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Toronto Catholic District School Board

​11-Day Trip To Japan (March Break)​

Travel is education, with no entrance exam.  Travel does change lives! 
Ten students, four parents and two staff members from Loretto College took the opportunity and toured Japan this past March Break. This adventure truly opened our eyes to the beauty of the unique Japanese culture that we now better understand, love and truly respect. 
Imagine waking up, looking out your window and seeing Mt. Fuji lit up in brilliant sunlight and then taking in the scent of the cherry blossoms.  Imagine touring Hiroshima with children of the survivors and getting a first hand perspective of how one bomb impacted on an entire nation.  Imagine cleansing yourself in the hot springs while gazing at a full moon.  Imagine touring thousand year old Shinto and Buddhist shrines and learning to appreciate things we may have taken for granted. Imagine exploring the Gold  Pavilion and  pristine white castles such as Himeji. Imagine delighting yourself in Japanese cuisine - table upon table of culinary delights for breakfast, followed by lunches and dinners of sushi, sashimi, meso soup, Japanese BBQ...some of which we actually cooked ourselves. Imagine walking through Tokyo's National Museum and looking at samurai swords, ancient fans and armor,  thousand year old textiles, masks and artwork....and then touring the Manga Anime Museum. Imagine touring  Toyota's new showroom, sitting behind the wheel of the newest cars and driving their simulators.  Imagine watching thousands of people cross the Shibuya intersection, in every direction possible,  in an orderly way every few minutes. Imagine the Japanese youth proudly wearing their kimonos on the streets and being extremely delighted when tourists ask to photograph them. Imagine the incredible sights, sounds and smells of the Tokyo fish market that draws the locals and tourists every morning. Such incredible diversity to peak our curiosity and expand our awareness!
Japan is super clean.  We did not find one wrapper or cigarette butt on any street during our tour.  Bus drivers, taxi drivers, subway attendants all proudly wear white gloves. Attendants bow as a show of respect to all customers. Every toilet seat is warm and has music built into it, including those available in public places. Family honor still supersedes all. 
We returned from Japan more open-minded and feel blessed for the meaningful relationships that we created on this trip.  We are forever grateful for the lifelong memories that Japan provided.