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Japanese schools

Japanese schools

As we biked down to illuminated romance excess in Ebisu, we passed two open school events in two different Tokyo wards, and curiously decided to take a look. I was amazed at the projects and the enthusiasm with which students were presenting their food and activity stands.

Japanese kids start elementary school at the age of six and they learn to master Kanji for much of their school time, whereas Hiragana is introduced at kindergarden age. At 13 pupils enter middle school and at 16 they are high school students, graduating at 18. Then follows college or university (usually for four years).

I don’t know if school subjects are similar to what I had in school but because Japanese writing is more of an art, students do learn calligraphy, as well as the art of Japanese traditional poetry called haiku. There are also classes for cooking and home skills which European schools have largely abandoned. Most schools do teach English but private English schooling is popular and astoundingly many Japanese youngsters don’t speak English too well.

Pupils wear uniforms. Boys have dark pants and jackets with collars, whereas girls wear two-piece uniforms with sailor collars or just blazers and very short skirts with overknees which not surprisingly developed into a fetish, fashion statement and made its way into pop culture.

At the first school we peeked in, I was surprised by this painting on the wall. It seems Japanese students have a great culinary start.

Tokyo, Japan

 

Mc Donald’s isn’t such a biggie with all the fantastic food variety in Japan. Well, there is of course a Japanese McDonald’s equivalent called MOS Burger. I sorta grew out of burgers but I hear MOS Burger is a lot better.

Tokyo, Japan

 

The same goes for drinks. Coca Cola isn’t so popular in Japan.  Even the Coca Cola vending machines have adjusted to Japanese taste and sell a variety of (non fizzy!) drinks. Still, I prefer Japanese Kirin drinks. Who can resist Tinker Bell on lemon tea?

Tokyo, Japan

 

The school we invaded had professional posters hung up which looked interesting and inviting.

Tokyo, Japan

 

Classroom interiors didn’t look rich but each had neat projects prepared for parents, friends and family.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

 

Outside students were playing their self made projects.

Tokyo, Japan

 

 

Gaming machines were inventive and a lot of fun.

Tokyo, Japan

 

So were self made posters.

 

 

At Aoyama Gakuin University, students were having fun selling prepared food and performing on stage. It is one of the leading private universities with a Christian background in Japan, located in the posh area near Omotesando.

Tokyo, Japan

 

The university entrance gate led straight to a big performance stage and a long aisle of delicious food stands. Students were cheering and holding up their self made banners to promote their produce.

Tokyo, Japan

 

Watch the video of super pro youngsters on stage.

 

I enjoyed to look at the outfits. University students do not wear uniforms.

Tokyo, Japan

 

First love. On the flowery bridge. Cute.

Tokyo, Japan

 

Students were dressed up very presentable and I could spot many serious fashion pros. It was so much fun to watch the young crowds and walk the aisles of food stalls, being smiled at and chatted up from all sides. If I have never said it before, Japanese students are incredibly easy going, friendly, polite, well behaved and show a great sense of hospitality. That goes for Japanese people in general. Whatever they teach those kids, it is working well for society.  It is a pleasure to be here!

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