Friday, May 27, 2016

Branden's 9th grade class trip to Kyoto...

Branden on his way to Kyoto! It was his 3 day trip. In Japan 9th graders take a 3 day trip. Most every junior high school in Chiba prefecture sends their 9th graders to Kyoto and Nara. Nara is just a day trip but they sleep in Kyoto for the 2 nights. Noboru meanwhile grew up in the big bustling city of Osaka, so his city school took their 9th graders to Nagano (countryside, very gorgeous rural parts of Japan with beautiful mountains) and they loved their trip because they were seeing something different than what they were used to seeing coming from the city of Osaka. And vice versa. Branden's class is from rural Japan, so they enjoyed spending their 3 day trip in the big city of Kyoto. And plus there is so much to see there. Many touristy areas. So in a nutshell, either country mouse goes and plays city mouse for 3 days or city mouse goes and plays country mouse for 3 days. Just depends which part of Japan you live. : ) 

Visiting the deer in Nara!

Branden said he and his classmates said this reminded them of the movie Spirited Away. 
This is a funny story! A month ago, there was a note saying how the school would be sending all the kids suitcases to Kyoto by Kuroneko...for those of you outside of Japan a better explanation would be... think along the lines of UPS or FedEx. That way the kids could be more hands-free and be able to sight-see without having to lug their suitcases all the way to Kyoto and back. Noboru jokingly said..."the kids today are so pampered, in my day we lugged all our suitcases to and from Nagano by ourselves... it would be unheard of in those days to ask anyone to ship/mail them!" Hahaha. That cracked me up! : ) And look at this pic, how Kuroneko delivered it back to us. All nicely wrapped by Kuroneko in Branden's suitcase would not get dirty or get any rain drops on it. Hahaha. : ) Kids from today ne~ It's a different generation now days from Noboru's days.  
Some of the souvenirs Branden brought back! : ) 

Branden bought me this cosmetics bag. He brought back everyone in our family a gift. One for Noboru and also one for Noah too. : ) 

As a 9th grader, final year in middle school/ JHS.  All the kids bought these. You can read what it's for on the paper in English. One says for "passing examination" and the other says for "successful study" Awww. : ) Branden being in his final year at JHS has been studying tons and he had a big exam the other day and he told me that he kept these in his pocket during his exam for luck! : ) 

He bought this for Noah. He told Noah, "you're too young and don't need to pass any entrance exams, so I didn't buy you the charms I bought for myself. But I didn't want to leave you out either so I bought you this one, it says "victory"." I imagine this is what most tourists....foreigners purchase. Because it's a safe charm to buy (not many American tourists would need a "hope to get into high school charm" since we don't have that system") I thought it was very thoughtful..and it was cute he bought this for Noah. Because as he said....Noah being a 5th grader doesn't have a huge exam to take. So this was the "safest" charm to buy for Noah. Noah was so happy to just receive anything. And he did love the colors of it...a beautiful purple and green on this victory charm. And it's now hanging on Noah's randoseru (elementary school backpack) They are both good brothers to one another. : )

Cheesecake for us all to share. The senbei (rice crackers) up above were so hot. Hotter than jalapenos even! The hottest curry senbei we have ever eaten hands down. We ate them and they were so super tasty... but geeze louise were they hot! : )  So good... but beware... super hot. : ) 

Noboru's gift. Bran bought him green tea cookies. Noboru likes green tea. 

Various other things, inside the tiny brown paper bag is a necklace he had engraved with something written on it. All of his classmates had bought engraved necklaces this trip.

Noboru enjoyed these green tea cookies so much. All in all... Branden had a fantastic time. He said the kids all barely slept. They just talked and talked and had such fun. He took so many pictures. He took so many videos. He had just the best *best* time. : ) 
Noah and I picked up Branden the day he arrived. He arrived around 4:45pm that Tuesday. He was happy...happy he went... but also happy to be home too... he told us all his stories. And I also knew he would be missing "mom's home cooking!" So I made sure to make one of his favorite meals Tuesday. I made a huge pot roast and it was fall apart tender and so juicy and flavorful. I made a bunch of mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. The 4 of us ate supper. Branden had 2nds! He was definitely hungry. : ) Which made me happy.

He ate right away and then took a very long hot shower. Though they did shower obviously during their trip nightly at their hotel. But after his shower... he put on his pajamas and he went to sleep. He crashed right away... he was so exhausted. The kid... went to sleep by 6:50pm. And he didn't have school the next day. The 9th graders had the next day off. And he slept until 9:30am! Noah meanwhile had school. But Bran woke up, he came down. he ate breakfast. He brushed his teeth. I offered him McD's or a pot roast sandwich for lunch, we didn't eat it at that time we just barely finished breakfast... but I wanted to plan....if we were gonna stay home or if I should get ready to go out. He picked a pot roast sandwich. I picked that too. 

I packed Noah to school that day with a delicious tender pot roast sandwich on bakery bread, lettuce, tomato and provolone cheese too and some fresh fruit. So while Noah had a pot roast sandwich at school. With some delicious fresh fruit for lunch. Branden and I did have lunch around noon. And we had pot roast sandwiches and some chips. After lunch his friends Line messaged him and Bran went over to Genki's house. Where he and 2 other friends just hung out (4 in total). He came back home around 3pm and he and I went and picked up Noah from school. : )  Anyway that is Branden's 9th grade trip in a nutshell. : )