I studied Japanese for three years and I absolutely loved it. Everything about the culture and the language fascinated me, and I was given an amazing opportunity to visit Japan.

On 1 July, myself and 14 other Hornby High School students embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Sendai, Japan. We were in Sendai for two weeks, where we stayed with host families and attended our sister school, Tokiwagi Gakuen High School.

While in Japan, we visited Japanese landmarks, made friends, tasted new food and made unforgettable memories. This was my second time visiting Japan and it gave me the opportunity to experience many new things.

Once the two weeks came to an end, we took a bullet train down to Tokyo and spent the day at Disneyland. We then flew back to New Zealand and had a stop-over in Singapore for a couple of days.

Japan opened my eyes to culture and experiences that I was completely unfamiliar with and I have now discovered a love for travelling. It has inspired me to travel the world when I am older.

I will definitely return to Japan one day, in the hope of discovering new things and revisiting old friends. I couldn’t have done this without the help of Te Taumutu Rūnanga and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. Nā Taylor Polwart (Teihoka whānau).

Taylor with her Japanese host family.

Taylor with her Japanese host family.