Home‎ > ‎Archived News & Events‎ > ‎

Tomoika Visit (2013)

posted 20 Jul 2014, 18:18 by OC Web   [ updated 20 Jul 2014, 18:30 ]
Seven action packed days in August saw 18 Japanese students experience a slice of life in Ōtaki . The students, accompanied by their teacher, Kunie Machida, and principal Tatsuhide Mizumura, were from the rural town of Tomioka, Gunma, two hours northwest of Tokyo. A group of students from Ōtaki College had visited them earlier in the year and been hosted by them, so this was an opportunity for Ōtaki College to reciprocate with some good old Kiwi hospitality.

While in Ōtaki the students were able to be fully immersed in English speaking and listening by staying in Ōtaki homes and spending time in and around Ōtaki College with activities ranging from archery and rock climbing to making videos of themselves making speeches. Valuable interaction with Kiwi students took place when they spent a day in the Japanese languages classes, and again when they attended a traditional Kiwi BBQ with host families.

They also enjoyed being tourists. A day was spent in Wellington, visiting Parliament, Te Papa and the Weta Workshops. Lindale Tourist Centre and Southwards Car Museum were venues on another day. A tour of Ōtaki had them experiencing beach, bush and Rangiatia Church in the space of two hours.

The group were welcomed to Ōtaki College with a formal Māori powhiri which they responded to with a waiata – the Tomioka school song, sung in beautiful two part harmony. Before departing, a farewell function was held where speeches were had, each student received a certificate and a final meal with host families, teachers and buddies was shared. Japanese and Kiwi tears were shed as the group boarded their bus to go home. The final words uttered where “We’ll be back”.