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The 2002 Itinerary

The 2002 Arrival/Departure schedule

About the city of Himeji

Japan travel  Japan news  Japan weather

Himeji 2002 Pictures!

About Vashon High School

From Vashon to Himeji, 2002

Here's the home page for Himeji Minami high school in Himeji city, Hyogo prefecture, Japan

2002 Himeji trip pictures!

2002 pictures are current through Monday, April 22, Japan time.

An index to all of the 2002 Japan pictures, with thumbnail links to the full size pictures.

Update: Wednesday evening, April 24, 2002

Everyone'e home safe!

I can't speak for everyone, but the several kids I spoke to at Sea-Tac and on the boat coming home all had a great time!

Update: Tuesday morning, April 23, 2002

I received this email from Rosalie:

From: "our_host_family" <our_host_family@mub.biglobe.ne.jp>
To: "John Sage" <jsage@finchhaven.com>
Subject: Re: Hey Dad!!!
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 20:36:17 +0900

Hey, Dad

Sunday got a lot better since I e-mailed you. We went shopping and
then went to Karaoke with Piper, Stephen, me, and everyone's host
sisters. It was so much fun!!! We spent 3 hours, and we all could have
spent more singing.

I cant wait to see you tomorrow. Tonight [Tuesday, Japan time] they
threw a huge going away party for all of us. It was so fun...but my
stupid camera broke. I finished a roll of film and it wouldnt
rewind. I think I exposed some of the pictures so I'm bummed. We have
to get it fixed so I can if we can save the pictures on that roll
cause they are from Hiroshima, and Miyajima.

See you tomorrow. Love you!!!

Love Rosalie

Update: Monday morning, April 22, 2002

No news... What? They're too busy having fun to write us, while we sit home worrying? A lot of thanks we get!

Update: Sunday, April 21, 2002

No news...

Update: Saturday, April 20, 2002

I received this email Saturday morning, from Rosalie:

From: "our_host_family" <our_host_family@mub.biglobe.ne.jp>
To: "John Sage" <jsage@finchhaven.com>
Subject: Re: Hey Dad!!!
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 20:26:17 +0900

Hey Dad

Everything is still going great!! I saw the pictures, the one of Piper is so
funny! She is going to kill you. 

Today [Saturday, Japan time] Risa [Rosalie's host sister], Suzanne, and Shoko, 
her host sister and I went to Kyoto. 

Wow! Kyoto is one the the highlights of this trip. It was so beautiful!! 
I bought so many good gifts, especially for you!! I spent way too much money 
there. The food has been great. I have had tempura, yakitori, yakisoba, 
udon, ramen, and lots more of Japanese food.

Well I just wanted to say hi, talk to you soon. See you on Wednesday, have a
great next few days. Love you all.

Love Rosalie

Update: Friday, April 19, 2002

I received this email Friday morning, from Rosalie:

From: "our_host_family" <our_host_family@mub.biglobe.ne.jp>
To: "John Sage" <jsage@finchhaven.com>
Subject: Re: Hey Dad!!!
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 22:15:51 +0900

Hey Dad,

How are you? I am having so much fun in Japan. Today [Friday, Japan time] we 
went to Kobe. It was really fun, it is Seattle's sister city. It is a lot 
different from Himeji, a lot more huge buildings, cars, and people. We also 
went to China Town, that was really fun, we had a lot of really good food there.

Tomorrow [Saturday, Japan time] Risa [Rosalie's host sister], Suzanne and her 
host sister, and I are going to Kyoto. Can't wait to see everyone when I get home, 
I am really tired so I think I'm going to go to bed. Talk to you soon.

I love You!!

Love always Rosalie

I received this email very early Friday morning, from Maren:

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 01:22:31  -0800
From: "mwilliams" <mwilliams@vashonsd.wednet.edu>
To: John Sage <jsage@finchhaven.com>
Subject: pictures!

Thanks John, I think I can send the photos.  Let me know if it doesnt

Pictures of archery club and our visit to Hirohata Preschool.

I emailed her back:

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 02:26:15 -0700
From: John Sage <jsage@finchhaven.com>
To: mwilliams <mwilliams@vashonsd.wednet.edu>
Subject: Re: pictures!

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

Drop everything: send more pictures!

- John

Update: Thursday, April 18, 2002

I received this email early Thursday morning, from Maren:

Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 22:52:06  -0800
From: "mwilliams" <mwilliams@vashonsd.wednet.edu>
To: John Sage <jsage@finchhaven.com>
Subject: Re: Himeji trip web page

Hi John, How are you?  Well, we made it to Japan and have had two busy 
days already.

