Safe, Near, Short Becoming School Trip Keywords amid Epidemic

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)--Safe and nearby locations involving short stays are increasingly preferred by schools in Japan for student trips amid the spread of coronavirus infections.

Almost all school trips that had been planned this spring were canceled, according to a foundation related to such travel. Many of trips scheduled for autumn were also called off, while some schools moved to reconsider the cancellations on the back of growing calls by the government and others for helping students create good school memories.

To reduce infection risks, schools are organizing single- or two-day trips, shorter than those before the coronavirus crisis, and tending to avoid urban areas as destinations and instead choosing historic sites or scenic spots nearby. Also as part of efforts to prevent infection, some schools opt to hire additional buses and secure more rooms at lodging facilities by utilizing subsidies from local governments and funds saved through the use of the central government's Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign.

Sanno Elementary School in Morioka, the capital of Iwate Prefecture, changed its student trip destinations to locations within the northeastern Japan prefecture, such as Chusonji, a Buddhist temple, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Students of the school also visited Iwate Tsunami Memorial Museum in Rikuzentakata in the prefecture, which opened last year to pass on the lessons of the huge tsunami that hit the coastal city to future generations. "I was shocked by the change of destinations, but I'm happy to be here," 11-year-old Mina Nakamura, a sixth-grader of the school, said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press