Day 12-14 - Safe Arrival in Ikata 派遣団が無事に帰国しました!

After a total of three flights, two buses and two days, the students and teacher from Ikata have arrived safely back in Japan.

Please look forward to more entries and photos from the 20th annual sister city exchange trip as well as reflections from the students' and teacher.




Day 6 - Drum Circle, Tree Planting, & Welcome Party

Today, in the morning, the kids climbed up Barn Bluff. After lunch, we visited the Anderson Center and Universal Music Company and took part in a drumming circle. We then headed to Covill Park to plant our sister city tree. The tree for this year is a Newport Plum and should bloom next June. After planting, we enjoyed a delicious dinner of pulled pork sandwiches and exchanged gifts.
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Day 5 - River City Days Parade

Today was the big day - walking in the River City Days Parade. The kids from Ikata and Red Wing dressed in Japanese yukata. The girls also wore cute flower hair accessories. We followed Matt in his blue truck with all of the gifts from Ikata previously sent via post and replenished our bags whenever we ran out of things to hand out. The Japanese fans were especially popular with the crowd on a hot summer's day.
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Day 4 - Pottery Museum, Red Wing Shoes, and Disc Golf

Note: I would like to apologize for the slow updating of posts. There have been issues with trying to upload photos on a mobile device, so please look forward to longer posts and more photos after the program is finished. Thank you for your understanding,

Today, we first visited the Red Wing Pottery Museum. They gave us candy to start out the tour. The pottery in Red Wing is known for its stoneware which was used to keep practical items such as water, dried meats, vegetables, and medicine.
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Day 3 - Arrival in Red Wing

We took a small regional plane to Minneapolis on Friday afternoon and arrived 20 minutes early.

Each student met with their respective host families.

Michika and Nagisa with the Marty Family.

Benio and Minami with the Nagel Family.

Hyuga with the Toegel Family.
Ayumi with the Palmatier Family.
Mrs. Shinozawa with the Erickson and Quinn Family.

We then headed to the Mall of America - the largest mall in the United States. We visited the indoor amusement park and rode several rides.
At the end, some of the girls tried out a penny pressing machine.

For dinner, we headed to Ikea - known for its cheap, but delicious Swedish meatballs.

Afterwards, we walked around the IKEA showroom floor, the students playing around as if each room was their home. Michika shows her "Kingly" face after being served "coffee".


Day 17 & Day 1 - See You Japan, Hello U.S.A! またね日本、ハロ!アメリカ

After traveling by two buses and two planes (total travel: 21 hours), the 20th Ikata Student Delegation has arrived at our first stop in Chicago, Illinois. 
Even though everyone was plenty tired from the long trip, we were surprised by the bus the tour guide came in - it was like a dance party inside!
Tomorrow we will start a big tour of Chicago, so for now we will rest up.