Terrific Tokyo Trip
On Wednesday 12th July, members of the (then) U4th, 5th form, and L6th, set off on a 13-hour flight to begin the eagerly awaited school DTE trip to Tokyo, Japan.
Upon arrival in Haneda Airport, we were greeted by our enthusiastic tour guide, Fumi. We then got a coach straight to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, where we had a chance to take in the cityscape with an incredible view from the top floor.
After a chance to refresh in our hotel, we enjoyed some delicious traditional Japanese food, namely Mochi Mochi and Hotpot, and then headed to Akihabara, alternatively known as ‘Electric town’, a buzzing shopping hub with venues specializing in manga, anime, and video games including Tokyo Anime Center. Whilst there we looked for exhibits and souvenirs at Radio Kaikan with 10 floors of toys, trading cards, and collectibles.
The second day began with a visit to the beautiful Sensoji temple in Asakusa, where we learnt about Buddhism and explored the district’s charming streets. The day then continued with a river cruise, during which we could relax and enjoy the views along the Sumida River.
We then enjoyed dinner overlooking Odaiba waterfront and the rainbow bridge. After dinner, we spent the evening visiting the immersive experience ‘TeamLab Planets’, which is a museum where you walk through water, and a garden where you become one with the flowers. It comprises 4 large-scale artwork spaces and 2 gardens created by art collective TeamLab.
To start day three, we visited the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster center where we experienced what it would be like to be involved in a real earthquake and how to survive its aftermath. We then spent the afternoon seeing an amazing robotics demonstration at the Kawaski Robostage, where we were able to have our portraits drawn by robots.
We also had the chance to see how robotics are being incorporated into a range of industries e.g. medicine, and there was also a VR experience where we could be lifted by robots to gain the sensation of flying! We ended the day with an authentic formal Japanese meal at Gonpachi dining on a range of traditional dishes.
The Fourth Day began with a visit to the Meiji shrine in Harajuku. We walked through the forest until we reached the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shokun, who, in the early 20th century, began Japan’s transformation from a feudal to a modern society.
We then continued the Harajuku shopping district, which truly immersed us into modern Japanese culture. In the afternoon, we visited the world-famous Shibuya Crossing, known for being the busiest intersection in the world. Every four minutes a thousand people converge through a small space, all at the same time. We then had a quick stop off to experience the awesome arcade at Taito Station in Shibuya. Our day in Tokyo finished with dinner served by robots at the Dawn Avatar Robot Café, which is an inspirational permanent experimental cafe where house-bound or disabled members of the public socialize in work via robotic avatars.
Our final full day in Tokyo began with a visit to JAXA mission control. The Japanese equivalent of NASA, where they train Japanese astronauts and support live space missions from Japan or in conjunction with NASA and the ESA. We were fortunate enough to get special ‘behind-the-scenes’ access to the astronaut training facility.
The afternoon then continued with a trip to AIST (National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology) where we spent our time looking at a range of new and emerging technologies! We had a great final meal with some delicious authentic sushi and said a heartfelt farewell to Fumi, our brilliant tour guide!
All in all, it was one of the most amazing weeks of our lives, and we are all so thankful to Mr. Rogers, Mr. Russo, and Miss Stott, who we could not have had this fabulous experience without!
Shriya Year 12