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Justin Schultz
Feb. 16, 2022
Continuing on from yesterday's post... On the second and final day of our trip we woke up and ate a light breakfast followed by some udon and soba at a nice little restaurant on the way to the Kirifuri Highlands (霧降高原). We were originally planning on hiking up to the observation deck around 880 meters up the mountain, but it proved to be a little farther than we thought it would be an had to stop at around 650 meters as there was a massive staircase to reach the observation deck and not everyone in the group was up for the challenge lol. Not having the proper gear didn't help much either. Most people had on snow shoes and they could easily trek through the snow but wearing just boots or tennis shoes we were a bit under-equipped and decided it'd be better not to overdo it. We got to see some really amazing views and talk to an 85-year-old man who told us what gear we should buy if we're planning on hiking in the snow, about how the dam located on the mountains across from us rises and falls during the day/night, and how this was his ~60th time climbing the mountain but the woman he came with has done it more than 300 times. She had to turn back early that day, but those are some impressive numbers! After enjoying the outdoors we headed over to Nikko Edomura/Edo Wonderland (日光江戸村) and had a blast exploring the theme park. We arrived at about 2pm so we got a nice discount on our all-day passes. Walking around we got to see all of the different buildings that gave the theme park its Edo-Period-feel. We also got to see the oiran procession (花魁道中) which was really awesome as well. It seemed like they tried to make it as accurate as possible too. The way the courtesan walked was in the traditional figure eight style which, from what I've read, is not easily done, so I assume that this is a sort of special type of profession as she was doing it (to my untrained eye) perfectly. One funny thing was that the girls in red in front of the courtesan had to slouch somewhat because they were too tall and the theme park obviously can't employ children to play the role like they would have traditionally. We also got some temporary "tattoos." They got some cute Nyan-mage tattoos and I got a Shinsengumi tattoo lol. After that we watched a really awesome performance inside of the ninja theater, but we weren't allowed to film or take photos so I don't have anything to post unfortunately. It was really cool seeing the ninja actors jumping off of rooves and fighting though. On top of that we also tried out the ninja maze where I was unfortunately the last one to make it out as I got unlucky and hit a dead end at the last part of the maze. This was a really fun experience as there were a lot of hidden and revolving doors that you had to find to escape the maze. We also did the shuriken experience and I managed to get 3/5 but I gave one of my shuriken to my girlfriend in the hopes that she would stick one in the target but unfortunately she wasn't able to lol. I guess I was technically 3/4 because of that. Overall the whole trip was a blast and we got to make some awesome memories out in Tochigi. I definitely recommend it as a travel destination!
  • Japan
  • Sightseeing
  • Travel
  • Theme park
  • History
  • Nature
  • Winter
  • Hiking
  • Ninja
  • Edo Period
開智国際日本語学校(Kaichi International School of Japanese)
Nov. 15, 2021
[English/日本語] This time, I'd like to continue my introduction to manners. This time, it's about manners when using leisure facilities. Manners at amusement parks At our Japanese language school, we have field trips several times a year. The locations include amusement parks, zoos, and other facilities. For this reason, we go over the precautions in class before the field trip. In this article, I would like to introduce some of these precautions. Tattoos are more common among international students compared to Japanese. Many leisure facilities in Japan refuse to accept people with visible tattoos. At one Japanese language school, there was a case where a student was not allowed to enter the facility because they did not check beforehand. Some facilities will allow you to enter if you are invisible, so you may want to carry a jacket even in the summer. However, this is not possible in the case of swimming pools, so give up using the facilities. Also, many places prohibit taking pictures using selfie sticks and live streaming of social networking sites. Be sure to check the precautions beforehand before you go. Onsen(hot spring)Manners It is difficult for even Japanese people to understand all the