Our first activity day in Isehara

AMADA exhibition

Day of activity: July 15th 2015

Today we did a bunch of different stuff! First, we visited Oyama elementary school, where we were met by its few- but extremely motivated- students and teachers. First, we taught them various things about our own countries. Then, we did a game where you introduce yourself to as many people as possible and collect a signature from every person. Next, we tried a traditional wooden toy that you send spinning by wrapping a rope around it and pulling back fast on it. The two girls who taught me made it look easy, but trust me: it wasn’t! I still had a lot of fun though!

Our next activity was a visit to the AMADA company, whom specialize in making machinery for cutting into metal plates. I’m not usually that interested in industrial machinery and such things, but the visit actually turned out to be really interesting. The precision and speed of the machines was really impressive, and we actually got a much closer look at them in action than I ever thought we would. The best part for me though (and I suspect for many of the others too) was going to the large exhibition room where special art pieces made with AMADA’s machines are on display. They were often made by students, and many of them were incredibly detailed, thanks to the use of laser-cutting and the like.

After our tour of the AMADA facility, we went to the Kikawa sake brewery. Located in a nondescript residential area, it’s the kind of place that you would easily miss if you just happened to walk by. But once inside, you could immediately tell that this place is special. They still make much of their product the old fashioned way, relying on a mix of ancient techniques and old trusted machines. We started our visit by watching a short video about sake brewing. Then we got a guided tour by the brewmaster himself, a man who is clearly very passionate about his work. Once the tour was over, we all got a small bottle to take back as a sample if we so pleased. I drank it with my host family, and I was very pleased!

So to summarize: school visit, industrial machinery, and sake- all in one day! It was an awesome day.

Simon Presley (Denmark)

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