On December 5 and 6, six students of Asahi Nihongo went on a Samurai Tour to Kikuchi City in Kumamoto Prefecture. During this two-day trip, they had the chance to experience Japanese Samurai culture first hand. The following report shows details and highlights of the tour.
All students met at Hakata Station in the morning and were driven to Kikuchi City by car. The citizens of Kikuchi were already expecting the group.
They had an orientation about the tour and were able to enjoy home-made Bento and other local specialities. Yummy!
In the afternoon, it was time for special activities. First, our male students had the chance to don an authentic Samurai armor, while our female participants dressed up in beautiful Kimono.
They all look wonderful, do they not?
Afterwards, it was time for traditional Japanese archery, also called “Kyudo”. The bow is much bigger than a European bow and you have to concentrate a lot. Our students did very well though.
In the evening, our students went to their local host families, where they enjoyed a traditional Japanese dinner and talked about their experiences. Everyone had a great time and was able to practice their Japanese skills.
Nevertheless, the next morning they had to get up really early because it was time for a canoe tour near the Ryumon Dam. The students were taught how move their canoes and after some safety instructions, they could explore the Dam and enjoy the beautiful nature and fallen leaves.
Later in the morning, everyone went into the forest to pick Shiitake mushrooms, a mushroom often used in Japanese cuisine. The actual size of these mushrooms is impressive!
After the mushroom picking, it was time for Mochi-tsuki. This is a traditional way of pounding Japanese rice cake (Mochi). Mochi are mostly round and sticky sweets many Japanese like to eat especially around New Year.
After a recreative lunch, our students discussed what they liked most about their tour and which activities would also attract other foreign tourist to the small city of Kikuchi, before going back to Hakata in the afternoon.
At this point we once again want to thank the organisers of the event – Kikuchi City, Kyushu no Mura, Mr. Minami, Ms. Yasunaga as well as Ms. Mizutani – for offering our students such a great opportunity. Thank you very much! どうもありがとうございました！
Two of our students also told us about their most impressive moments of the tour:
“We stayed over night with the same host family. They were very nice and talked with us a lot. Though we did not understand everything, we enjoyed a nice dinner together. We ate Horse Meat Sashimi (sliced raw meat), which was a totally new experience for us. Moreover, we also enjoyed wearing the Samurai uniforms and doing Japanese archery. It was a very great experience!”