An adventure of a lifetime
Last year, the class of grades 5 and 6 went on an overnight field trip to Hakone and it was such a success that we decided to take the students away from school for a night again this year. This time, we went to Okutama.
A stop at the Ishikawa service station made the bus ride from school to our destination feel shorter than the two hours it actually was. Our first activity at Okutama was canyoning. After meeting with the instructors at the Splash Tokyo base, we geared ourselves up properly (wet suits, special socks and shoes, and helmet), and we then rode a bus to the starting point of our canyoning course. A 20-minute hike in the forest later, we went into the river. We felt OK at first thanks to the wet suits we were wearing but as the water began to soak through, we felt really cold. We hiked, climbed rocks, went down rocky slides, used ropes to climb, jumped, and also scared ourselves quite a bit for more than two hours. It was truly a wonderful experience.
In the afternoon, we arrived at the cabin where we stayed for the night. We all prepared dinner together. We peeled, washed, and cut vegetables for stew. We prepared the meat. We made salad. Our driver even made bread for us (thank you!) And then we ate. And ate. And ate some more. We really ate a lot! We went for a walk to digest our food in the dark where only our phones and a flashlight lit the way to a suspended bridge, that scared quite a few of us. After coming back to the cabin, we ate fruit salad for dessert, took a shower, and played some games before going to sleep.
We woke up at 6:00 A.M. and went out for a 30-minute hike in the mountain. This early morning exercise really made us enjoy our delicious breakfast which consisted of bread, jam, cheese, yogurt, cereal, milk, juice, and fruit.
In the morning, we visited the Nippara Limestone Caves, one of the largest caves in the Kanto region. The caves were dark, humid, and quite cold (9°C). We briefly talked about how weathering and erosion (review of our September science topic) led to the formation of the canyon where the cave is located.
Our last activity was a trip to Mt. Mitake. Our original idea was to visit the shrine at its summit and then go on a hike in the mountains but due fatigue and a tight schedule, we decided to rest and eat an ice cream instead of hiking.
Our next and last stop stop was school where we parted ways and said to each other, “See you in two days!” This year the overnight field trip was once more a huge success. We hope the students will remember it and cherish this souvenir for the years to come.