean I could ask for a bed but I suppose tatami isn’t so bad.

I didn't think it was possible - I'm actually enjoying every second of school! From the moment I wake, I can't wait to get to school - even the train ride is super fun. I teach Australian words to my friends. And at school I've got a whole new class! Leaving homeroom 13 behind and moving into homeroom 14 where they're crazier than before! Well, maybe not crazier as homeroom 13 was pretty crazy. It seems it doesn't matter what homeroom I'm in, there's always laughs to be had.

The Tea club! If you know anything about Japanese high schools you'll know that they have club system. So after school, many different clubs run and there's no shortage of clubs at Johoku High School. They have everything from table tennis to basketball - even a traditional tea club which I had the opportunity to join for a day. On the day I had no clue what to expect as all I was told was that there'd be cake, so it already sounded amazing. so after school, I was taken to possibly the coldest and darkest part of the school and there we waited for a minute, just me and probably 15 girls. Apparently boys don't like tea all that much. The large sliding door soon opened to reveal a small cozy, well-lit tatami room with an old fashion boiling pot embedded in the floor. What came next was possibly the scariest but coolest thing ever. It was all very traditional and everyone knew their role, except me of course! I simply sat there while they brought out big bowls of frothy green tea and sweet jelly-type cakes - all of which tasted amazing. I think I wasn't ready for how proper and traditional it all was but still a lot of fun and hopefully I'll go again. 

But as fun as tea club was, there was another club that caught my eye ... KYUDO! The martial art of Japanese archery! I'm very fond of archery, I thought it would be awesome to try out kyudo, so I did. News flash it's not easy. I think I spent a full hour just trying to hold the bow. The Sensei sat in a large, cushioned chair - not gonna lie, he looked like some sort of samurai shogun. Everyone is even required to bow as low as they can upon arrival to the club. Kyudo truly is amazing and it's definitely the part of Japan I was looking for. Who knows, I may just become samurai, or maybe I'll at least be able to hit the target!

Until next time, I'll catch ya later.

William and Reina about to walk to school on a very cold morning

Reina and Marina teaching William Japanese

William playing chess with Ryosuke

Reina and William waiting for an all you can eat buffet to open while watching Ryosuke's soccer game

Mount Fuji

Odawara Castle in Kanagawa Prefecture