On Thursday, 22 October our Year 8 students had the privilege of travelling to the local Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens to experience hanami (cherry blossom viewing) whilst the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. We were given a short tour of the gardens before making our way down to the Japanese pagoda, tea ceremony room and then to the Japanese Bridge. Students were able to taste some Japanese green tea, mugicha (barley tea) and some macha (green tea) flavoured jelly! We also dressed in yukata (summer kimonos), battled it out in a kendama (Japanese wooden toy) competition and soaked in the surroundings to write some beautiful haiku (Japanese poems). Students had a very relaxing and enjoyable time experiencing some Japanese traditions under the cherry blossoms, just like Japanese people do.  

These activities have provided students with some real, hands on experiences to accompany their classroom lessons of Japanese. Experiencing Japanese culture first-hand is crucial to truly understanding it fully and becoming more aware of other norms and perspectives. I extend my thanks to the staff of the Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens for their hospitality, and the Asia Institute (University of Tasmania) for their support in making this experience a reality again this year. 

Ms Sophie Bird 

Head of Languages