Day of activity: 2013 August 13th
Not being able to join everyone to a two night stay in the mountains, I was finally able to meet everyone at the Ecofull town in Toyota city. There we learned about how Toyota city is trying to change to a more environmentally friendly area, especially after the disastrous flood in 2010 that had cost the city a great deal of forestry. The experiences included a chance to see a future smart house which currently 65 residents in Toyota own on a trial basis. With the smart house, one is able to conserve energy, and also at the same time be conscious about the environment we live in and how we can save a little more money.
For lunch we interacted with local community members and at the same time ate together as well as we exchanged a little bit about each other. Following lunch was a chance to listen to shamisen which is a traditional Japanese instrument made from cat fur. Finally after the experience with local community members, we were all able to meet our host families. My host mom was Naomi Sugawara and we have been looking forward to meeting each other for two weeks! Nao-mama and I have been emailing each other and we finally got to meet face to face! That night we took purikura pictures together and ate kaitenzushi. I look forward to making more memories with Nao-mama!!
Allison Lai (Canada)
Day of activity: 2013 August 12th
Today, after eating our breakfast and rolling up our futons, we all got on the back of a little pickup truck and headed to our destination to interact with the locals.
We arrived early so most of the people weren’t there so we chatted with those who were already there. When everyone got together we split up in groups and did some games to break the ice. After getting to know each other we went into the fields to harvest vegetables. The sun was scorching that day but it was a lot picking up the vegetables (and the tomatoes were especially delicious!).
After harvesting a bunch of vegetables we got back to the facility and started cooking the curry and Naan bread (a type of Indian bread). One thing for sure was that a lot of people cried, since we had a lot of onions to slice. After cooking everything we sat down and ate together, it was so delicious! Curry really goes well with Naan bread!
After lunch we played a scavenger hunt with our group. We had to take a picture of a very specific plant that only grew in that area, a funny picture with one of the locals, and capture three types of insects. Needless to say, I wasn’t very keen on catching bugs but it was actually a fun experience! After that we got to play a game where you have to smash a watermelon in half whilst blindfolded, it was a lot of fun and the watermelon was really refreshing after all the fun we had! After that we said goodbye and went to refresh ourselves in the river and then we went to the onsen to get nice and clean.
That night the innkeeper had made us a feast and we had a very good time together chatting and listening to music. Today was a very nice day, I wish we had more time to enjoy the mountains, but we have left to the city now for a new adventure so I’m excited and looking forward to meet the host families!
Álvaro Martín Mazorra (Spain)
Date of Activity: August 27th
Today we went to the Toyota factory. Although it was short, and we only got to see a small part of the factory, it was very impressive. The most amazing thing we saw was a line of robots that all moved at the same time and burned pieces of the car together. I felt as if I were in a science fiction movie. After that we went to the Toyota museum. It also looked a little futuristic. We saw a robot that had lungs and could play trumpet by itself, and many other cool things.
We had lunch all together in a Chinese restaurant – it was good! In the afternoon, the participants either had a half “personal day” or a half “host family day”. Together with Dieter (Belgium) and Maria (Norway) we went to the Osukannon shopping street in Nagoya. We visited a temple, and after on we went to a Neko café and a maid café. A Neko café is a café where you can pet cats and just relax. It was very calming, but we had the most fun in the maid café. A maid café is a place where you are served by girls in cute maid costumes. We got to eat delicious cakes, and we had the time of our lives – it was a great experience! The maids drew pretty drawings on our plates with chocolate and strawberry sauce. I recommend everyone to visit a maid café at least once – you won’t regret it!
(Tine Van Den Broecke, Belgium)
Date of Activity: August 26th
The ten-day-long program finished so quickly in Abiko. Today our Toyota program starts. After say good-bye to the tough Abiko people, we were driven by bus for 7.5 hours, and then we arrived at Toyota, Aichi prefecture. After the greetings by the LOC and Hiro-san, the matching started. However, this city’s matching was carried out by a game. Everyone took off their name tags, and we started the game without introducing ourselves. The first game was a “Leader Jyan-ken” – Rock, paper, scissors. Of course, the normal version isn’t fun enough, so each movement was some feature connected to Toyota City and the surrounding cities. The movements were “car”, “maple leaf”, “canoe” and “peach”. We were taught those movements, and if the movement we did was the same as the leader – the person in the middle of the circle – did, the person was out of the game, and the final person left was the winner. Next game was “数合わせゲーム”. We danced to music, and after that a person called a number from 1 to 10 in that person’s language. We made a small circle according to the called number, and if in the group there was a host family and the person they were going to host, happily the matching was a success. The host families already had some information, so to check if they had found their person, they asked us some questions. Some people meet quickly, however was I one of the last four people. Then a host family called some information, and I could finally meet them. The five days we’re going to spend in this city is too short, but I hope we can enjoy every single day as good conclusion to World Campus International 2012.
(Rie Hayase, Japan)
In Abiko city (suburb of Tokyo), our participants will enjoy Japanese summer festival or special activities of art & BBQ in nature!
And, our participants will see diversity from TOYOTA factory to a traditional scenery of old Japan in Toyota city. http://www1.citytoyota-kankou-jp.org/en/index.html