Several Tauranga schoolkids got the chance to explore Japanese culture up close at a special event hosted by visiting Japanese students.
The students, from Morimura Junior High School, hosted the cultural event at Greerton Hall on Wednesday for pupils from Bellevue Primary School, Tauriko School, and Gate Pa School.
Let's Homestay managing director Stuart Cundy says the 190 students were here to experience a farm stay – staying with a Kiwi family on a farm, as opposed to a suburban home.
“Instead of sightseeing this year, they decided they wanted to engage with local youth more, hence the youth day.”
Each school brought around 85 children, says Stuart.
“They learnt about Japanese manga, kanji writing, and a Japanese card game called ‘karuta'. There was also a corner where the pupils could try on a kimono. The Kiwi kids thought it was awesome to interact with so many Japanese kids, and learn about the culture, while the Japanese students have really enjoyed giving back some hospitality to the youth of Tauranga.”
Stuart says his company specialises in providing farm and home stay experiences for Japanese visitors.
“We've got a big group of 95 boys coming from Tauranga's sister-city Hitachi in February for six nights, who we're currently trying to find host families for.”
If you're interested in providing a home stay experience, email email@example.com