The girls came to visit (Amanda, Caitlin and Moser), so naturally, we did some sightseeing in and around Tokyo. Looking more white and taller than ever before, we set out for a day in Kamakura (about one hour outside of Tokyo). It was a beautiful mid-December day. The air, although crisp and cold, was very comfortable for a day of outdoor walking.
Throughout the week, the Japanese cultural experiences were, of course, endless! However, we enjoyed a unique experience in Kamakura — being “mobbed” by elementary aged school groups throughout the day! There were very few foreigners sightseeing in Kamakura that day; therefore, we were continually questioned by “little school trippers”. A group of four or five children would approach with a list of questions for their school assignment. These were beginner English questions such as, hello my name is ________, what’s your name, what is your favorite food and what is your job. At the end of their questions, we received a piece of paper explaining the project and thanking us for our time. The final question was always, “can we take a picture with you?”. I feel certain that on presentation day, we were in each groups project!
I think I can speak for all four girls when I say, we really enjoyed talking with these kids throughout our day trip! It’s an experience that I will always remember! It was so cute to watch the kids work together as they completed the questionnaire. Every group was slightly different in their approach and confidence level. Some children read the questions from a paper, while others had memorized the assignment. On occasion, we would see the students nudge each other or whisper something in an effort to assist the group leader or because they were being shy.
One group sticks out in my mind because our paths continuously crossed throughout the day. I told the children that my job was a singer at Tokyo DisneySea. This created some excitement because they love the Disney parks. For the remainder of the day, they remembered my name. Periodically, we would hear, “Christine-san, Christine-san!” We would turn and find our elementary friends just a few paces behind us!
It was a special treat to interact with these kids while we experience a historical area of Japan full of shrines, temples and, of course, the Great Buddha (Daibutsu).