Meet our Educational Tours Specialist, Sam!
Here at The Learning Adventure, the key factor that makes our tours so special are the people that plan them. Not content with just having plenty of industry experience and a passion for travel, many of our specialists have real world experience in the countries they work with. This means that when they’re helping you build brilliant itineraries, they know exactly what they’re talking about.
We’d like to shine a light on Sam, Educational Tour Specialist here at TLA.
Sam joined the school travel industry in 2014 after teaching for 3 years in Germany, Japan, and the UK. While he started putting together ski trips to the Alps and North America, he soon moved into planning educational trips to Europe. Sam also lived in Osaka, Japan for a year, meaning he’s adept at putting together lifechanging trips across Asia. We wanted to find out a little more about his time there!
Hi, Sam. Tell us more about where you lived!
I lived in a suburb of Osaka called Sakai City, which is famous for its sword-making. It was perfectly positioned between nature and the big city excitement of Osaka and, like most places in Japan, it was well connected to the rail system. A Shinkansen to Tokyo took just over 2 hours!
Aside from Osaka, where was the best place you visited in Japan?
There are so many places that I could say here. I must give honourable mention to Hakone, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, but I can’t look past Tokyo. It’s a city that just has everything you could ever want. Districts like Shinjuku and Shibuya are constantly alive with bright lights and thousands of people, but there’s also a calmer side to be seen in the various parks and gardens.
From a tour specialist perspective, Tokyo is quite unique in that you can conduct a full trip on your chosen subject without having to leave. It’s a fantastic destination for STEM (including our awesome Robotics trip), Geography, Business, and Art & Design.
And what was it that you loved most about your time in Japan?
Osaka is known as ‘Japan’s stomach’, so my answer has to be the food! No other country I have visited has such high quality and varied cuisine. From simple convenience store bento boxes all the way up to high end restaurants, there really is something for everyone! Food is an integral part of the Japanese culture, and should play a big role in any educational trip.
If you find yourself in Osaka, I would highly recommend taking some time exploring the street food stalls around the Dotonburi area, where you can get Osaka’s signature dish – Okonomiyaki.
Can you give us one place in Japan that you’d recommend to anyone?
If you are lucky enough to be visiting Osaka or Kyoto, Nachi Falls is the most beautiful destination in Japan – and well worth a day trip out of the city.
And where do you think is the best place to take a school tour in Japan?
As I mentioned, Tokyo is pretty special. No matter what type of trip you’re leading, you’ll find something here. Depending on what your subject focus is, there are some really unique destinations. Imagine being able to talk about WW2 history next to the famous A-Bomb dome in Hiroshima, or watching your art students being inspired at the museum of manga in Kyoto. The sky is really the limit in Japan.
Finally, what would you say are the benefits of organising a school tour to Japan?
Above all else, the chance to fall in love with such a wonderful country is the most important. We see students develop a lifelong love of all things Japanese on our trips time after time and come back to the classroom brimming with inspiration. This will be a once in a lifetime experience for a lot of students and being the teacher that gives them that is an incredibly rewarding feeling, and it inevitably pays dividends in the classroom.
We offer a wide range of trips for schools and universities. We tailor the adventure to your school’s priorities and the subjects being studied, so if you’d like to start planning drop us an email or give us a call. In the meantime, take look at our services here!