Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has launched an innovative new programme to encourage educational visits from Australian schools to Japan. The programme will involve annual trips for Australian school body representatives to Japan, where they will visit local schools and be introduced to the breadth of cultural, adventure, sporting, historical and language learning opportunities available in Japan for Australian students.
The initiative was launched with a week-long famil involving senior staff members from seven Australian schooling groups, who met their Japanese counterparts and gained insights into various aspects of Japanese life.
“There are numerous studies showing the benefits international school trips can have for school age children. Japan is unlike anywhere else in the world, and we believe its unique culture and rich history make it a fascinating destination for Australian school trips – one that will be both educational and memorable,” explains Kana Wakabayashi, JNTO Sydney Office Executive Director.
“By targeting Australian school leaders, and giving them a deeper understanding of the learning opportunities available in Japan, we hope to encourage educational tours for schools in the future,” said Wakabayashi.
The inaugural educational familiarisation was supported by the local governments of the Gunma and Shizuoka Prefectures, and was attended by representatives from seven Australian states and territories. Participants visited Tokyo, Gunma, Shizuoka, Kyoto and Hiroshima, and held meetings with a number of Japanese schools. Other cultural activities and inspections during the trip included Japanese archery (“kyudo”), sushi making, a farm stay, a painting workshop, a poignant visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, travelling by bullet train, as well as sightseeing in Tokyo.