Upgrade Experiment - 5 Stops

Trip Start Mar 26, 2010
Trip End Apr 03, 2010

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our tour guide keeps asking us if we want to do the "upgrade experiment" but he actually means to say "upgrade experience". Every time he says it, I laugh inside. Today he said "okay, today we will do the volcano experiment..." He's an interesting tour guide. 
We began our "5 stop day" in Kamakura where we visited a shrine which was breathtaking. Then we walked around the city for about an hour, lost Kris for four minutes because he decided to walk across the street and take a picture, and then left after a strict "talking to" from our tour guide. His exact words were "You think it was only 4 minutes? 4 minutes is a long time. There are 19 other people so 19 times 4 equals approximately an hour. You actually made us an hour late." Again, I laughed. The customs here really are extremely different and interesting to learn.  After the shrine, we went to the Great Buddha statue which was just that, great. The statue was gigantic and "spiritual" and the best part is the kids got to pay 500 Yen to walk into a Buddha.  Odawara is where we walked around next. We saw a castle, ate some junk food, and left for the bullet train. The kids got to watch and take pictures of the bullet train and it's speed. It was funny watching them "ohhhh and ahhhh" over a train but they did. And finally, we landed in our hotel, on the water, at the Sunmani Club. This is the hotel where we ate a traditional style dinner party where we sat on the floor and ate from our trays wearing our Yukatas.  Later that evening, the kids went to a natural hot spring spa and experienced the Japanese way - complete nudity. The hotel closed the spa for "EF Students Only" from 5:30 to 10:00 so the kids got to enjoy that. They were a bit freaked out but very brave. Everyone slept on mats on the floor in traditional style rooms (5 per room).  I'm not sure if we really had 5 stops in our day but that is what the tour guide kept calling it, so I guess we did. Tonight we sleep in a Holiday Inn...Carrie
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gail tidball on


Kris' Mom on

What amazing experiences you guys are enjoying!! I'm so happy for you! What you take away from this you will value for a lifetime. To the chaperones: You are doing an EXCELLENT job. Thank you so much for making this experience possible and so memorable for our children! Enjoy!! Kris: Love u!

James on

Kris I know I said get alot of pics.....But stay with ur grp.....DAD
(the nice version)

Lucy on

Imagine the Kamakura pictures at the Shrine and of the Great Budda statue will add substance to conversation for life. At Odwara was the hot spring spa an "experiment". Pictures of you guys in Yukatas with mat style eating and later sleeping are cool. Now any of you could have authentic Japanese theme venues/parties in the U.S. Carrie you're funny. Will the Holiday Inn and the McDonald's experiment prepare you alll for the return to U.S. experiment.

Parents on

We want more pix.

Joanne on

Wow! The pictures just get better and better! What an experience you are all having! It's been a thrill to take the journey with you throught the blogs and pictures! Keep 'em coming! And thank you Carrie & Vijay for being great chaperones! Joanne

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