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Momilani Visits Hyuga City, Japan!

The Momilani Hyuga Junior Ambassador Exchange Program began the second phase of the program over the Fall Break in October.  During this portion of the exchange, the Momilani Junior Ambassadors along with three Momilani Chaperones travelled to Japan to take part in a “home-stay” experience with their exchange partners in Japan.  While in Japan, the eleven Momilani Representatives were able to take in various sights and cultural experiences all over Tokyo, Hyuga, and Osaka, while also sharing the “Aloha Spirit” with everyone they encountered abroad.  

Each of the students stayed with their host families for a week and were able to experience life as a student in Japan.  Some of the cultural activities that the students participated in were, pounding mochi, performing Japanese Calligraphy, visiting museums adjacent to ancient burial sites, participating in a moon festival, making traditional Japanese pottery, and many other exciting cultural experiences.  Each of the activities allowed the Junior Ambassadors to form strong friendships with their host students and families due to the interactive nature of each activity.  


After spending nearly nine exciting days in Japan, the Momilani Representatives returned safely to Hawaii, tired and exhausted, but full of the “Aloha Spirit” felt while visiting their host families in Japan.  To complete their obligations as Junior Ambassadors, the students prepared Reflection Presentations for the Momilani Administration Staff and their respective homeroom teachers, and were also able to prepare classroom presentations for the upper grade classes, aimed at educating the students about the cultural similarities and differences between student life in Hawaii and Japan.  

When asked about their experiences in Japan, the Junior Ambassadors had much to share and described the exchange program as a “life-changing experience” for each of them.  Each of the Junior Ambassadors were able to form lifelong bonds with their Japanese host families and have been able to continue communicating with each other using communication tools such as, Line, Zoom, and Skype, to keep in touch with their Japanese counterparts.

The Momilani Junior Ambassadors would like to thank Mrs. Higa and the entire Momilani ‘Ohana for their continuous support throughout the exchange program and would like to encourage others to consider travelling abroad to places like Hyuga City, Japan to experience all the amazing cultural treasures that they have to share.  The next Momilani Hyuga Exchange is slated for the 2017-2018 School Year and has already been approved by the Hyuga City Mayor and Board of Education, so we hope that Momilani Elementary School will also be able to approve and continue this wonderful exchange program through to the next exchange and beyond.


Masaru Uchino

Momilani Elementary, 3rd Grade Teacher