Five very nervous but excited participants arrived at Yumoto Station in Fukushima Prefecture, a little unsure of what lay ahead of us all for the next three days.
Our first stop was the foot spa. Soon we were all chatting and you would never have guessed we had all just met not 10 minutes earlier. This was the mood for the whole weekend. Everyone bonded instantly and shared from their hearts, without shame or embarrassment. With clean and refreshed feet , we headed to the first of many delicious meals and the start of the first Sasuga You! Self Discovery Weekend!
Where we stayed
We stayed at Iwaso Ryokan (Japanese inn), where we were welcomed for the long weekend wholeheartedly. Our workshops were held in a lovely Japanese-style room with tatami mats and sliding screens. We relaxed in the hot spring baths, slept on comfortable futons, and ate delicious food using local ingredients and famous foods from the Iwaki area.
Helen and Rebecca involved us in many different activities on topics that we had identified as important to us. We did group work, pair work, and individual work. We listened to lots of English, but there were also plenty of chances to check understanding and discuss in Japanese. Rebecca and Helen usually work with non-native English speakers, so they were able to speak to everyone in a way that we could all understand.