I haven't been able to upload any photos yet, but we are working on it.  
Hopefully later today or tomorrow.  If worse comes to worse, I will 
e-mail them to you when we get home.  

For now, I will tell you a little bit about what we have been doing if 
you want to add that to our page that would be great. 

We left Vashon on the 6am ferry on Monday and arrived in Himeji at about
7:30pm on Tuesday night Japan time (nearly 22 hours later).  The 
students already had made Japanese friends on the airplane and Ross 
already had numerous requests for photos before we had even arrived at 
the school.  The host students greeted us at Himeji Minami with a 
welcome banner and students left from there to go to their host families

Wednesday, we attended a welcome ceremony in our honor where Ross and I 
made speeches in Japanese and Andrew sang a song from the Simpsons in 
front of all 900 Himeji students and teachers.  

When the ceremony was over we went to visit Kokoen Garden and Himeji 
Castle.  Although it was raining the castle was stunning and an English 
language tour guide told us all about the history and legends of the 

Today [Thursday, Japan time] we were stars at Hirohata Kindergarten where 
we were greeted by 35 screaming, giggling children eager (yet nervous) 
to play with the Vashon students.  We hula hooped, played restaurant, soccer, 
on the jungle gym, listened to the children sing, and received paper garlands 
from the adorable students.  

From there we visited Hirohata Junior High School where we saw various 
classes.  This afternoon Vashon students are attending classes with 
their host students and writing in their travel journals about their 
experiences and impressions so far.  

Thank you for the time you have spent on our webpage.  I hope to have 
pictures to you soon! 

Update: Wednesday, April 17, 2002

I received this email about 5:00am Wednesday morning!

From: "our_host_family" <our_host_family@mub.biglobe.ne.jp>
To: <jsage@finchhaven.com>
Subject: Hey Dad!!!
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 21:02:00 +0900

Hey dad,

How are you? I am doing great. I hope mom told you I called this morning. I
can only call in the morning because of the time difference. Today we went
to Himeji castle. It was amazing!!! Ms. Williams said she was going to try
to send you pictures to put up on the web page. Tell mom I said hi! Talk to
you soon, write back.

I love you!!!

Love Rosalie

Update: Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Update at 4:00pm Tuesday, our time: Janice just spoke with both Maren and Rosalie by telephone. It's 8:00am Wednesday, Japan time; they're at Himeji High School and are about to go onstage for the welcoming assembly. Maren and Ross are going to give speeches!

The last part of the flight and the landing was a little bumpy, but everyone survived.

Himeji 2002 Pictures!

Himeji Minami Senior High School, in Himeji city, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, is Vashon High School's sister school.

Each year a group of students travel from Himeji, Japan to Vashon Island, or from Vashon Island to Himeji, for a one- to two week visit, alternating each year.

In 2002, approximately 15 Vashon High School students will be traveling to Himeji, Japan, from April 15-24, 2002.

Himeji Minami Senior High School,
Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

The Himeji Minami Senior High School web site, and some web pages at Himeji Minami Senior High School:

"International Relations" - The United States, Washington State, Puget Sound, and Vashon Island by map, in Japanese!

A previous (2000?) visit to Himeji Minami High School

Himeji Minami Senior High School
Address:  191-5 Tenma Otsu-ku  Himeji  Hyogo  671-1143  Japan
Tel: 0792-36-1835


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About Himeji...

An excellent web site about the city of Himeji, itself:

"Welcome to Himeji"

"Himeji City has formed sister affiliations with five cities and one castle overseas and is strengthening the bonds of friendship through goodwill delegations, young people's visits and other mutual exchanges. The number of people from overseas visiting Himeji or taking up residence here, meanwhile, is increasing year by year and creating a need for a broadening of the scope of international communication in the city."


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Japan travel

The Japan National Tourist Organization

Kansai International Airport

A map of Kansai Airport

International Arrivals at Kansai

The Statistical Handbook of Japan, 2003

There are two excellent maps here: a geographical map of Japan and an administrative map of Japan

An excellent railway map of central Japan

The West Japan Railway Company

The Himeji train station

Maybe the kids will get to travel on the 500 Series Shinkansen!


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Japan News

The Asahi Shimbun

The Japan Times online

Kyodo News

Kid's Web Japan

Some of these links were quite happily stolen from Williams Sensei's homepage!


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The weather for Himeji, Kyogo, Japan

At weather.yahoo.com

Japan weather at the Japan National Tourist Organization

Forecasts for the Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe areas

2004 West Pacific hurricane information :-/

(Actually, they're called "typhoons" - and the real season in the west Pacific is mostly from June through December)

Some interesting Japan-related links:

About the time difference:

Williams Sensei says: "Add four hours, and switch A.M. to P.M., or vice versa."