rules and manners of hot springs and public baths. For this reason, I often hear from international students that they have yet to try them because it seems too difficult to know how to enter. So what kind of rules and manners are there in onsen and sento? The first thing you must do before entering an onsen is to take a "kakeyu," which means to pour hot water on your body to remove dirt from your body before entering the onsen. There are also other things to keep in mind when washing your body. In hot spring facilities, the chairs used for washing your body are shared. Be sure to wash the chair well before putting it away when you are done using it. Also, women should tie their hair up when they enter the onsen. Do not put anything other than your body in the hot spring. The same goes for towels. Leave your towel in the luggage area or put it on your head. If it is your first time in a hot spring, be careful not to stay in the hot spring too long. If you are not used to hot springs, you may get sick. Hydrate frequently while bathing. Even Japanese people sometimes forget the detailed rules, so most onsen facilities have written instructions on how to enter the onsen. There are also YouTube videos that show you how to get in and out of the onsen, so please check them out. Manners in the Park Lastly, I would like to introduce the manners of the parks that are closest to us. I often hear foreigners talking about how parks in Japan are not very free. There are sometimes foreign students who get into trouble in the parks, so it is important to learn park manners as well. One of the most common problems I hear about is foreign students taking fruits and nuts from trees planted in the park. The trees and flowers planted in the park basically belong to the park, so you should not take them home. There are also many people who break the branches of cherry trees during the cherry blossom season. There is a Japanese proverb that says, “Fools who cut cherry trees. Fools who do not cut plum trees." If you cut off an important branch of a cherry tree, it may start to rot. Never cut cherry blossoms, no matter how beautiful they are. Also, I am sometimes asked by students if they can play soccer with their friends in the park. In most parks, you are not allowed to use a ball. Therefore, if you want to play soccer, you need to make a reservation at a local ground. For more information, ask your school teacher or a Japanese person close to you. These are just a few of the things I introduced here. Please be sure to check the website of any leisure facilities you wish to use. Our school offers related classes before and after the field trip. It is a popular way for students to deepen their understanding of Japan, not only by playing but also by learning. I hope that everyone will try to learn about Japanese culture from various places in Japan. 今回も前回に引き続きマナーについて紹介します。今回はレジャー施設を利用するときのマナーです。 遊園地のマナー 日本語学校では年に数回校外学習を行います。場所は、遊園地や動物園などの施設などです。そのため、校外学習の前に注意事項を授業中に確認します。今回はその注意事項の一部を紹介します。日本人と比べて留学生に多いのがタトゥーです。日本のレジャー施設では見えるところにタトゥーを入れている人を断っているところが多くあります。ある日本語学校では事前の確認を行わなかったために学生が施設に入れなかったことがあるそうです。見えない状態になっているなら入園を許可する施設もあるので、夏場でも上着を持つようにするといいかもしれません。ただし、プールの場合はそれができないので、施設利用を諦めましょう。また、自撮りスティックを使用しての写真撮影や、SNSのライブ配信などを禁止しているところも多いです。事前に注意事項を必ず確認してから行くことにしましょう。 温泉のマナー 温泉や銭湯などは日本人でもルールやマナーをすべて理解するのは難しいです。そのため、留学生からは、入り方が難しそうだからまだ挑戦できていないという話をよく聞きます。では温泉や銭湯にはどんなルールやマナーがあるのでしょうか。まず、温泉に入る前にしなければならないのは「かけ湯」です。「かけ湯」は体にお湯をかけることで、温泉に入る前に体の汚れを落とす目的があります。また、「かけ湯」をすることで、お湯に体を慣れさせる意味もあります。その他にも体を洗うときにも注意をする点があります。温泉施設では体を洗うときに使う椅子は共同です。自分が使い終わったら、必ず椅子をよく洗ってから片付けるようにしましょう。また、女性の場合温泉に入るときは髪を束ねましょう。温泉の中に体以外はつからないように気を付けてください。タオルも同じです。タオルは荷物置き場におくか、頭の上にのせるようにしましょう。初めて温泉に入る人は長く温泉に入りすぎないように気を付けてください。温泉に慣れていないとときどき具合が悪くなる人がいます。入浴中はこまめに水分補給をしましょう。日本人でも細かいルールを忘れてしまうことがあるので、だいたいの温泉施設では入り方の注意事項が書いてあります。また、YouTubeなどでも入り方などが公開されているものもあるのでぜひ見てみてくださいね。 公園のマナー 最後に一番身近にある公園のマナーについてご紹介します。よく外国人が日本の公園は自由が少ないと話しているのを聞きます。公園内でトラブルを起こす留学生も時々いるので、公園のマナーもしっかりと学びましょう。よく聞く留学生トラブルは、公園に植えてある木から木の実や果物をとってしまうことです。公園に植えてある木や花は基本的に公園のものなので、持ち帰ってはいけません。また、桜の季節になると桜の枝を折る人も多くいます。日本のことわざに「桜を切る馬鹿、梅を切らぬ馬鹿」というのがあります。桜は大切な枝を切ってしまうと、そこから腐り始めてしまうことがあります。いくらきれいでも絶対に切らないでください。また、学生から友達とサッカーをしたいけれど公園でしていいかと相談を受けることがあります。ほとんどの公園ではボールを使ってはいけないことになっています。そのため、サッカーをしたい場合には地域のグラウンドを予約するなどが必要になります。詳しくは学校の先生や身近な日本人に聞いてみてください。 今回紹介したものはほんの一部です。レジャー施設を利用する場合は事前確認を必ずするようにしてください。本校では校外学習の前後に関連した授業を行っています。遊ぶだけではなく、学ぶこともできるので、日本への理解が深まったと好評です。みなさんもぜひ日本の色々な場所から日本文化を学んでみてくださいね。
  • Japan
  • Japanese-language school
  • International students
  • Study abroad
  • Life in Japan
  • Theme park
  • Hot springs
  • Park

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