School Activity Report

Today's Phrase

Hina-matsuri (Girl’s day)

We, Japnaese people traditionally like a lot of  different festivals. We often have some kinds of festival in somewhere in Japan each month. March one is one of the famous events here. It’s called “Hina-matsuri”. Matsuri means a festival. Hina came from a word “Hina-Ningyo” which generally is miniature dolls of the noble people in Heian ara in Japan. Parents having girls usually enjoy this event by display many different dolls with different things, such as musical instruments, lights, flowers etc. on steps. We visited a place where they make such dolls and experienced the painting on them.

Let’s read what one of them thought about this activity:

“We visited a place where we could try the Hakata doll painting. Every time I see Hakata dolls in exhibitions, museums, I am shocked how beautiful and lively they are.

At the painting house we could choose from different types of dolls and figures, this was not easy to choose among them, because all of them looked cute and nice. Finally I have chosen a doll which turned out to be one of the most complicated ones 🙂 I do not mind, I love doing handcraft pieces – sometimes also in my free time I fold origami, make some painting or drawing.

I think also the boys enjoyed painting the dolls, but definitely it is a program rather suitable for ladies and girls. I have also decided if there will be friends visiting us in Fukuoka from Hungary, I will bring them to this place so they will also have a chance to create a personalized Hakata doll.

Thank your for this activity, it was really great! And I am a little sad, because that was my last activity with the school and I enjoyed all of them – I will miss it for sure.”

A Countryside

We visited a countryside called Itoshima close to the sea. You can enjoy some seafood (especially oysters this time of the year) and Sake although it is a small town.


Here is a comment from our student;

“After meeting at Tenjin station with the classmates and our teachers, we took the bus to Itoshima and the first stop was by a kakigoya. For me this was the second time visiting kakigoya and it is always a superb experience! Sitting around the grill table and preparing the food together is great, we had some nice chats meanwhile. Partially in English, partially in Japanese. We learnt about each others’ culture and interesting facts.

After lunch we stopped by a German style shop where we could taste some sausages, hams and patés. I found this place very much like home – we eat the same kinds of sausages and meat products like in this shop. I also bought some samples because they really bring me back the taste of home and Hungary.

Afterwards we went further to visit a sake manufacture, where we had the chance to taste different types of sakes, even some special flavoured ones – there was chocolate, strawberry and plum sake among their selection. I have never seen these types before. They not only produce sake, but also home-made beer, which cannot be found by any corner. A very funny experience reached me here: there was a bath filled with sake, and you could put your hands in it to warm it up. Basically it was a hand sake onsen! This was great fun! Japanese ladies were sitting there, warming up their hands and they were very much interested about where we are from.

Our last visit was on an egg farm, where traditional sweets were produced, plus we found a lovely grocery shop with local products and special elements. It is great to see in Japan there is a respect towards local products which can be found only in farms. This kind of mentality is close to my mind.

We went back to the bus, everyone got sleepy because of the great experiences, the wonderful dishes and the good company. It was a superb daily trip where we again had the opportunity to get closer the Japanese culture and get to know more about Kyushu.

I especially would like to thank you that my partner, Robert could also join this trip – he also had a good time and had fun with my classmates.

Thanks again and if anyone asks, I just can offer Itoshima as a destination for a daily trip – I always enjoy the seaside and the culinary experience there.”

Yusentei Part 2

Here are some more photos and a comment.

I just loved this activity!! We went to yusentei park and luckily it was a sunny day! The park was amazing and I learned a lot about Japanese culture. Our sensei was great, she explained everything and she made use try matcha tea! We also partecipate to a wedding photo shooting. I really think these activities are amazing! They make students understand and love more Japanese culture and its beauty!! Thank you so much for this experience!!

Yusentei-A Japanese Garden

We visited a traditional Japanese garden and a tea house in Fukuoka.

Here is a comment from one of our students;

” We visited the Yusentei Koen which was again, after the washi making activity, a great occasion and daily trip. Yusentei Koen was bulit in 1754 as a summer castle and resort of Kuroda Tsugutaka, the 6th lord of the Kuroda Clan. The building itself is also gorgeous, however, I especially liked the park surrounding it. For me, Japanese gardens, parks and forests really show the specialty of the Japanese culture – and also this time I was more than impressed.

Walking around the garden I could enjoy the morning feeling of the park, no other visitors were there at that time yet. The goldfish were just waking up and were looking for the morning sun. We also bought some fish food to feed them – I hope they had a great breakfast 🙂

We also went inside the castle building and could enjoy the matcha tea with some Japanese sweets. It is great how the bitterness of the tea balances the sweet of the desserts. I just love it! Sitting on the tatami in the tea house, we occasionally found ourselves on a wedding photo shooting. The young man was wearing black and white elegant dress, and the bride was in a fantastic white kimono. I have never seen Japanese wedding couple before, so it was really a first time experience for me.

With Noriko san and the boys we had a good time at Yusentei Koen, I am sure I will go back with my partner there soon. I was happy to use the couple of words and sentences which I already know in Japanese.

I am looking forward to the next activity as well, and thank you very much again for organizing these trips!


Thank you!


Lilla Mate




We visited a city called “Yame” in the south part of Fukuoka. There is a museum of Japanese traditional crafts. You can have an experience of making “Wa-shi” (Japanese old style paper) . Our students made a fan themselves. You can see the proffesional works in the museum upstairs.

