We started off the trip with parents dropping off their young ones at the airport. Meeting our tour guide Jinhee Kim at counter M with other students from CDS going away on their own field trip was chaotic, but went about fairly smoothly. We snapped in a quick picture with the banner before we headed towards the departure gates. All went accordingly to plan and we were boarding the Air Asiana plane before we knew it.
Students were preoccupied with their phones or the onboard entertainment; games, movies, listening to music, bothering each other, etc. Some even got a quick shut eye, but were quickly woken up as we landed just as fast as we took off. No problems going through the airport immigration and customs. We made a quick stop at 7/11 to get a drink/snack. Students were glad to be starting off their trip with a traditional Japanese treat.
We cleared easily and boarded our bus, where it got expectingly noisy as the students were super excited and thrilled about being in a different country. The noise simmered down as it was a 2 hour drive from the airport to our first destination and students' favorite pasttime of eating; a restaurant. We had a semi-Chinese/Japanese fusion meal of Jjampong, except it was white broth, not the red spicy one the students are familiar with. General consensus around the room was that it was 'pretty good, delicious, or tasty'. Phew!
If that didn't hit their taste buds, we made a quick stop next door to get more water and another snack. We strolled a bit more towards the World War Museum. The students were given their study guide packages which kept them fairly occupied in the Museum. After an hour reading through the inscriptions and looking at the pictures, we asked students about their feedback/thoughts/opinions. A few mentioned,
"Fairly biased because no where did it mention about the bombing of Pearl Harbour". Digging further with an open minded elaboration, '...it's media propaganda because this is only half the story. The country is making it seem like they are the innocent ones. Telling the people that they were the victims is out right wrong...'.
After the Museum, we walked to the Peace Park. We walked through the 'hypocenter' of where the atomic bomb was dropped. A part of the original church still stands in place, but there is a memorial/statue put in place as well to commemorate the fallen.
We walked around the park giving the students half hour to spend time on their own to reflect on the day's activities and work through their study guide booklet. It was time to board the bus again and end the first day of the tour as we headed to our hotel. We checked in and feasted on dinner right away. Then we hit up the hot spring, let the students converse with one another, and call it a night with lights out at 11pm in preparation for tomorrow's activities.