My first day of Jishukan started at 6am. I was really tired, but my excitement allowed me to get up. To get to school we took a train, followed by a school bus.Just getting to school was a mission,and was harder than what I was used to doing at home.
Jishukan goes from grades 1-6, but is not as big as I thought it would be. The school grounds themselves are immaculate and flash. While Aorere has a small, one-line-only tuckshop, Jishukan literally has their own restaurant and cafeteria. It also isn't overpriced, which must be nice.
Entering the school as a foreigner, everybody stares without even trying to hide it. At first, it made me feel really uncomfortable, but after a while I got used to it. I began to understand that they were stares of curiosity and not judgement. Mai is in class 5A, which will also become my new class. When I entered the classroom, there was still not many students that had arrived. But as the class started to fill up, I got more and more nervous. When everyone had finally arrived, I had to introduce myself in Japanese. Thanks to Miyamoto sensei, I was able to introduce myself properly, and the class was surprised that I spoke in Japanese, even though it was really just a few phrases that I had memorized.My class is very nice and I look forward to getting to know them better.
In the afternoon, we participated in a Japanese tea ceremony, wearing Japanese yukata. The whole process was very foreign and confusing, but our instructors helped us, and were very forgiving if we happened to do something wrong. There were a lot of small steps involved (eg. Turning the cup twice before drinking) that emphasized the importance the ceremony had. It was very formal, but very fun at the same time.I was grateful to be able to experience such an authentic Japanese tradition.