Wednesday 6 February 2019

Susono Visit Reflections - David Cross (FSFA Executive Committee)

In September, my wife Anita and I arrived in Japan for our very first visit, to take part in the Frankston delegation for the Australia Fair in Susono. After a couple of days traipsing around Tokyo with fellow delegation members Bev (an experienced visitor to Japan), Vic, Bob and Heather, we met up with the rest of the delegation at Tokyo Station and headed to Susono, where we’d be allocated to various host families for the next four days.

Tsukiji Outer Fish Market in Tokyo

Official Welcome Ceremony at Susono's Citizen Cultural Centre
Our hosts were Sayaka and Brian and their two young daughters. Sayaka was an exchange student for a year in Adelaide during her high school years; and Brian is an expat American who’s lived in Japan more than half his life. We were treated to wonderful hospitality and authentic Japanese home-cooked food, a real bonus for us.

Japanese Model Railway Park
A wonderful time working with our delegation members and our counterparts as we prepared for the Fair, with lots of activity – Anita working in the kitchens preparing authentic Aussie food and me helping set up the displays downstairs in the Susono Citizen Cultural Centre. A highlight of the Fair were the performances of the Frankston High School Clarinet Choir, who wowed the crowd and received a standing ovation for their final performance.

Frankston High's Clarinet Choir performing at the Australian Fair

Frankston Delegation presented on stage at the Australian Fair
After the busy day of the Fair, it was all hands on deck to pack up, then a wind-down with a variety of foods from little stalls assembled especially for the evening. All this took place while we were entertained by local musicians, including a taiko drum band, to which some of the Australian delegation joined in to demonstrate their skills and timing (or lack thereof) on the drums.

Akiyama Taiko Drum Group with Frankston High students at Farewell Party

Host Family at the Farewell Party

Host Sayaka farewells Anita and David outside the Susono Civic Centre