Traveling across international waters, 29 Gr. 6 students visited Harker’s sister school Tamagawa Gakuen in Tokyo during a weeklong trip to Japan led by English and math teacher Kathleen Ferretti.
After a warm welcome at Kodomono-kuni Park, Harker students got together with Tamagawa students for a morning of activities and puzzles. The groups competed with each other on a scavenger hunt in which Tamagawa teachers with instructions on tasks to complete were stationed around the park’s tunnels, bridges, trees and gardens. Tamagawa students then shared Japanese treats and food for lunch, and Harker students looked forward to starting their home stays.
President Yoshiaki Obara joined the school in welcoming our sixth graders with a student talent showcase, where Natalie Simonian, Gr. 6, had the opportunity to play piano and Andrew Kirjner, Gr. 6, the violin. The event closed with everyone singing the Harker school song.
The students were sad to end their time at Tamagawa, but had to move on to explore other parts of Japan. They took the bullet train to Kyoto and got a glimpse of Mt. Fuji from afar. They visited different temples and shrines, including the Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple famous for its waterfall. They continued to Hiroshima to visit the peace memorial park and museum, then proceeded to Miyajima.
“It is sure to be another memorable day,” Ferretti said in her an update. The days were packed full of activities and Ferretti’s e-mails to Jennifer Abraham, director of global education, highlighted the students’ enthusiasm and curiosity.