Sarah’s Jump Trip

From November 7-9, the whole 9th grade went on the annual JUMP trip. JUMP stands for Japanese Understanding Motivational Program and the 9th grade trip is always to the Hakone/Mt. Fuji Area, about 3 hours from central Tokyo. It was my first overnight ever and I was very excited. We caught the bus to school on Wednesday morning at about 8:00. At school, we took care of our luggage and did a few color competitions. Prior to the trip, we had been broken into color groups which compete for points throughout the 3 days. I was green. After the competitions, we boarded the buses to our first activity. For me it was a ropes course. I had a great time and saw some breath-taking views of Mt. Fuji. After the ropes course, we went to an International Youth Center, where we did karaoke and dodgeball, our next 2 color competitions. Karaoke was so much fun, even though our team came in 5th (out of 6). We slept at the Youth Center and did cultural activites the next morning. I made a kite and leaf postcards. Some students had taken taiko drumming lessons and we listened to them perform before we took off for our afternoon outdoor activities. I went horseback-riding at a small ranch close to the Youth Center. The horses were beautiful, but we didn’t get to ride for long since there were so many people. After horseback -riding, we got into our minshuku groups and drove to the minshukus. A minshuku is a small family-owned "hotel". You sleep in large rooms on futons. The family made us a traditional Japanese meal and then we (about 20 girls and 2 teachers) hung out and painted nails. It was really fun. The next morning we ate a Japanese breakfast. It was a little weird to have fish and soup in the morning. Afterwards, we took off to a nearby gym to have our color group field day. Green team won by .5 points!!!! We finished off the trip by going to a hot springs water park. Even though it was November, we got into our bathing suits and went down waterslides. There were a whole bunch of flavored baths too, including charcoal, green tea, wine, coffee, and beer. There was a salt bath too with water from the Dead Sea, but it really stung. The worst part was the tub with fish that ate the dead skin off you feet. I hated it!! We finished at the water park in the late afternoon and headed home. I was exhausted, but I had a great time.

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