Lunchboxes and driving school!


Day of activity: August 10th 2015

Today was our final activity day here in Tama. We started the day off by going to a local community center and meeting up with some local Japanese students. We actually knew quite a few of them since they had organized various fun activities for us on personal day, so it was fun to meet up again and do something together.

Following our meeting up with the students, we were split into two groups for the activities in the community center: one group that would do tai-chi, and one that would cook lunch for everyone- I was in the latter group.

The special thing about the lunch we were cooking was that we would be making ‘Kyara-ben’- character bento lunchboxes. My team would be making Pikachu and Kumamon (the omnipresent mascot of Kumamoto city) bentos. At first, we simply made the other items that would go along with the characters: rolls of fried egg, broccoli wrapped in bacon, fried chicken, etc. Then came the tricky part: making the actual characters! Pikachu in particular proved challenging since I had to make the proportions of its face somewhat even- that went… Ok… As for my Kumamon, he ended up being more disturbing/terrifying than cute. But in the end everyone told us that our creations looked and tasted great 🙂

After lunch, we all visited a local driving school. I was rather impressed by the size of the school- they had several classrooms and simulators for teaching their students. We were greeted by one of the instructors who put us through a memory test that elderly Japanese drivers have to take. A lot of us came close to remembering all the pictures we were shown, but no one could get a perfect score (the ‘pineapple’ and ‘sparrow’ cards in particular proved difficult!). Once the test was over, we got to try some ‘drunk vision’ goggles- nothing like being drunk if you ask me, but still majorly disorientating! After that, some of us even got to try the driving simulators- the results left much to br desired…! Once our activities were done, the final group of participants received their well-earned certificates of completion. It was a very emotional moment 🙂

We had a great final day in Tama, even if it was tinged with the sadness of knowing that we would have to say our goodbyes the next day.

Simon Presley (Denmark)

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