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Back Home from Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Autumn 2009

Hey everyone, I’m finally back home and posting again after Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Autumn 2009. Six unschooling/homeschool teens and young adults and I spent three weeks exploring the Land of the Rising Sun.

Here I’ll start with the last photo from the trip just after we cleared customs in LAX:

LAX - The whole group right as we got back in the U.S. This photo was taken by Becki's mom who met us right at the gate. Then they both boarded another flight for home.

LAX - The whole group right as we got back in the U.S. This photo was taken by Becki's mom who met us right at the gate. We're exhausted but most of us are still smiling!

I got about half way in my blog posts during the trip. My exhaustion grew and also some things happened that required more processing!

For one thing we visited Hiroshima on November 11th the day after Veteran’s Day in the United States.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum - Japanese school kids looking at a watch that froze at the exact time the first atomic bomb was dropped at 8:15 a.m., August 6th, 1945. A quote from the owner of the watch is seen in English on the left and Japanese on the right.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum - Japanese school kids look at a watch that froze at the exact moment the first atomic bomb was dropped at 8:15 a.m., August 6th, 1945.

Here’s the quote on the poster (in English on the left and Japanese on the right):

A dragonfly flitted in front of me and stopped on a fence. I stood up, took my cap in my hands, and was about to catch the dragonfly when…

We rushed off to our next destination Miyajima: a Shinto shrine on an island off of Hiroshima famous for its huge gate, sometimes on the beach sometimes in the water depending on the tide.

Hiroshima - Miyajima Tori - Miyajima Gate at high tide. (This photo was taken by Tomoko

Hiroshima - Miyajima Tori - Miyajima Gate at high tide. (This photo was taken by Tomoko.

I regret the way we did rush away from the A-Bomb museum. I’m not sure if we should have had two days for Hiroshima next time or if it was good to have something beautiful to see right afterwards.

Maybe we just needed to leave earlier: these are the type of things I’m reflecting on as I plan future trips!

Miyajima is also famous for its many adorable and hungry tame deer.

Hiroshima - Miyajima Shrine - One of the many adorable and hungry tame deer on the island.

Hiroshima - Miyajima Shrine - One of the many adorable and hungry tame deer on the island.

Hiroshima - Miyajima Shrine - My step mom Tomoko and my little sister Yuni.

Hiroshima - Miyajima Shrine - My step mom Tomoko and my little sister Yuni who were both a huge help on the trip! Really Tomoko gave us many wonderful insights into the sites we visited and Japan in general!

Hiroshima - Miyajima - Six unschoolers/homeschoolers ages 5-25 hanging out at the Miyajima Shrine on the water.

Hiroshima - Miyajima - Six homeschooler/unschooler travelers ages 6-25 hanging out at the Miyajima Shrine on the water.

We visited other shrines and temples and also a castle in the last week. Himeji-jo is the most famous castle in Japan. We saw it:

Himeji - View of Himeji Castle as the sun sets on an autumn day in November, 2009.

Himeji - View of Himeji Castle as the sun sets on an autumn day.

And we climbed it to earn an amazing view of the ancient castle grounds and the modern city:

Himeji - View from up in the Himeji Castle in mid November.

Himeji - View from up in the Himeji Castle in mid November.

Anyway, I’ll probably do posts just for Himeji, maybe a couple for Hiroshima, and of course I’ll mention the food we ate and the restaurants we went to! (I know people noticed I do that lot!)

Osaka - Shinsaibashi - All of us at a great restuarant in Shinsaibashi, Osaka.

Osaka - Shinsaibashi - All of us at an exciting restuarant in Shinsaibashi, Osaka.

There was also some fun karaoke singing and my little sister had an amazing ceremony that Japanese kids ages 3, 5, and 7 go through called Shichi-go-san.

She and Tomoko both wore beautiful kimonos for the event. But anyway I’m in a rush and gotta go now!

Shichi go san - Modern Japan - Tomoko and Yuni on the move in the Osaka subway system wearing their beautiful kimonos

Shichi go san - Modern Japan - Tomoko and Yuni on the move in the Osaka subway system wearing their beautiful kimonos.

I’m just kidding: I’m actually totally jet-lagged and will really take it easy and just reflect on the trip for awhile now.

I’ll try to make a bunch of posts in the coming weeks anyway. Questions always motivate me so feel free to contact me directly or leave comments here!

I’m glad to be home and celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow.

The universe knows I have a lot for which to be thankful! That includes a wonderful family and work that satisfies me on a deep level: writing and leading these Worldschool Travel Tours.

Thank you for being a part of that by reading this!

5 Responses to “Back Home from Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Autumn 2009”

  1. Ren says:

    It’s so cool to see faces I’ve known since they were small and know they’re off having adventures in the world! :)

  2. Eli Gerzon says:

    Yeah, that must be cool! And thanks again for the being first commenter Ren!

  3. Casey says:

    Loving the shot of the gate. Glad to have you back.

  4. Eli Gerzon says:

    Oh thanks Casey! Glad to be back! You said you had a performance soon right? Hope I can make it down to see it.

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