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Mr Tate’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 09 Oct 2011

Location: Tokyo/Yokohama, Japan

MapIn the past 4 days we have done a lot of things.

On Wednesday 5 Oct the boys got to experience two Japanese martial arts: Kendo and Judo. Kendo means literally "way of the sword" and Judo means, ironically, "the gentle way". Two of the boys, Jack and Amarind, already have experience in martial arts so they thoroughly enjoyed the experience of learning from a Japanese master of these arts. The others, although it took longer for them to get the hang of it, also really enjoyed getting to hit eachother with sticks and wrestle on the groud. Boys will always be boys they say.

On Thursday 6 Oct we all went to Tokyo Disneyland. We met up at Aobadai station at 7:20am and began our relatively long train journey. Once we got to Disneyland Mr. Ieki and Sam gave us our spending money for food and our Disneyland tickets. Then we put our big bags in some lockers. We were then free to enjoy all the rides till 8pm!

I was with Jack, Jamie, Amarind and Milan for the whole day. We went on the Space Mountain ride three times (as it was clearly our favourite ride), and Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, It's a Small World After All, Captain EO (with Michael Jackson), Buzz Light Year shooting ride, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as enjoying the interesting shops, restaurants and small little attractions all themed according to each town we visit. We had a great time. I was pretty exhausted by the end of it though, and I'm sure the boys were also. That night we stayed at a Hotel in a place called Asakusa.

On Friday 7 Oct we went to Ueno to see the national Museum and the famous zoo in the morning, and went to the Kaminari temple after lunch where we did some shopping. Amarind, Milan and I managed to find a shop specialising in traditional Japanese fans. We were very lucky as we were determined to find a shop that sold good ones so that we could take some home to NZ for our friends and family.

The zoo was a lot of fun. We spent two hours walking around looking at all the strange and interesting animals there. I managed to take some photos but my camera's batteries finally died after taking so many photos of a sloth that was putting on a rare performance for us. Jack told me that it was the first time he had ever seen an elephant (among other things), so this was a pretty special time for him.

We went back home to our homes in Yokohama at about 4:00pm.

Finally, yesterday (Saturday 8 Oct) we visited the Toin Taiko Drumming team. They put on a fantastic performance for us. The Scots boys also had the opportunity of playing the drums themselves. Check out the photos.

That evening we had our first dinner with all the host families. The Toin Gakuen chefs put on a great spread. I finally got to meet and talk to all the lovely families who all told me that they were enjoying having the Scots boys stay with them.

Jack played 'The Entertainer' on the piano, Milan playe a tango on the guitar and Amarind and Jack did a sword fighting routine they had prepared earlier. All the families applauded with great enthusiasm. They loved all the performances.

There was so much food left afterwards that we all got to take some home with us too. It was a truly successful evening.

This brings us up to date. It is now the weekend. The boys are doing things with their host families. I am going to go souvenir shopping.

Check out all the photos. More to come!