July 2015 and after eighteen months of preparation we were finally on our way to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan. As part of the Todai (lighthouse) contingent we flew via Dohar to Haneda – Tokyo International Airport and stepped into the adventure of a lifetime.
Tokyo was amazing. I went to Joypolis, an indoor Sega themed park with many games and rides. I won a prize there. Next stop – Tokyo Skytree which is 634m (2,080 feet) high. We visited the Earthquake Centre where they can simulate the experience of an earthquake, walked around a lot and saw many sights. I even got a ‘selfie’ with the lead singer from Full Moon!
After an awesome time in Tokyo, we set off for Yamaguchi, tent city where the Jamboree was held. There was so much planned to do during the Jamboree, and it really was the most amazing experience of my life. The Opening Ceremony was awash with people and flags from every nation. International Day gave us the opportunity to try all kinds of foods from around the world – some nice and others not so good!! Culture Day was awesome. My Patrol were chosen to go to Takatomari Elementary School for a couple of hours for young students to show us what it’s like in their school.
7th August was my 18th birthday. It was an amazing celebration thanks to my Unit and random people around the Jamboree sight! I was also given a card from the UK Contingent Leader himself with a badge. We had a lot of cake but I was too busy eating it to get pictures… (It was much better than the Jamboree food).
We went to Hiroshima on the 70th anniversary. Visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial gives you a new sense of perspective. You hear the stories and feel empathy for the people involved but you can’t really imagine what it must be like until you’ve seen the museum and you hear from the survivors and talk to the local people about it. Then you realize they have lived with pain and tragedy and still live with this horror but they get on with their lives and rebuild which is amazing.
A wonderful place and a great reminder of the need for Peace in the World.culture day2
We spent a fantastic few days with our home stay families and I would like to say a massive thank you to them for the experience and the privilege of allowing me into their home. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My Japanese family consisted of 5 people: 2 boys (aged 17 and 15), the parents and a grandmother. Both boys are Scouts and one of them attended the WSJ. The family live in Saga, south west Japan. During our stay we went to the local Scout Group’s Summer Festival and the Pokemon Store – shopping for souvenirs.
All in all a wonderful experience. We celebrated some awesome moments during the jamboree and made hundreds of new friends along the way. A true spirit of unity.
I would like to thank everyone in the Romney Marsh District who has supported me with grants, local sponsorship and individual donations to help me raise over £3,500 to get to Japan. We have received a huge amount of support from local people, businesses, and organisations.
It’s been 18 months since we started training and fundraising and the adventure hasn’t stopped. The support we have had from the local community and 1st New Romney Scout Group – Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers has been amazing – A HUGE THANK-YOU to all of them for an unforgettable Jamboree Experience”culture day