Kasumigaura Minami J.H. School Annual Ski Trip
February 22-24, 1999

Opening ceremony for the ski school.

Field trips are an important part of the Japanese school curriculum.  Perhaps you may even have seen our uniformed students visiting your country!

At our schools, third grade (approx. grade 9 in the North American school system) students visit Kyoto for three days and some lucky students are able to go to Australia on a town sponsored trip for eight days.  First grade students (approx. grade 7) go on a ski trip.  We travel to Fukushima Prefecture which is about four hours north of here by bus.  It is a mountainous area with year round snow at the higher elevations.

You might be thinking, "Holy cow!  A bunch of kids tearing around on skis.  Sounds like a sure recipe for a trip to the hospital!"  Not so.  The students are divided into groups and taught by professional ski instructors.  Over three days, they get about 12 hours of instruction.  The beginner students start on the bunny hill and work up to getting on the lift and tackling the more difficult slopes.  The system of teaching is excellent and 99% of students learn to ski pretty well by the end of the second day.  Unfortunately, teacher chaperones, such as myself, do not get instruction and we have to fend for ourselves.


Ski school.  Basic stuff.

Ski school.  Learning the snow plow.


Ski school.  Advanced skiers!

  Evening.  Making an akabeko or red bull.

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