MFL & CHEMISTRY TRIP TO JAPAN – Cheltenham Ladies’ College

25 Sep 2023

31 students and four staff embarked on a nine-day trip to Japan. This is the second Japan trip collaboration between the Japanese and the Chemistry Departments.

The trip had a packed itinerary which started with three days in Tokyo where we explored the Sky Tree complex, visited the Museum of Natural History, explored the streets and Buddhist Temple of Asakusa, the Shogun Garden of Hama Rikyu and the lights and shopping of Shibuya.

CLC-2023-Japan-tripWe also visited Jiyu Gakuen School. Their students gave up a day of their school holiday to show us around their extensive grounds where students grow their own vegetables and raise their own fish and pigs, all for consumption by the school community. They then showed our students some traditional Japanese games, organised a quiz and demonstrated calligraphy and origami.

Mount Fuji was a particular highlight. We were blessed with amazing views of the dormant volcano from across one of the five volcanic lakes, after which we journeyed to the fourth station where the forest and visitor centre had been devastated by an avalanche in 2014. The evening entertainment included a spectacular sushi and sashimi meal followed by karaoke.

After a two-hour journey on the Shinkansen (bullet train) we reached Kyoto. We visited several beautiful and serene Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines before being guided through the Geisha district of Gion. Many students visited the world renowned Yasaka Chaya Starbucks, located in a traditional Japanese house with a tatami-floor, while sheltering from the extreme Kyoto rain.

Our final day saw a sombre but necessary visit to Hiroshima, the site of the atomic bombing on 6th August 1945. This prompted much discussion amongst the students about the ethics of such events.

The science theme ran throughout the week where we were able to discuss many aspects of chemistry, biology and physics in the things we experienced and saw, from the Natural History Museum to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Japan has so much to offer, and we hope to be able to organise another trip in the future.

Mrs Bailey, Teacher of Chemistry