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The Kings School 2019 – Trekking the Kuma no Kodo – the ancient pilgrimage trail of Japan.

Social Justice – Volunteering – Adventure – Skills – Culture

No other place can give you a Duke of Edinburgh Tour like Japan. It was a very excited bunch of year 9 students from The Kings School at Parramatta who boarded their ANA flight to Osaka via Tokyo.

The trip they had ahead of them was a bespoke tour organised by Gullivers meeting all the criteria for the Duke of Edinburgh award program at the school.

The group was about to embark on an adventure through the Kumanokodo in Wakayama prefecture through Nagoya into the mountains onto Nagano before visiting the lights and bustle of the world’s biggest metropolis in Tokyo.

The Kumanokodo is one of the world’s great trekking routes stretching from the eastern side of the Kii Peninsula to the western coast. An ancient pilgrimage trail centred on a number of key Buddhist temples the boys spent most of each day trekking from a traditional Japanese guesthouse to the next welcoming Japanese host.

At the end of their trek, they were catapulted into the 21st century as their guide met them at the end of the Kuma no Kodo and they travelled up to Nagoya, the centre of railway technology in Japan. A visit to the Bullet Train Research Centre and the new Mag Kev display highlights the new technology emerging from Japan. The new MAG LEV is now the fastest train in the world clocking 603km.

It was time for a bit of R&R as the students hit the slopes at the famous Madarao ski resort in Nagano prefecture before jumping on the bullet train for the ride down to Tokyo

“It’s hard to describe how good this tour was” remarked one of the teachers upon return. The proof was in the pudding with the 2020 tour applications soon filling and soon there waiting list of young men wanting to experience the adventure that is Japan.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is conducted in 140 countries. More info on the award

Peter Gibson

Executive Advisor Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games Australian Olympic Committee | Paralympics Australia | Japan-Australia Trade Relations & Business Development

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