Every year, our school's English Conversation Club (ECC) takes a summer field trip somewhere in Tokyo. Last year we went to ASAKUSA and had a really good time, but ran into a few problems with us having a big group with matching shirts and it being a "sacred" area...so this year I had free reign to think of a new activity for the club and one day the idea hit me - SCAVENGER HUNT! 

I credit this idea to all of the Friday Night Youth groups and summer camps I went to as a kid. i.e all the mall scavenger hunts, team activities, crazy icebreakers and games which ultimately created a lot of good memories. So, I scouted out the Harajuku area, came up with a list of things for the students to do...and 4 teachers and 19 students headed out to Tokyo last week after school for a fun afternoon!

First step...take the train into Tokyo! With our club funds we were able to buy the students the ticket into Tokyo which isn't cheap, 800 YEN! They all wore their ECC shirt and followed the school rule of wearing their uniform pants or skirt. Good kids!  

We invaded the train station and had a blast riding the Tsukuba Express line to Kita-Senju...and then transferring to the Chiyoda line to head to our destination - Meijijingu Mae Station aka Harajuku! 

Qing sharing his music with Tanaka Sensei.

And Asia being the cool kid he is! P.s this is our schools summer uniform for boys. Blue shirt, stripped blue tie, belt and slacks. 

Sun is a 1st year student and can solve a Rubix Cube in 30 seconds. Crazy! And Daisuke is a 3rd year students and has the funniest personality and is always keeping us laughing. Never a dull moment with these kids! 

After almost an hour (yep, our school is pretty far)...we made it to Harajuku!

I split the group into 4 teams. The weeks leading up to the event all the students were worried, "Amie, who's group am I in??? Im so worried!" ohhhhhh high schoolers haha. So, I asked the Lord for discernment on what to do for groups and He gave me the peace that I should make two girl teams and two guy teams. And...it went so smoothly!!! No members left out or feeling down about it..phew! 

Boys team 1 getting ready to go.

Boys team 2 gearing up for the scavenger hunt!

And...after explaining the rules (stay in your groups!) we set the groups free and told them to meet back at in front of Meijijingu Shrine at 4:00pm SHARP! 

Thankfully Takeshita-Dori wasn't too crowded. I gave them a bunch of clues here such as:
-What is the name of the Cat cafe on Takeshita Dori? (MOCHA)
-How much is a zaku zaku ice cream come? (450)
-Take a picture with somewhere wearing a yukata

While the students were running around...us teachers (Kawamoto, Steph, Tanaka and myself) went to Starbucks to cool down and also buy the prizes for the scavenger hunt (gift cards!). Outside the store I saw this sign for the new Chocolate Cake topped Frapp with Strawberry shot and I HAD to get it. HAD TO.

SO SO SO SO GOOOOODDDDDDD. Basically tasted like strawberry icecream with brownie mixed in. Dangerous. And how cute is the "Welcome to Harajuku" on that mango drink!

Had to make a pit stop at Totti Candy factory which has the cutest cups of cotton candy!

Had to try the giant rainbow cotton candy!

After walking around and making sure the students were okay, we walked back to the entrance of Meiji shrine and our meeting location and Kawamoto treated us to more coffee!! YAYYYY! Nothing like iced black coffee on a hot summer afternoon. As I sat there, and waited for the students to come back and I had to pause and really remind myself, "Amie, this is your JOB!" How crazy is that? Every part of the day was fun and perfectly suited to what I love to do. Not to mention it was in Tokyo! So thankful for this life and every experience here. 

At 4pm the teams gathered back and we printed out some of their best photos from the hunt...
"take a picture with someone from a different country"
"take a picture with the bear at the LINE store"
"take a picture with an American flag"
etc...!!! Half the fun was making up these clues haha. 

Daisuke's face when he found out his group didn't win! hahah.

The girl group on the left collected the most points and won Starbucks gift cards! Go girls! And in the boys group on the right... Manabu came late, after going to the baseball game, so he wasn't wearing his uniform pants! haha some kids will be kids no matter how many times you say the rules. 

My favorite part of the day was seeing the students bond with new friends and those in different classes and grades than them. 

After finishing our day, we sent the students off to do whatever they needed to do! And Steph and I cruised around Omotesando a little more before heading home.

ahhh...what a perfect summer day!! I truly am thankful for this job, for the responsibility I am given to plan these kinds of activities, and for how well it suits my personality and what I already love to do! I am grateful for moments to spend with these students, for what a gift it is to be their teacher and be a part of their lives. God is so great, so good, so far beyond our comprehension and imagination and He works in the most incredible ways. He knows exactly where we need to be to grow, to flourish, to learn...thank you Lord!!