Jewels of Kyoto and Exploring Japanese Culture in Sydney

Japanese Excursion Photo 1

On the 24th of February, the Year 11 and 12 Japanese class, accompanied by Ms Mizukami and Mr Roseby, travelled to the city. We went to the Monkey Baa Theatre in Darling Harbour, the Kinokuniya Bookshop, MUJI, a Japanese convenience store and Mizuya Japanese Restaurant and Karaoke.

First, we met at Blacktown Station at 8:45am to catch the train to the City. We got off at Town Hall and walked straight to the Monkey Baa Theatre. Our Collegel and many others schools were there to watch a lecture and traditional Japanese performance called “Jewels of Kyoto”. This was run by the Japan Foundation. Two Geiko-san and two Maiko-san travelled to Sydney from Kyoto to give the lecture on traditional Japanese culture.

First, there was a photo opportunity. Then the Geiko-san and Maiko-san lecture which consisted of information about what the Geiko and Maiko do in their everyday life, and the dialect of the people from Kyoto, as well as how young Japanese women train to become Maiko and Geiko. The performances had traditional Japanese folk singing, followed by the playing of traditional Japanese instruments and dancing. We also learnt two Japanese games, Tora Tora Tora and an Traditional Tea House game. We learnt that these games were usually played only by adults. If a person loses the game, they need to drink a glass of sake (Japanese rice wine). Maiko-san and Geiko-san gave students a chance to experience the games. It was very educational and entertaining. We all learnt something so special from Kyoto and it was so much fun!

Next, we went to the Kinokuniya Bookshop to buy the Japanese dictionary and we then had some leisure time. However, the Furigana dictionaries were out of stock. So unfortunately we were unable to purchase them. We were allowed to also buy some stuff at the Kinokuniya Bookshop and MUJI (selling Japanese natural and simple design compliments).

After that we went to the Mizuya Japanese restaurant and Karaoke to try Japanese cuisine and sing Karaoke. The food there was delicious. We were able to choose one lunch from a set menu. We also ordered special Japanese drinks, such as Green Tea Latte. It was very tasty with a compliment of whipped cream and sweet red bean. It balanced out the strong taste of the Matcha (Green Tea). Singing Japanese Karaoke was fun even though it was more difficult than we expected, however in the end everyone enjoyed their time singing.

All in all, it was a fun and informative day learning about the different aspects of Japan, ranging from dialects to the performing arts. We now know how much of the Japanese culture we can experience in Sydney. We look forward to having another great Japanese excursion next year!

Isla Ramos & Sharlene Mesa
Year 11 Japanese Continuers

Japanese Excursion Photo 2