Factory Visits Galore

We had two factory visits this week and both were so much fun each having its own distinct characteristics. On Wednesday, we went to Toyota City, in particular one Toyota plant and the Toyota Museum. On Friday, we went to Jyosui Elementary School, which is only a fifteen minute walk from the Chubu Kenshu Center.

On our visit to the Toyota plant, we were introduced to the workings of a car manufacturing plant. Here I realized why the city where we are is called Toyota City. Toyota has around seven factories located in this city. So, if you own a Toyota, the possibilities are high that some if not all of its parts came from this city. We even had the opportunity to get inside one of their newest models, a hybrid car that can run either on gasoline or electricity. I didn’t personally liked the car (both its interior and exterior) but knowing that it can save lives by minimizing gas emissions is enough for me to love the car.

Our car-gazing did not end at the factory. Later that afternoon, we visited the Toyota museum where we drooled over the latest cars and technologies from Toyota. First thing to catch my attention was the new Toyota Rav-4 and boy, was it beautiful. Unlike the previous model, it doesn’t look like a toy anymore. It was one big, beautiful driving machine. Moving on to other sections of the museum, our eyes feasted on every car and technology it sees. From the sporty MR-S convertible to the big and very expensive Land Cruisers, they’re all here.

If you think that all we did was look at the cars, boy, are you wrong. We were also allowed to get in the car and experience the interiors of those expensive automobiles. The technology I appreciated the most was the small monitors fitted into the newer cars. It has Global Positioning System (GPS) and all those other technologies so technically, you know exactly where you are, all the time. The good thing about it is that the controls for the audio and video systems have also been integrated into these monitors. Wow! Japanese technology at work!

We could have stayed there all day but as usual, Japanese time tells us that we have to leave by 4:00 PM, so we did… exactly. We went back to the Center and back to our Nihon-go assignments. Huhu.

The other visit was to the Jyosui Elementary School. There, we had a taste of Japanese Compulsory Education. In Japan, they have nine years of compulsory and free education and the curriculum is uniform in all campuses around Japan. All campuses are also equipped with standard facilities such as a gymnasium, swimming pool, soccer field, computer rooms, music rooms among many others. So, even in a small town like Jyosui, all these facilities are there, very unlike where *I* came from.

One of the many things I liked about the visit is that almost all the kids are very active and assertive. When you encounter them in the corridors, they would greet you immediately and even gleefully talk with you. They have no qualms whatsoever. Back in my elementary days, we were as “prim and proper” as we can be whenever there are visitors. At least, that’s the image our superiors wanted to project to our visitors. If I were the visitor, I would rather see active children ready to interact with me than well-behaved children in their classrooms pretending they are praying the rosary.

Of course, just like the previous weeks, we still have to deal with a plethora of assignments and quizzes so I guess, that’s it for now. Gagawa pa ako ng assignment. Hehe.

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