So the kids left Vashon High School at 5:30am Monday, which (adding four hours and switching A.M. to P.M.) is 9:30pm Monday night in Himeji...

Of course, there's also the International Date Line in between here and there, but that only comes into play when you're actually traveling. So although the kids left Vashon on Monday morning, they'll arrive in Japan on Tuesday afternoon, roughly 17 clock hours later.

And when they come home, they'll leave Japan at 5:00pm local time, Wednesday April 24, and arrive here at 1:15pm the same day! Time travel!

(I think... :-)


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OK! Here we go!

Meet at Vashon High school at 5:15am to load the bus. The bus will be leaving at 5:30am sharp. Mrs Kirkland will be accompanying students to the airport where Williams Sensei will meet you at the Air Canada counter. Remember to have your passport in a safe but easily accessible place.

2002 departure schedule:

Monday, April 15, 2002:

Air Canada flight 8094

  • leave Sea-Tac airport 10:05am Pacific daylight time, Monday April 15, 2002
  • arrive Vancouver BC 10:55am

Flight time: 50min, distance: 127 miles

Air Canada flight 35

  • leave Vancouver BC 12:35pm Pacific daylight time

    Cross International Date Line,
    going forward in time :-)

  • arrive Osaka/Kansai airport 3:30pm local (Japan) time on Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Flight time: 10hr 55min, distance: 4942 miles

2002 arrival schedule:

Wednesday, April 24, 2002:

Air Canada flight 36

  • leave Osaka/Kansai airport 5:00pm local (Japan) time

    Cross International Date Line,
    going back in time :-)

  • arrive Vancouver BC 10:20am Pacific daylight time, Wednesday, April 24, 2002 - the same day they left Japan!

Flight time: 9hr 20min (with the jet stream)

Air Canada flight 8097

  • leave Vancouver BC 12:25pm Pacific daylight time
  • arrive Sea-Tac airport 1:15pm Pacific daylight time, Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Flight time: 50min

We ask that parents pick up (or arrange to carpool) your student at Sea-Tac on April 24, 2002 at 1:15pm.

Call Air Canada at 1-888-247-2262 to confirm the arrival time


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The 2002 Itinerary:

                             Vashon in April 2002

16th (Tu) 12:30 Leaving School to meet Vashon Students & Teachers (bus) Bus arrival at Kansai airport 15:30 Arrival of Air Canada 891, Customs, Changing money, etc 17:00 Leave as soon as possible for Himeji Minami SHS 19:30 Arrive at school Meet with host students, and return home with them
17th (We) 08:30 [Dressmaking room is prepared for your waiting room] 08:40 Welcome Assembly Tour of Himeji Minami High School Visit Himeji Castle & Kokoen Garden, Himeji City, etc Lunch (bag lunch) Come back from Himeji City Participate in club activities with host students
18th (Th) 08:30 [Waiting room] 08:40 Extra lessons (Japanese, Japanese system of education, PE, Music, Art, Calligraphy, etc) Visit Hirohata Junior High School & Hirohata Kindergarten Join club activities with host students
19th (Fr) 08:30 [Waiting room] 08:40 Join in classes with host students Visit Kobe (China Town, Port Park, Kobe City Museum, etc)
20th (Sa) Spend time with host family
21st (Su) Spend time with host family
22nd (Mo) 08:00 Meet at the South Gate of Himeji Station (2F) 08:20 Leave for Hiroshima (Shinkansen Hikari 359) 09:23 Arrive at Hiroshima, Get on the JR train & Ferry for Miyajima 10:30 Arrive at Miyajima, visit Itsukushima Shrine 12:20 Leave Miyajima for Hiroshima 13:20 See the Hiroshima Memorial Dome, Walking around the Memorial Park 16:04 Leave for Himeji by Shinkansen Hikari 104 17:07 Arrive at Himeji Station, return home with host families
23rd (Tu) 08:30 [Waiting room] 08:40 Extra lessons (Japanese, Japanese system of education, PE, Music, Art, Calligraphy) 18:00 Farewell Party (Potluck) at school cafeteria
24th (We) 11:30 Coming together with host students 12:30 Leave school for Kansai Airport with host students by bus 15:00 Arrive at Kansai Airport 17:00 Leave for Seattle (Air Canada 890)
The schedule isn't decided yet, so there may be some possibility of changes to the schedule, especially on March 18th & 19th. The reason is that the schedule for those two days is of the next school year, and in Japanese schools the entire school schedule is decided at the end of March and the beginning of April. So we will let you know about your final detailed schedule on April 16th, the day of your arrival.

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