Konichiwa! From September 26 to October 6, a whopping total of 66 students from HBA’s Japanese 3 and 4 classes will be hopping on a plane headed for Japan.

This is by far the largest group, so the chaperones will have their work cut out for them. The group size averaged at 30 students per trip in the past.

For ten days, students will be exploring the southern part of Honshu, the main Japanese island. There they will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to a Hiroshima bombing survivor’s testimony. “The whole experience of going there and putting the cranes and listening to the story of the survivor, I think, will make a huge impact,” said Japanese teacher and Japan trip chaperone Elena Yoo. In Japanese culture, cranes symbolize peace. The Japanese students have folded a thousand paper cranes to bring on their trip to place on the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in remembrance of the victims of the World War II bombing.

The students will also get a chance to explore the Osaka Aquarium, spend the day at the Japanese high school Doshisha Kori, visit Mount Fuji, and roam around Tokyo. “I am most looking forward to the twelve hours of free time we get in Tokyo,” said senior Kylie Tamaki. “We get to do shopping and visit temples or shrines, and it’s twelve hours of free time!”

Check back later to follow this reporter on her journey through the land of the rising sun.