This is a comment from our student;

The trip to Kurume/Yame was very well organized and the washi making program was awesome at the handcraft centre. This was a good opportunity to look into Japanese culture and to understand a part of it more. The staff there was very helpful, it was real fun creating the washi souvenirs by myself. Upstairs we also walked around the museum part, pieces were presented in a very nice way.

Our teacher was very helpful and kind during the whole day, during the trip on the train and the bus she was teaching me some practical words in Japanese, and gave me great recommendations for traveling around Kyushu.

 I think it is a great idea to organize these activities for the students on Wednesdays, this gives extra energy and enthusiasm for learning Japanese language. Also in the upcoming weeks, I am very happy to join these trips!”


Kado (A Flower Arrangement)

Our student tried the Japanese syyle flower arrangement! This traditional art is so proffessional that everybody can be the teacher. You need to learn and practice so many years like getting a black belt for Judo, Karate, etc. Althought this art has been in Japan from  the ancent times, the way of expression has been changed. So we have different styles of flower arrangements in these days. Some are quite simple, some are very lively, some are contrasty, and so on. If you would like to learn this art, you had better choose which style you like to make. As visitors,  the simple one is good for the first step.

This Kado is very much related with Sa(Cha)do  (Green tea hospitality).  The founder of the tea hospitality (Sen no Rikyu) used only a sigle flower in the tea room in 15th century. He built a simple house by vernacular materials with the smalest room (only 2 Tatami mat size)  having a simple flower. He created  the “Wabi” and “Sabi” (similar to “simple is best.”) philosophy with this house. It means that the single flower has a lot of meaning in the room. The host has to think about what kind of flower he choose in the room very deeply. It can be the expression of host’s feeling, give the season to the guests, simply produce the contrast to the room, etc. So every single part of a flower including vase, place, season, and so on are importsnt to create a particular space.

When you see the finished works, they look strange because you do not know the concept of the flowwer arrangement. However, they should have the theme for the results and many Kado people get the idea of the work. Numbers of the flower, angle of the branches, length of each, size of the vase,etc. everything is chosen with purpose.


Setsubun is an event at the beginning of February. Most Japanese people throw beans which are sold at many shops when the time is near. We visited a temple where the people on the stage throw beans and the audience pick them up for the happiness.


We got a comment from our student;

” Setsubun feels like a very lively time of year and I was happy to see the celebrations. The dressed up おに were everywhere and it was fun to take pictures with them. The food in the stalls cooking outside the shrine and temple all smelled great and added to the atmosphere. Everyone seemed to be in a great spirit and very joyful.

The anticipation grew for the event to begin when they toss gifts and beans into the crowd from above and was very exciting when it did start! It can become very crowded but you just go with the flow and join the crowd in cheering!

The temple built in year 806 was extraordinary.  The big budhha upstairs is beautiful as well and the inside path leading through hell, the darkness and into heaven is such an experience. Such care has been put into the place and it is very beautiful.

I had a great time visiting the shrine and the temple with our teachers. If I had been a foreigner here and went alone I would have missed out on so much. I truly appreciate their time.

They were very informative and made it a lot of fun. They went out of their way to get answers to all of the questions and I felt like I was truly informed. All the while making it enjoyable. We had a lot of laughs.”


Our student had a Japanese traditional experience at our school. This is the calligraphy practice.

All Japanese pupils aged 5-6 start lerning this particular writing at school. Some do it privately earlier at home, or by attending a calligraphy learning school.

This writing system requires people to use right hand, so the left handed people usually struggle to get used to write compared with right-handed ones.

We start learning names of the things we use. Brushes, the ink, paper, weight,   a sheet under the paper, etc.

The thickness of the black ink is important, but we can easily purchase a kind of ready-made ink so that we can immediately use it without making one from the water.

Basically, you dip the brush into the ink, take the extra ink out on the inkstone, and write on the paper. Beginners usually write basic lines such as straight lines and circles first, then, right ways of  virtical, horizontal, and diagonal lines.


Ways of ending each line is quite different, so we need to practice it many times. After you get used to write lines, you start learning the calligraphy with Hiragana, then, simple Kanji with Hiragana making a simple phrase and difficult Kanji. When you master ordinary writing, you can use broken styles.

Once you master this writing, it becomes the Art. The balance of each letter, partially and generally, ways of ending, thickness of lines, etc. are very important in the point of the art. If you become a high level calligraphy writer, you also give your feeling to each letter. Sometimes it is just a single Kanji to express it.

However, our students have limited time to do this, so the teacher explain how to use the stationaries and to move the body with a brush, and to write some words. They listen and practice for a while, and try to finish with the best for their experience.


This is what our student thought about it;

I believe that calligraphy is a beautiful art and I am grateful to have seen some of it with your school. The deeper understanding of this art has given me more appreciation to it. 

The teacher was patient and knowledgeable. She always made sure I had the correct information and resources to do the best practice I could. She also made it a lot of fun!”


Fukuoka Tower

We visited one of the famous sightseeing place, Fukuoka Tower.


We got an impression of this trip from a student;

“Activity to Fukuoka tower was great. I liked it because we got to see a lot of Fukuoka. “

Konpeitoh making

Our students had an experience to make Konpeitoh (small sugar sweet) this time.




Here is a comment from one of our students;

“Konpeito was a great trip. I did not realise this candy was a symbol of Japan. I really enjoyed learning about the history and how it is made. Then being able to make our own (colouring and flavour only but still!) was awesome. Thank you for this activity. I really enjoyed it! Everyone was so nice!Arigato Gozaimasita!”



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