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I've been studying Japanese at school for two years, and in september I went to Osaka, Japan with my class. A total of 12 students and 2 teachers went for almost 2 weeks. We flew to Japan and back with stopovers in Hong Kong. When we arrived in Japan, it was very, very hot and humid. We brought our luggage to our hotel and then were allowed to wander through the city to go shopping. The shopping was really cool in Japan because it was not in a mall, it was on the streets. There were entire streets lines with shops. It was really fun just looking around. We even found a McDonald's and ordered cheeseburgers in Japanese. For dinner we returned to our hotel and ate a very traditional japanese meal. We all wore kimonos (traditional Japanese gowns) and sat on the floor in front of low tables. After dinner, A few of us tried the hot spring baths at the hotel. Our hotel rooms contained one main room and a bathroom. The floors were tatami mats and we slept on Japanese futons.

I also had a great time doing sightseeing and living with a host family. Each of us stayed with a different host family for 10 days, and I ended up with the family who spoke the least English. We struggled to communicate because we only knew little bits of each other's languages, but we did manage to communicate with help from dictionaries. I ended up learning many words and phrases in Japanese. In my family I had one brother named Tatsuya who was my age, a younger sister (13), and parents. They were all very friendly. They took me to see lots of really cool things. One day we went to Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden structure in the world. It is 160 feet tall! It was really cool to see such a huge thing made entirely of wood. Another place I went with my family is the old Imperial Palace Complex in Nara. It used to house the emporer of Japan! 

While I was in Japan, I was amazed how crowded everything was. The houses were tiny with no yards, and were built within a few feet from the one lane roads. My house was only 12 feet wide and was only 630 square feet! Every morning, I went rode to school with my brother on our bikes. The danger of riding in very narrow roads full of people, bikes, and cars was a thrilling experience. Almost everyone rides a bike in Japan and no one wears helmets because it is not a law. No one has to wear seat belts in the back seats of cars either. All of us from Australia came to the same school with our siblings every day. At school, we visited classes like art, music, cooking, PE, and chemistry. Chemistry was fun because we didn't know what the teacher was saying in Japanese, but we all had fun making explosions. Sometimes during the school day we would go see other things. We visited a tea house, a huge shopping street in the city, Osaka Castle, and Universal Studios in Japan.

In Japan, I experienced a lot of food that I normally don't have. The list includes, octopus, raw fish, raw eggs, pickled plums, asparagus, and tofu. I tried everything I was given, so many things I didn't like. I did enjoy the octopus, asparagus, and tofu. I also didn't mind the raw eggs.

The whole trip was very, very fun and I enjoyed seeing and learning, and experiencing new things. I loved taking photos of the things I saw in Japan. You can see some of them below.