Japanese language students experience the opportunity of a lifetime through a trip to Japan.
Led by foreign language teacher of 14 years, Kyler Jackson, five Japanese language students embarked on an adventure to the country of Japan over spring break. Their visit began over spring break on March 25th, and they returned to Denver on April 2nd.
Japan is a country of culture and tradition, with sprawling mountains and thousands of shrines and temples. Notable public figures range from Emperor Akihito to Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani. Tokyo is one of Japan’s most famous hotspots, with a booming population of 13.62 million people. “I really enjoy the time we spend in Tokyo,” Jackson stated. “It is really high tech.” Big populous cities, however, are not the only places they visited. The students also got the opportunity to see some of Japan’s most awe-inducing landmarks, such as Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji is an active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707 and is 12,389 feet tall. “It was the biggest mountain I have ever seen,” said junior Everett Williams.
The students who attended this year’s excursion expressed their enjoyment of the trip. “Kyoto was the best,” said sophomore Jon Serrano. Serrano also enjoyed Matsumoto Castle, a fortress built in 1504, and was in use until 1868. The castle has an extensive system of interconnecting walls, moats, and gatehouses. Another location is the Floating Castle, a shopping district with a wide variety of tourist items ranging from clothes to food. Williams described, “The Floating Castle had pink flowers as far as the eye could see.” However, the reason Jackson brought the students, primarily, was the contrast of cultures. “They will be able to see the lack of crime and litter,” Jackson said, “It gives them a greater sense of the world.”
Next year, there will be a trip to Japan for all TJ students who are interested in attendance. “If you ever want to travel, travel. I had never been out of state before, and it changed my life,” Williams explained. “It’s important for kids to travel abroad and experience new cultures,” said Athletic Director Anne Rice, “it opens their mind on how to be a global citizen.” Students interested in next year’s trip can drop by Room 14 for more information.