JOHOR BARU: It was fun when ohaiyo gozaimasu and selamat pagi was heard at the Johor Islamic College here.
The nearly 500 students from both countries greeted each other in their own language when they met last Thursday morning.
This occurred when 246 students and teachers from Shichirigahama Senior High School in Tokyo, Japan, visited the college on Thursday.
It was one of the cultural exchange activities arranged for the Japanese by Johor Education Foundation during their trip to Malaysia.
After a short opening, an orientation session took place to break barriers between the students.
The Japanese were then introduced to Malay traditional foods, games and silat.
Although some of the Japanese complained about the hot weather, they were totally absorbed in the games.
Among them were congkak, five stones and rope-jumping. They were also taught how to make ketupat.
To express their gratitude, the Japanese students performed several traditional dances at the end of the visit.
Johor Islamic College director Noorhamizi Yaacob said he hoped to make the visit an annual event for both schools.
He said, through this, the Japanese would have better knowledge and understanding of Malay culture.
Shichirigahama teacher Tanaka Megumiko said she was keen to visit places of interest here.
“We will also visit a traditional Malay house in a village,” she said.
Student Masazumi Aimi said it was an unforgettable trip for her.
“I am impressed by Malaysia for its multi-cultural society,” she said.
Later, the Japanese group proceeded to Semenchu, Kota Tinggi, for a homestay programme.