School life, progress and activities: School is going well. At the moment, everyone is studying hard for exams, so I’ve had time to study the language at my own pace. On Wednesdays and Thursdays I participate in the Tea Ceremony Club. Recently, my teacher has been instructing me on how to correctly make tea and the way of ending the tea ceremony. I even learnt where to specifically sit on the floor when waiting to receive tea and snacks. It’s so interesting!
Travel - Guess what? I’ve finally gone on my first holiday in Japan! My new host family, the Nunome Family, took me to Kyoto for a few days. There, we visited many popular tourist attractions such as the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Kinkakuji Temple, as well as eating delicious foods! I had the best time with my host parents! In my current host family, I have host parents and a grandpa living with us. They are also an incredible family.
Highlights: This past month has been one of the most exciting and interesting months so far. From the 6th - 12th July, my town faced a severe downpour of rain and due to flooding and risk of mudslides, school was cancelled for the entire week. The main river that flows along the centre of Gero town rose from the usual one metre to five metres, flooding shops, business and homes which bordered the river. Thankfully, my host family’s house was far from the river and built on high ground, so we were out of harm’s way. On the weekend of the 18th - 19th July, Gen (a RYE student from NZ) and I went to Takayama to meet the Governor of our Rotary District. After the visit, Gen’s Rotary Councillor, Gen and I went out for lunch, Gen and I got to spend the afternoon shopping around Takayama. Then in the evening, we were picked up by the Governor and his wife and went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. The restaurant is renowned for being one of the best in Japan, so it was no surprise that the food was absolutely delicious! We stayed with the Governor and his wife on Saturday night and then the next morning, we went to Nagoya city. At Nagoya, Gen and I went shopping again for the day and returned home by train in the afternoon. We had such an awesome time! That weekend was also the six month mark for Gen’s and my exchange in Japan! On that same weekend, I moved to my sixth host family, a lovely family of three (they do have more children but they are all studying on campus at University). From the 22nd to the 24th July, we went on a holiday to Kyoto, which was phenomenal! It was such a massive highlight of this month.
DG2630 Mr Kenda, Gen, Ariene & Mrs Kenda  
Kumazaki host family
Kyoto with Nunome family