Japan · School

High School ‘Department Store’

Yesterday and today was my base school’s ‘Department Store’ festival. This is very similar to a cultural festival, except (as the school is a commercial/business school) the students sell products that they have sourced from actual shops and therefore gain experience running their own shop, working a till, and serving customers with the proper etiquette, and so on.

The front cover of the ‘department store’ mini-magazine that was handed out when you entered the school.

Yesterday I was required to be at school as a teacher, so I wasn’t allowed to buy anything from the students as I was technically ‘at work’ and could only shop after work hours. Unfortunately by the time I had finished my work hours, the ‘department store’ was finished for the day. So, I decided to go in today (Sunday) as a regular customer… and you should of seen some of the students’ faces when they saw me in regular clothes and ready to shop πŸ˜‰

The window decorations of the various shops.
Students wait at the main gate to welcome guests. It may look quiet, but everyone was inside shopping up a storm… and it was incredibly cold outside as well!
Kumamon and Bari-san (two former Mascot Grand Prix winners) selling ramen and other 2-minute meals.

All of the students were very eager to sell me their wares, even the first and third year students who I don’t teach were just as keen to try and use English with me and get me to spend my money. Every classroom I went into was so nicely decorated and some of the artwork on the black boards was quite impressive.

This class was selling pastry and other baked goods. They were almost all sold out when I came around as it was a very popular store.

Now this was impressive

Some of these students are so good at art – this Olaf was incredibly well done.

More incredible artwork

By the end of the day I left the school ladened with so much stuff. I think I must of bought something from every store (much to the excitement of the students) – expect the mini ‘Fruit and Veg City’ that was packed full of old grannies buying massive diakons and cabbages. Fortunately everything I bought is going to be used either as Christmas presents or omiyage – so that is a huge tick off the Christmas buying list for when I go home for Christmas. Oh yes, forgot to mention that I am spending Christmas with my family in sunny South Africa! Much excitement with only 2 weeks to go! πŸ˜€

My horde from the day: a collection of omiyage, tea, socks, a small blanket, 2-minute noodles, biscuits, more tea, French bread, two pens (I was going to only buy one, but the student selling me them was a very good saleslady), a face cloth, and a ‘dust sticky-roller’ thingy that can be used on tatami mats – which is actually something I do need. πŸ™‚

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